Orange juice from Cyprus, produced with lots of sun and solar generated steam using Protarget’s Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technology

As part of a transnational research project Protarget AG and its partners have developed and built a solar steam boiler system for “Kean Soft Drinks Ltd.“ in Limassol, Cyprus.
The objective of this project is to carry out industrial research that demonstrates and verifies the dispatchability and performance of a high temperature solar thermal system designed for continuous (24/7) operation. The project is called EDITOR which stands for “Evaluation of the Dispatchability of a Parabolic Trough Collector System with Concrete Storage”.

The system design consists of a mid-sized parabolic trough collector loop combined with a concrete thermal energy storage which has been specifically designed for industrial applications requiring heating or cooling for up to 24 hours. With Kean Juicy in Limassol, as the consumer of the solar steam, the ideal partner was found. Not only because of Cyprus excellent solar conditions, but also due to the fact that Kean Juices is focusing on innovative and sustainable production methods.

The current market for solar collectors designed for process heat applications is dominated by systems with maximum operating temperatures of around 250 °C. Whilst these collectors are able to generate process steam effectively, few of these have been equipped with any form of storage. Larger solar collectors designed for supplying energy to electrical generation plants have been equipped with complex molten salt storage systems and can operate at higher temperatures, but to do so often use thermal oils as heat transfer media that are classified as toxic and harmful.
In EDITOR project and for the first time in the history of parabolic trough collector development, the deployed thermal oil will be operated at a temperature beyond 400 °C. This is made possible through the use of a new environmentally friendly silicone based thermal oil, which allows the operating temperature to be raised to 425 °C. A further innovation is the use of a newly developed evacuated heat collecting element  (i.e. receiver tube). The heat collecting element was specially designed for the mid-sized parabolic trough collector aperture with the aim to increase the collector efficiency. In order to be able to produce energy on demand, an innovative new concrete storage system will be used and tested. The three year project not only involves the technical activities of building, commissioning and running the solar power system. In addition, it also covers commercial considerations such as the feasibility of scale-up, the identification of future customers and communication regarding this important development with the potential market.

The EDITOR team is made up of 5 partners from three countries, all of whom bring the specific experience of the solar industry required to ensure that the project will be successful. The project partners are:

Protarget AG (Cologne, Germany)
CADE Soluciones de Ingeniería, S. L. (Albacete, Spain)
Cyprus University of Technology (Limassol, Cyprus)
German Aerospace Centre DLR (Cologne, Germany)
Solar-Institute Jülich of the Aachen University of Applied Sciences (Jülich, Germany)

The iternational project EDITOR is funded by the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF) from Cyprus, the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) from Spain, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) from Germany as well as the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia from Germany. SOLAR-ERA.NET, a European network that brings together funding organisations, is supported by the European Commission within the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 (Cofund ERA-NET Action, N° 691664 and N°786483).

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Solar thermal plant by Protarget AG supplies an ice cream manufacturer in India with renewable energy

In January 2018, after 3 months of construction, the German technology company Protarget AG has successfully commissioned a solar thermal plant, at the Hatsun dairy in India. The system is delivering process steam directly into the steam line of an ice cream factory.With a capacity of 320 kW, the solar plant produces 2.500 kg of steam/day and supplies Hatsun Agro Products Ltd in Salem, in the state of Tamil Nadu with renewable energy. Hatsun is India’s largest privately owned dairy with 14 production sites. The company exports its products to 40 countries and employs over 5.000 people. Protarget AG, based in Cologne, Germany is specialised in the manufacturing and construction of solar thermal plants. Their modular systems are specifically designed for industrial process heat and steam supply in regions with high solar radiation.

With the installation of Protarget’s solar steam boiler system, the company is able to generate its thermal energy, that is required for the production of milk powder and ice cream, significantly cheaper than with the existing coal fired boiler system. According to Hatsun, this project will reduce the dairies coal consumption by more than 1.000 tons in the next 10 years, resulting into a reduction in CO2 emission of 3.000 tons in the same period.

