Bosch Thermotechnology is planning to expand its business in Brazil’s commercial segment. The German boiler manufacturer, which has also been producing collectors and solar tanks for decades in Germany, has just inaugurated a new solar thermal installation at Embraer in São José dos Campos in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Embraer, a well-known aircraft manufacturer, has had 180 collector panels with 427 m² installed on the flat roof of the kitchen building, together with four tanks of 4,000 litres each. The building includes a restaurant serving 10,000 meals per day in three shifts. The installation is part of the Solar Roof Programme coordinated by the German Energy Agency, dena, which realises showcase projects in potential export markets for solar thermal manufacturers. The project covers the solar system, its installation, several training and marketing measures and the administration by dena. 45 % of the costs are covered by subsidies from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. Industry partners Bosch Thermotechnology and Embraer contribute the remaining 55%.
Installation started in November 2012. The 180 panels of type Bosch FKC-2S were set up in two rows on a metal support structure, one on top of the other, with the expansion vessels below the modules. This kind of support was necessary because the building is old and all the weight rested on the building’s supporting columns. No components were installed directly on the roof.
The collectors made in Germany feature an ultrasonically welded and selectively coated aluminium plate. Bosch has been producing collectors mainly the residential sector in the Heliotek factory since the purchase of the company in September 2012.
“We see an increasing demand for larger commercial solar thermal systems in Brazil,” says Ralf Winnemöller, Head of International Product Management Collectors and Large Solar Systems at Bosch Thermotechnology. “Electricity prices are fairly high and there is a long tradition of solar thermal use in the country.”
Embraer inaugurated the installation in March together with the invited guests and has already gotten positive feedback from the national press because the aircraft producer is a well-known company. “We are planning to offer further trainings and workshops on solar process heat in the coming months,” Winnemöller lists some future activities in terms of the Solar Roof Programme. Another task: The performance of the system should be available online. “We are working on a solution to see performance data at free login,” confirms Winnemöller.
The collectors preheat the water, which is used to clean the factory’s kitchen and restaurant at 60 °C. If this temperature is not reached, the gas boilers will heat up the preheated solar water additionally. A Polysun simulation has calculated a specific yield of 919 kWh/m², which corresponds to 69% less gas per year. “Without subsidy, this system would pay off in around 4 years,” explains Winnemöller. “The highly efficient collectors made in Germany reduce the area needed for the solar thermal installation.” This is a particularly important factor in Brazil’s big cities, which have a solar obligation requiring a solar water heater for newly built multi-family houses and other buildings which consume hot water and where roof space is limited.