It was a beautiful sunny day at the end of June when the management of Cyprus largest fruit juice producer “KEAN Soft Drinks Ltd.” officially launched their new solar thermal plant designed and constructed by the Cologne based company Protarget AG. The German ambassador at Nicosia, Mr. Franz Josef Kremp joint the event at the KEAN headquarter in Limassol. Several representatives from science, politics and business gathered there. They all wanted to see the completion and launching of a prestigious and promising project.
“For us, this day is the special one”, said Martin Scheuerer, commercial director of the German technology company Protarget AG. “We have demonstrated once again that our solar thermal technology is able to generate steam at significantly lower cost compared to conventional oil boiler systems and thus contributing to a reduction of industrial CO2 emissions”.
This CST (Concentrating Solar Thermal) system is the first of its kind in Cyprus that uses the Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) technology. It generates high-temperature steam that is used in various branches and steps of an industrial the production process. For this specific application at KEAN, the system provides steam of up to 425°C for pasteurization and preservation of fruit juices.
Up till now, steam had to be produced with fossil fuels such as heavy fuel oil, diesel or gas in conventional boiler systems. Thanks to the technology developed Protarget, KEAN’s heavy fuel oil consumption will be reduced by around 20 percent, avoiding 150 tons of CO2 emission, every year.
The fully automated operation of this CST system reduces the operational cost to a minimum, with the maintenance being limited to the cleaning of the mirrors.
All components of the power plant are designed to operate under harsh weather conditions like deserts. Their durability and performance is guaranteed for more than 25 years. “The integration of a thermal storage also allows steam generation around the clock, which is essential for most industrial productions,” says Scheuerer. Due to its climatic conditions Cyprus is ideal for the use of the CST technology. The solar radiation levels in most parts of the island, are more than twice as high as in Germany.
Investing in this technology pays off, not only ecologically but also economically. “The system costs are typically amortized in less than four years,” says Scheuerer. In addition to that, our customers are becoming independent of any future oil price increases and or emission taxes. Therefore, Kean has already approved the construction of a second CST plant at their premises in Limassol, with the aim to generate 100% of the company’s steam from solar.
This CST plant is part of an international research project EDITOR (Evaluation of the Dispatchability of a Parabolic Trough Collector System with Concrete Storage).The project was funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, the Spanish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Competition, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Protarget AG founded in Cologne in 2009, is specialised in the development, production and construction of turnkey CST plants for industrial steam supply. The technology can also be used in other areas such as cooling processes and industrial wastewater treatment. During the past 10 years, Protarget has successfully completed solar projects in Germany, Cyprus, India and Brazil. Further projects in Jordan, Chile, South Africa and India are in final planning stage.