In Greece, we are testing an innovative solar thermal technology that harnesses heat from the sun. In preparation for a one-year pilot with technology partner Absolicon, we have installed equipment that uses solar energy to generate steam for use at our Olympic Brewery site in Sindos, Salonika.
Solar collectors, programmed to follow the sun, use a series of mirrors to focus the energy from the sun’s rays onto highly efficient solar collector tubes. Pressurised hot water circulates through the tubes to generate steam reaching a temperature of up to 150ºC. During the summer months, the solar collectors could supply up to 70% of the energy required for the beer pasteurisation process – 5% of the brewery’s total daily heat demand.
By generating heat from solar collectors instead of natural gas, we expect to save around 70 tonnes of CO2 emissions during the one-year pilot. We have successfully tested steam production, and will formally begin the pilot in the spring of 2023 once the sun is strong enough to allow full testing.
The solar collector field occupies 1,900 m2 – roughly the size of seven tennis courts – and there is potential to extend it by up to six times that size to generate even more heat from the sun. We will use this pilot in Greece to demonstrate the viability of the technology for other breweries across Carlsberg and beyond.