About one year ago, a German system provider in the field of surface technology, Eisenmann AG, and German Ritter XL Solar GmbH, a company specialised in large-scale solar thermal installations, joined forces to form the „Green Alliance“. Its aim was to promote solar process heat, especially in paint plants. Now, the alliance has borne first fruits: The joint venture has got its first order for a 400 m² solar thermal plant at Zehnder Group, Switzerland.
Photo: Ritter XL Solar
The Zehnder Group, a manufacturer of heating and ventilation systems, opted for a large-scale solar system to heat its paint plant’s dip tanks in a new facility at its headquarters in the canton of Aargau. Eisenmann and Ritter will be setting up the solar thermal installation in May 2012. The system will consist of 80 high-performance vacuum tube collectors with a total area of 400 m². A novelty: Ritter XL will guarantee a minimum yield – in total, 500 kWh/m² or 200 MWh per year. The resulting security in estimating Zehnder’s future costs was an important argument in the company’s decision to invest in this kind of system.
According to Bodo Mayer, Head of Sales at Eisenmann AG, the order will only mark the beginning of a very successful year. "We expect to set up at least four other - among them, even larger - solar thermal plants worldwide," announces Mayer.
In Germany alone, industrial processes consume 70 billion kilowatt hours of thermal energy below 100°C. "This temperature range is ideal for an all year round use of our highly efficient solar thermal systems," says Detlev Seidler, Managing Director at Ritter XL Solar. "Surface treatment processes consume heat continuously, which means they are a good match for our technology," says Seidler.
While Ritter delivers the solar systems and the expertise, Eisenmann is responsible for the integration of the solar technology into the production processes, and for marketing and sales. "Our offer was met with huge interest among our customers because it meets their goals perfectly: Making production processes more sustainable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly," Markus Hachmöller, who manages the solar division’s worldwide distribution network at Eisenmann, says. According to Hachmöller, even the major automobile manufacturers are interested in environmental technology from Germany, in order to keep their production facilities energy- and resource-efficient around the globe.
Eisenmann is a leading international systems supplier for surface technology, material flow automation, and environmental and thermal process technology. The company employs around 3,600 people worldwide, and develops new technologies and equipment for manufacturing, assembly and distribution. Engineers and specialists from a wide range of disciplines plan, design, build, set up and maintain cutting-edge systems, and even operate the facilities on a customer’s behalf.
This text was written by Stephanie Banse, a German journalist specialised in solar thermal technology. (banse(@)solrico.com)