As one of India’s first companies, Hatsun has joined the RE100 global initiative in early 2018. The aim of this campaign is to unite influential companies around the world who are committed to the use of renewable energy. Among the participants, there are companies like Apple, Google, SAP, Tata Motors etc. Hatsun has committed itself to meet the total energy demand from renewable sources by 2032. Currently the company meets ca. 82 % of their power needs from environment friendly sources.As part of their strategy towards a fully renewable supply of their production facilities, Hatsun and Protarget are planning to extend their activities and apply the solar steam boiler technology on other Hatsun production sites in India. Aim is to equip these systems with protarget thermal storage technology, in order to fulfil the industrial demand of a 24/7 energy supply.

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Protarget AG awarded as the Company of the Month

A well-known jury of the association Rheinisches Schaufenster has named the Cologne-based technology company Protarget AG as the company of the month February 2016. The association has set itself the goal of bringing the scientific and economic activities of companies and institutions closer to the public, which contribute to the strengthening of the economic power in the metropolitan region of Rhineland as well as throughout Germany.

Every month, therefore, a company is honored that exemplifies responsible behavior, social commitment and innovative ideas and products. “Protarget AG has set itself the goal of promoting the development of the energy market in countries with high solar Irradiation with the production of solar thermal systems and the optimized use of CSP technology (Concentrated Solar Power). This key note was created by the conviction of the founders Martin Scheuerer and John Mitchell to be able to create an economically attractive alternative to conventional power generation with the aid of the modular principle. (…) On the way to the breakthrough, Protarget AG has never lost sight of the desired quality. A self-declared goal at all times was to have the seal “Made in Germany”. As a result, technology and components come from Germany. Protarget now also shares its international experience and technical know-how with other companies in the region and, as Protarget Industrial Services, offers engineering services in the areas of: power generation, plant and prototype construction and as a welding specialist. The result is a Rhenish revolution in the solar industry, made possible by the constant exchange between industry and science, “it says in the jury’s statement. The board includes Elisabeth Slapio, Managing Director of the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the field of Innovation and Environment, Udo Wendt, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Bank AG (Cologne / Bonn / Aachen), artist HA Schult, Fritz Schramma, Lord Mayor a.D. the city of Cologne, and Prof. dr. Margot Ruschitzka (Cologne Technical University).

Martin Scheuerer, Commercial Director of Protarget AG, was pleased with the award: “We are proud to meet with our technological approach to such resonance in our region, see the award but also the commitment to continue innovation and technology in our company advance. “

Protarget AG uses the Business Day of the Ambassadors Conference for a lively exchange

Martin Scheuerer, the Commercial Director of the Cologne-based technology company Protarget AG, took part in the business day of the Ambassadors’ Conference in the Federal Foreign Office. He was one of a total of 1100 guests from large corporations, medium-sized companies and start-ups who had come to exchange views with each other and with the 230 diplomats of German diplomatic missions abroad. The motto of this largest annual event at the Federal Foreign Office was: “Shifting Powers in Globalization: Shaping Change.”

The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened the 15th edition of the meeting and emphasized that “the exchange between foreign policy and the economy is increasingly becoming an urgent necessity”. In the just design of the international order, the economy is also in demand. Steinmeier sees German companies as a positive example: it goes without saying that “foreign markets do not depend on the short-term exploitation of resources, but on long-term investments”. Protarget AG is also committed to this goal. “Our concept and our technology for the construction and operation of solar power plants enables countries and regions to ensure their energy supply in a resource-saving and competitive manner,” explained Scheuerer.

In the course of the business day, 14 forums and workshops were held on topics such as “Beyond Brexit”, “Opportunities and Risks for the German Economy in Latin America” ​​or “Between Competition and Cooperation: Germany and China in Global Markets”. Transatlantic relations were also on the agenda.