A wide range of collector variants and components – which are constantly undergoing improvement – can be used for the efficient production of temperatures between 80 °C and 400 °C. Process heat collectors can be divided into non-concentrating collectors with reduced heat loss, semi-concentrating, non-tracking collectors and concentrating tracking collectors. Pressurized water, thermal oil or steam are used as the heat-transfer medium. Optimizing a process heat collector can be a very complex task and is influenced by many parameters. In addition to the cost-benefit ratio of the materials and components used, the required temperature range and the location, factors such as downstream systems technology and the distribution of the heat demand over the course of the day may play a role.
Fraunhofer ISE has many years of experience and extensive expertise in developing, characterizing and testing solar thermal process heat collectors and collector components, and we have already carried out successful development projects in all of the above areas.