The industrial processes that underpin our global economy—manufacturing, fuel and chemical production, mining—are enormously complex and diverse. But they share one key input: they, as well as many others, require heat, and lots of it, which takes staggering amounts of fuel to produce. Heat and steam generation is critical to the global economy, but it’s also an overlooked and growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The good news is that innovative solar technologies can produce steam at the industrial scale—reducing emissions and, increasingly, cutting costs. And given the current climate outlook, it’s urgent that industry adopt these new technologies.
According to blogs.scientificamerican, Industry is the largest consumer of energy, and a surprising 74 percent of industrial energy is in the form of heat, mostly process steam. Solar steam—making the sun’s heat work for industry—is a largely unexplored but promising avenue for reducing emissions.
While photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert sunlight into electricity are more common, thermal solutions are what’s needed to meet the industry’s growing demand for heat. In a solar thermal system, mirrors focus sunlight to intensify its heat and produce steam at the high temperatures needed for industry. Another key advantage is the ability to store the heat using simple, proven thermal energy storage in order to deliver steam 24 hours a day, just like a conventional fossil fuel plant.
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Date: Apr 23, 2019 @ 09:31
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