TASK IV: Solar Heat Integration in Industrial Processes

Operating Agent:

Tobias Hirsch, DLR, Germany (tobias.hirsch@dlr.de)

Subtasks and Working Groups

Main activities are carried out in a joint task between SolarPACES and IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Program (SHC). The joint task has been started in April 2020 with task leaders Andreas Häberle on behalf of SHC and Tobias Hirsch on behalf of SolarPACES. Further details on this joint task can be found on the SHC website https://task64.iea-shc.org/. The activities in this joint task focus applications with process temperatures up to 400 °C.

Please support us by filling out the current short survey on important parameters for SHIP plant planning (closing end of October 2021): https://www.solarpaces.org/survey-on-relevant-assessment-parameter-for-solar-process-heat-in-industry/

Since high temperature applications from 400 °C upwards are gaining more and more attention, a working group in task IV dedicated to high temperature applications has been founded. An important activity is the exchange of information on current R&D and demonstration activities in this field.

Task IV Meetings

The next task meeting is scheduled for November 10, 2021. It will take place as an online meeting.

Nature of Work & Objectives

Solar heat for industrial processes up to ~400-500 °C

Heat at elevated temperature levels is suitable for driving power cycles for electricity production. Today, this is the most common application of concentrating thermal technology. Having in mind that the industrial sector accounts for approximately 30% of the total energy consumption in the OECD countries, direct application of heat generated by means of solar collector fields has the potential to contribute significantly to a renewable energy future. The major share of the energy that is needed in industrial companies, services and agriculture is used for heating and cooling of buildings and for production processes at temperatures from ambient up to approx. 400-500°C. This is a temperature range that can be addressed with solar thermal technologies at a high TRL. The joint SolarPACES – SHC task 64 on Solar Process Heat (2020-2023) is conducting work with international experts on this topic. The key objective of this new Task is to identify, verify, and promote the role of solar heating plants in combination with other heat supply technologies for process heat supply, such as fossil and non-fossil (biomass and biogas) fuel boilers, combined heat and power, heat pumps, or power-to-heat. The joint task is divided into five subtasks:

  • Subtask A: Integrated energy systems
  • Subtask B: Modularization
  • Subtask C: Simulation and design tools
  • Subtask D: Standardization and Certification
  • Subtask E: Guideline to market

More information on this activity can be found on the task website https://task64.iea-shc.org/ .

Deliverables of the task 64/IV can be found in the following table:


Title Date Main authors



Reference applications for renewable heat: Compilation of reference applications for integrated energy systems with solar heating plants incl. representative load profiles (additional material available on the Task 64 website) January 2021 F. Pag, M. Jesper, U. Jordan



Collection of available solar process heat related national and trans-national research and funding programs April 2021 P. Nitz, J. Fluch


Solar heat for industrial processes starting from 400-500 °C

With newest solar technologies even higher temperatures can be reached. This opens the way for solar high temperature heat applications. SolarPACES task IV will address this topic in a new working group that shall be established in autumn 2020. The work group will intensify information exchange between experts all over the world. The pillars of this activity will be:

  • Update on most recent developments in the field by regular tasks meetings
  • Supporting the cooperation between experts and inducing joint R&D projects
  • Identification of R&D needs for the high temperature applications
  • Promoting the application of high temperature heat by sharing information, presentations in the annual SolarPACES conferences

If you are interested in collaborating in the high temperature working group please contact the task agent Tobias Hirsch.

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