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Types of Industrial Processes Solar Energy Can Be Used to Heat

By February 17, 2023Blog, News
Closeup of view solar panels on the roof of a commercial building.

Solar energy is the most popular and demanding renewable source on the planet. However, less than 5% of electricity generated globally comes from solar systems. The advantages of the commercial solar energy system are many. But due to less awareness and lack of ability to take responsibility, industries are still using fossil fuels to produce heat and energy.

Want to learn what industrial processes can be powered by solar energy? What benefits can industries enjoy? Read this article further to get an idea.

Industrial Sector is the Largest Consumer of Energy

Sunset over ground-mounted solar panels in front of an industrial plant.

Across the globe, the industrial sector is the largest consumer of energy. Also, 74% of industrial energy is present in the form of heat, typically a process steam. Using the sun’s heat or solar steam for the industry is an unexplored but highly successful avenue for reducing industrial emissions.

Although PV or photovoltaic panels that convert sun energy into electricity are more common, we need to opt for thermal solutions to meet the industry’s increasing demand for heat. In the case of solar thermal systems, solar panels focus sunlight on the mirror to increase the intensity of heat and generate a stream at high temperatures to power different processes.

One of the advantages of this process is that it can store thermal energy to deliver steam 24 hours a day, similar to traditional fossil fuel plants. If chosen as an appropriate technology, solar thermal systems can be an efficient, low-cost, and reliable energy source to provide steam to industries. Many California and Oman industries have even started using solar heat to produce steam.

While fossil fuels are the major energy source to generate heat for industry across all regions and sectors, industries are beginning to explore cleaner alternatives. Therefore, industries are now leveraging solar steam to perform major industrial jobs.

Over time and with improved technology, more companies are expected to switch to solar steam, especially when they get aware of the phenomenal benefits of solar steam. This includes reducing emissions and costs and improving the industry’s operations while shrinking its carbon footprint.

When it comes to controlling climate change, we mostly look at the things we buy, see, or use daily, the cars we dry, the power plants that deliver energy to lights, or the food we eat. However, behind all these things is the heat, an industrial emission that we sometimes ignore. Now, it’s time to opt for a safe option to help us operate our industries without impacting the earth.

What Types of Industrial Processes Can Be Operated by Solar Energy?

Hydrogen plant silos against a blue sky with clouds and solar panels in the foreground.

Solar energy can be used to produce heat for different types of industrial applications. This includes enhanced oil recovery, water desalination, food processing, mineral processing, chemical production, and many others. Heat can be provided by heat pumps or resistive heaters powered by photovoltaic panels or concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) technologies.

Additionally, concentrated solar-thermal energy is used for different industrial processes. Mirrors help sunlight onto a receiver, which can get to extremely high temperatures compared to traditional electric heaters.

Since commercial solar power can reach several temperatures, it is suitable for a wide variety of industrial processes, from chemical processes that require high heat to food production processes that need low temperatures.

Benefits of Using Solar Power for the Industrial Sector

Closeup view of commercial solar panels with three industrial smokestacks in the background.

Solar power has various benefits for the industrial sector. Here are the advantages that industrial companies get whether they belong to cloth, food, or any other industry.

Lower Electricity Bill

Energy bills are always increasing around the globe. Typically, the electricity cost of a warehouse can be around 15% of its expenditure. The tariff rates for renewable energy are 20% cheaper than the electricity we commonly use.

Solar energy is a cost-effective and sustainable energy that is the best alternative for companies with a fixed-cost solution, with a life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. This way, your energy bills will be more predictable at a lower cost.

Not to mention, monitoring and maintenance of commercial solar energy systems are much cheaper. Companies that use solar power for interior and exterior lights and equipment can keep their expenditures lower and affordable.

Boost the Value of Your Commercial Property

Opting for rooftop solar panels can increase the value of your commercial property and allow you to sell faster if you ever want to in the future. If a building has a commercial solar energy system, a considerable amount of energy needed by the businesses will be produced by it. This means the short as well as long-term operating expenses will be less than other properties that don’t have solar panels.

1. Renewable Energy

The best part about solar panels is that they are 100% clean. It’s a renewable energy source that doesn’t require coal, oil, and natural gas to produce electricity. Though these fossil fuels are important, they can produce harmful emissions that after water, soil, and air quality.

They are also responsible for global warming. Not to mention, the greenhouse gasses from fossil fuels will harm animals and plants in the coming years.

Contrary, solar energy doesn’t generate any gasses that can cause pollution. The sun’s unlimited rays are the ultimate source of energy that doesn’t affect the ozone layer. Industrial solar systems are not important for companies but also can help you play your part in protecting our planet.

2. Reduce Carbon Emission

With every passing time, we are getting close to the significant effects of global warming. Reducing carbon footprints, saving the planet, and lowering fossil fuel consumption is becoming more relevant daily.

While traditional energy source produces gasses, the solar system produces electricity with no carbon or air pollution. There will be no ash or waste product you need to discharge into the air, water, or soil. Every company’s social responsibility is to reduce carbon emissions to save the earth.

3. Leverage Government Support

Many countries’ government is now encouraging commercial settings to opt for solar energy instead of other options. In fact, governments are even offering tax credits to companies or industries that are willing to install rooftop solar panels.

Some countries also support businesses in installing rooftop panels. The local governments are motivating people to go for renewable energy to play their part in the green urban economy.

While experts across the globe are greatly focusing on the green economy, still many companies are depending on fossil fuels to generate heat instead of solar panels. The government needs to perform more work to implement environmentally friendly policies and offer different designs and options to companies to move towards a safer energy source.

4. Offer Low Maintenance Cost

Solar panel system does not need a lot of maintenance. Companies only need to check them regularly and keep them relatively clean. Generally, credible and quality solar panel manufacturers give 20 to 25 warranties.

Another advantage of a solar system is that there is no moving part. Therefore, there is no risk of wear and tear. You simply need to change the inverter after 5 to 10 years. This is because they continuously work to convert solar energy into heat and electricity.

Besides the inverter, you also need to maintain cables to ensure your solar power system is working efficiently. Therefore, once you pay the upfront cost, you don’t need to worry about repair and maintenance costs.

5. Improve Your Company Image

If you want to attract more clients and customers, there are multiple things you can do. One of the most impactful and promising ways to improve your image is to switch to renewable energy and market your business as green.

Millennials and Gen Z are more interested in purchasing from sustainable and green companies. Since they cover a large portion of your buying population, you need to make strategies that engage and appeal to them. Transforming to a completely sustainable business will give you a sudden boost in public and help you improve sales.

Get Commercial Solar Panels System by Coldwell Solar

Coldwell Solar is a solar panel installation organization with years of experience and qualified staff that can help you install a highly efficient system. So, if you are planning to use commercial solar energy systems as your primary energy source, we are here to help you.


The Fed has passed a bill granting renewable energy funds, meaning an expanded tax credit for renewable energy users

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