South African food & beverage sector offers high SHIP potential

At the 5th Southern African Solar Energy Conference Peter Klein, working with the Solar Payback project partner SANEDI, held a presentation focused on the key results from the Solar Payback enabling study for South Africa. His speech highlighted the food and beverage sector as one of South African’s largest industrial sectors that has a number of processes suitable for SHIP integration.

The 5th Southern African Solar Energy Conference (SASEC 2018) was held in Durban from the 25 to 27 June 2018. The SASEC conference is the premier solar energy conference in South Africa and focuses on both solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems. Peter Klein from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) presented a paper titled “Potential of Solar Heat for Industrial Processes: A summary of the key findings from Solar Payback.” The presentation was given in a plenary session to an audience of the order of 92 people from academia, research and the solar industry in South Africa.

The analysis of steam demand identified the food and beverage industry as having the highest potential for SHIP projects in South Africa, with two thirds of installed boilers operational in this sector. Due to the new information being published on steam demand and fuel consumption within target industries there was significant interest in the presentation, with a number of follow up questions from the audience. The questions were primarily focused on the barriers to further development of SHIP technologies in the South African context. Audience members raised concerns about the uncertain business environment in industry as a key barrier in convincing companies to make a long term investment in a SHIP system with a payback period longer than 5 years.

The  presentation is available for download here: Key Findings from Solar Payback

At the conference a further two presentations were given on the topic of SHIP. Lina Hockaday from the pyrometallurgy department at Mintek spoke about the use of concentrating solar technologies to provide high temperature process heat above 400 oC to a sintering process for manganese ore. Matti Lubkoll from the University of Stellenbosch gave a lecture about “Integrating solar process heat into manganese ore pre-heating.” The concept was based on the low cost heliostat technology combined with a centrifugal high temperature receiver to provide industrial process heat at 600 oC.

Finally Angelo Buckley from the University of Stellenbosch presented a paper titled “Investigating the costs of large-scale solar thermal system in SADC countries.” Although not specifically focussed on SHIP plants, the results of this work indicated that the average cost of pumped solar thermal systems ranged between 470 and 1000 EUR/m2 for the plants that were investigated across the 5 SADC (Southern African Development Community) countries.

SASEC is an annual conference that takes place in different locations in South Africa. The event is organised by the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies at Stellenbosch University and is supported by the Group for Solar Energy Thermodynamics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.