Outside cities are industrial zones and outside industrial zones is farmland with plenty of room for solar fields.
When talking opportunities for solar heated industrial processes, a comment I often get is that the potential users usually do not have land available for a solar field and that solutions therefore need to be designed for rooftop installations.
But heat production doesn’t need to take place in the same place as consumption. Existing district heating networks transport low-temperature heat over distances of more than 60 km. In Belgium, a consortium is right now commissioning a 5 km pipeline for transporting steam at 400ºC/750ºF, where costs can be calculated to increase the total cost of heat with less than 1% per transported kilometer if fully utilized for 25 years.
Three possible use cases are shown below where I’ve marked areas required for Heliac‘s solar fields to provide a meaningful amount of energy for industrial process heat; turning saltwater into potable water to help alleviate Cape Town’s water scarcity (requiring 85ºC), heat for production of Heineken in Mexico (35ºC-77ºC), and finally heat for drying paint on all the cars at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California once it is running at its full capacity of 500,000 cars per year (155ºC-215ºC).
Interested in reading more? Please see the links to my other articles below. Additionally, a ‘Like’ from you will also be much appreciated as this should help direct more attention at the many business and climate opportunities the market for heat production offers.
Thank you for reading,