Solar heat in industrial processes

Source: Airlight Energy SA


Although the concept and functionality of solar thermal technologies have been repeatedly proven, their large-scale utilization is mostly identified with electricity generation. Solar heat, however, offers a high potential for the implementation in industrial processes, which often rely on fossil fuels as heat source. Motivations may stem from an economic point of view with respect to worldwide increasing gas prices, or from a more environmental point of view with respect to the massive carbon-dioxide footprint of the respective industrial sectors. As it may be natural, despite the high potential, there are also challenges to face, such as the maximum attainable temperatures of the respective solar technologies (mainly concentrated solar power, CSP), the seasonal and daily transience in solar heat supply, the integration with the industrial processes, the scarcity of space in some regions, and, finally, the feasibility with respect to the solar incidence of certain locations, only to mention a few. The intricacies behind these questions form the basis for this PhD thesis by addressing these same questions with the aid of modern process design, energy conversion and system modelling. The project is carried out in cooperation with Airlight Energy, a high-tech producer of novel solar concentration systems (both CSP and, concentrator photovoltaics, CPV).


  • Solar heat
  • Industrial integration

Contact: Anna Sophia Wallerand

Publication list:

A. S. Wallerand; M. Kermani; R. Voillat; I. D. Kantor; F. Maréchal : Optimal design of solar-assisted industrial processes considering heat pumping: Case study of a dairy; Renewable Energy. 2018. DOI : 10.1016/j.renene.2017.07.027.
A. S. Wallerand; R. Voillat; F. Maréchal : Towards optimal design of solar assisted industrial processes: Case study of a dairy. 2016. The 29th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Portoroz, Slovenia, June 19-23, 2016.
A. Selviaridis; B. Burg; A. S. Wallerand; F. Marechal; B. Michel : Thermo-Economic Analysis of a Trigeneration HCPVT Power Plant. 2015. CPV-11 International Conference on Concentrator Photovoltaic Systems, Aix-les-Bains, France, JUNE 13-15, 2015.
A. S. Wallerand; J. Queiroz Albarelli; A. Viana Ensinas; G. Ambrosetti; A. Mian et al. : Multi-objective Optimization of a Solar Assisted 1st and 2nd Generation Sugarcane Ethanol Production Plant. 2014. ECOS 2014 - THE 27TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EFFICIENCY, COST, OPTIMIZATION, SIMULATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY SYSTEMS, TURKU, FINLAND, JUNE 15-19, 2014.