Astep Project

Objectives

The main objective of ASTEP project is to successfully demonstrate the viability of applying solar thermal energy to partially cover heating, and/or cooling demands in two different industrial demo sites located on two different climate regions, and to further develop the implementation of solar thermal energy in industrial processes up to 400 ºC.

The first Industrial Site is the dairy company MANDREKAS, located at a latitude of 37.93 N (Corinth, Greece) with a heating demand for steam at
175 ºC and a cooling demand at 5 ºC.

The second site is the world’s leading steel company, ArcelorMittal, with a heating demand above 220 ºC for a factory located at a latitude of 47.1 N (Iasi, Romania).

Specifically, the project will:

Demonstrate its capability to cover a considerable part of the heat demand of the process industry at temperatures above 150 ºC and for latitudes where current designs are not able to supply it. Its modularity and compactness will also enable easy installation and repair with reduced space requirements, while most of components can be sourced locally.

Allow full compatibility with the existing systems of potential end-users of Solar Heating for Industrial Processes (SHIP). These aspects will provide a very competitive solution to substitute fossil fuel consumption. The developed solar concept will be tested at two industrial sites to prove the objective’s target of TRL5. Life Cycle Analysis will be included to validate and demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed technologies.

Impacts:

  • Environmental attitude and social awareness.
  • Political, social and economic benefits.
  • An increased decarbonisation of the industrial sector. (reduction of the CO2 emissions)
  • A reduced dependency on fossil fuels and a reduction of emission of air pollutants are expected.
  • Create significant visibility to the potential of applying solar thermal energy in industrial processes.
  • Contribute to the development of relevant Best Available Techniques Reference Document (BREF) under the Industrial Emissions Directive.
  • ASTEP will contribute to lower environmental impact, contributing to facing energy challenges.
  • ASTEP will also contribute to employment from jobs created in system design, equipment manufacturing, operation and maintenance.
  • ASTEP system will have an important impact in cost reduction allowing its worldwide applicability and making it feasible for different climatic conditions and for a wide range of process temperatures up to 400 °C.

A specific task will be to identify the main priorities for future research, as well as a series of applications (pilot and demonstration projects) that can build upon ASTEP results. This will lead to a sustainable, long-term framework, thus enabling a more competitive market for solar energy technologies.

In line with the objectives of the work programme, ASTEP will contribute to meeting the overarching objective of the EU research policy to develop an open and competitive European Research Area (ERA), which is a core element in the research and innovation agenda of the Commission.

The European science community and economy will also benefit significantly from ASTEP results.

The outcome will help address the needs of EU science policy in solar energy use and meet the key challenge, faced by concentrated solar power.

The impact of the project activity will be immediate in both academia and industry by providing the best solution for the use of concentrated solar energy. This should help scientists and engineers in designing concentrated solar power plants in a way to reduce their cost and improve performance.

European consumers will also benefit from the production of clean energy and the protection of the environment.