Being a solar thermal technology provider, TVP Solar SA will help SPIRIT study how high temperature heat pumps (HTHPs) can best utilise solar heat as the source for carbon-free heat upgrade applications in the process industry.

TVP will explore alternative approaches and concepts for the integration of solar thermal with SPIRIT HTHPs and will contribute to the development of relevant business models.

Also, TVP will elaborate on replication cases to show how heat pumps and solar thermal systems can be combined for sustainable heat generation. These replication cases will allow extending the operating range of industrial heat pumps and thus their market potential.

The High Vacuum Flat Panel

The High Vacuum Flat Panel (HVFP) is a non-concentrated solar thermal technology that uniquely combines a flat design under high vacuum. The technology has been developed, has been certified and is owned by TVP Solar SA, which manufactures and markets HVFPs under the ‘MT-Power’ brand name.

The company has engineered, installed and commissioned HVFP-based solar thermal systems for industrial-scale applications in 9 countries around Europe, Middle East and Americas.

Main Components of TVP’s HVFP solar collector

Why has this type of technology been chosen?

The MT-Power HVFP is a high-end SolarKeyMark-certified product that generates heat up to 200°C for industrial-scale solar thermal applications exhibiting solar-to-heat conversion efficiencies up to 65% at 80°C and 45% at 180°C.  

Thanks to this high-vacuum technology and flat design, MT-Power panels exhibit minimal thermal losses, no degradation over time, and thus exceptional efficiency throughout their extended lifetime.

Without need of cleaning and with only minimal maintenance, TVP’s nearly 100% recyclable solar collectors can operate for 25 years to substitute fossil fuels and deliver emission-free thermal energy across climates and geographies all around the world and throughout the year. HVFP-based systems produce heat cheaper than gaseous and liquid fossil fuels.

Based on the above characteristics HVFPs comprise a suitable candidate for operational coupling with industrial heat pumps at medium temperature heat upgrade applications.

HVFP-based system for industrial process heat in Turin, northern Italy

Integration in SPIRIT industrial heat pumps and benefits

HVFPs will comprise the heat source for the realisation of heat upgrade approaches based on SPIRIT industrial heat pumps. Solar heat may be used alone or in combination with waste/ excess heat from other sources.

A simple integration scheme is proposed, where the solar circuit will transfer heat to the HP system through a heat exchanger. More advanced applications may also incorporate thermal storage to better manage variabilities in the supply of solar heat.

Expected challenges

The main technical challenge is to ensure operational control and high efficiency of the integrated solar thermal and heat pump system.

The main economic challenge is to show the prospect of cost competitiveness of the solar heat upgrade system.