Astep Project

The Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) of ASTEP

The Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) of ASTEP brings together the leaders of the ten Work Packages (WP’s) that are the backbone of ASTEP. The STC provides a regular bi-monthly forum for updating us on progress, especially set against the target timescales, and setting forward actions to be implemented, to be reviewed at the next meeting.

As the project progressed, additional ASTEP participants joined to support the decision-making process, so now the participant list number well over 30!

The STC looks after scientific and technical issues, supporting the project Co-ordinator, Antonio Rovira (UNED), to ensure successful and timely implementation of the relevant objectives of the project. A critical role that was explained at the outset was the mitigation of risks and their potential consequences by early detection and subsequent planning. As an example, discussions on the selection of the heat storage medium (a phase change material – PCM) covered the handling and transport of up to a tonne of a potentially hazardous mixture across country borders in the EU, have taken place. The operations involved, necessitating health and safety concerns to be fully considered, featured in several STC meetings as experience of the PCM handling built up.

Chaired by the Scientific and Innovation Manager (David Reay, aided by Richard Law), the STC can take decisions relating to the implementation of the work plan. With the full participation of representatives from the two host sites, ArcelorMittal Tube Products plant in Romania and the Mandrekas Dairy in Greece, the collaboration between the end-users and the research laboratories has been assured since the beginning of the project. Of course, this has been hindered by the inability of many partners to visit sites – COVID 19 emerged only three months before the project started – but restrictions may be largely lifted very soon.

As well as David Reay & Associates, three partners will be involved closely in assisting at the two industrial sites – in particular, monitoring the SunDial installations. CRES in Greece has already been assisting at the dairy and Relational Technology will start to liaise with the ArcelorMittal site. Remote monitoring will be set up by eBOS.

In summary, the STC acts as the catalyst for bringing the ASTEP partners together in a manner that hopefully will lead to successful implementation of the novel technologies developed for solar process heat generation and use.

Author: David Reay, Scientific & Innovation Manager of ASTEP (DRA).

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