Renewable energy and storage for industrial and farming applications

Funder: Invest NI - CASE
Duration: 01 April 2018 to 30 September 2018
Staff Involved: Dr Y Huang, Dr A Zacharopoulos

The Hybrid Solar Thermal project uses solar thermal panels on sites of utility scale to transfer the sun’s energy to a heat transfer fluid. A part of the heat is then fed into the greenhouse for space heating purposes. The majority of the heat from solar thermal panels will be delivered to a seasonal thermal energy storage (STES) during the day and to be used to heat the greenhouse in the evening, during the cloudy weather or any time up to around 6 months later via the heat pump system. The heat from STES is also supplied to a nearby use, in a long-established cheese factory. In most cases, we expect to need to build the suitable use on site. Given that the sites are in rural locations, the building for the use should be sympathetic to its context, in planning terms. The solar thermal system is also a hybrid system that uses other fuels (e.g. biomass and bio-gas) as supplementary energy during periods of low solar radiation. The main areas to be developed include a solar energy to heat conversion array, STES, the heat pump system and heat flow monitoring and control units.