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Using solar energy for domestic water heating purposes is not new to the developing countries. In India, several policy measures, subsidy and incentive programs, and capacity building programs exist for solar systems manufacturers. As of October 2003, there are approximately 2000 units of an average capacity of 200 liters solar water heating systems installed in India.  Above number includes systems installed in several hotels and resorts throughout the country. However, this application, though scientifically proven and well engineered, has not yet found any substantial applications in the industrial sector.

Research efforts have recognized the potential for using solar thermal water systems in the boiler feed water applications, at least in the low-pressure boilers. This potential still remains un-tapped in India and most of the developing countries.  The International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC) recognized the need to evaluate and demonstrate this concept in practice. As institutional partners, BASF Limited showed keen interest in developing the feasibility of this application.

 

"BASF as a part of its “Responsible Care” goals recognized the opportunity to integrate solar water heating system in boiler feed water applications. Solar preheating proposed at BASF merges well with other energy recovery options such as condensate recovery and flash steam recovery. This is a big decision for any operating industry. IIEC played a key role in the technology comparison and building our confidence in the system, by providing an independent assessment of this process. I am sure that other process industries such as textiles, food processing and chemicals will benefit from such technologies.", Mr. K. V. Soali of BASF commented.

Initial work in this process looked at:

  • Technology assessment and comparison of multiple options (thermosyphon, forced flow systems and evacuated tubular collectors)
  • Cost-economics of preheating approximately 80,000 liters per day water from an average ambient of 21.4 deg C to 65 deg C.
  • Financial packaging considering impacts of MODVAT on reduced fuel oil consumption.

Demonstration at BASF Factory

"We at IIEC believe in on-the ground technology demonstration that builds the confidence of users, suppliers, and financing institutions. By assisting in the development and demonstration of new concepts in real life commercial settings, IIEC achieves its non-profit, missionary objectives to scale up sustainable technologies at the industrial scale. IIEC, through its continual efforts in the Solar-Thermal Program, will generate awareness for such boiler systems throughout the cross-section of the industries, especially in the small and medium enterprises.", Dr. Nitin Pandit, President of IIEC said.

Finalized details of solar-thermal system, which is under active consideration by BASF: 

  • A two-phase approach is planned, first one to preheat 20,000 liters per day and the second to preheat 37,000 liters per day of boiler feedwater
  • Estimated fuel saving after commissioning both the phases is 400 Kgs per day or 110,000 Kgs per annum
  • Estimated annual reduction in CO2 emissions is 340 Tons and that of SOx is 8.78 Tons
  • Estimated simple pay back is 4.32 years and that considering the tax savings is 2.66 years

"New applications development in the energy efficiency and renewable energy field is always a challenge for manufacturers. In most of the cases, the real challenge is to generate awareness and build confidence among the users and financiers. BASF, a pioneer in process industry took up the challenge to be the “first-mover” in this application and implementation is under active consideration. IIEC’s role as an independent agency certifying the designs and savings helped bridge the gap in actual drawing-board design to a real-world pilot.", Mr. Dilip Limaye, Director, Synergic India Private Limited commented.

For further details, contact Mahesh Patankar of IIEC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.