ENEA launches a new concentrated solar power system that provides “clean” heat for industrial processes. Reaches a maximum operating temperature of 320°C
The technology was developed at ENEA’s Casaccia Center.
How to accelerate the decarbonization of the most difficult sectors?
Integration of renewable sources in industrial processes. ENEA’s new energy infrastructure will also contribute to this objective.
SHIP is an experimental concentrated solar power plant that could provide “clean” heat for a number of energy-intensive applications. The facility was created to test and validate innovative solutions and materials, as part of the largest solar research park at the ENEA center in Casaccia.
In Italy, industry accounts for more than 40% of national thermal energy demand and has a significant influence on global consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. The heat required by the mains often exceeds 400°C. A thermal level that only concentrated solar energy can access in an ecological way.
Walter Gaggioli, Head of the Solar Thermal Energy, Thermodynamics and Smart Grids Division at ENEA.
The new plant adopts a modular and versatile technology, potentially able to meet the thermal needs of different industrial processes.
The system consists of a linear solar collector composed of 425 mirrors, with a total of approximately 330 square meters of reflective surface. With a maximum operating temperature of 320°C and a heat output of around 200 kW, the infrastructure already offers a good alternative to fossil fuels in small and medium-sized applications.
By integrating thermal storage systems, the technology could provide reliable and flexible heat generation, adaptable to different temperatures, thermal loads and system sizes.
According to the researchers, the plant could be useful in cooking, pasteurization and sterilization processes in the food industry; in bleaching and drying in the textile industry; in distillation and evaporation in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries; and at certain key stages in the steel, cement, glass, plastic and leather production processes.