PROMISE - Production with solar energy. Study on the potential of thermal solar energy systems in trade and industry depending on the production processes

Documentation of realized plants for the use of thermal solar energy in trade and industry companies. Identification of production processes and branches, which have a demand for low-temperature heat. Determine the potential of solarthermal systems to provide low-temperature heat. Case studies for branches and processes with the highest mid-term potential for realization of a solar plant.

Short Description




Up to now, no effort has been made to investigate the possibilities to use solar thermal systems to generate heat for industrial processes in Austria in detail.


The goal of this project was to give industry managers the information needed to make their decision towards a sustainable energy supply using solar thermal systems. This was achieved by the documentation of successful solar thermal systems to produce process heat, the potential of solar thermal heat supply for production processes, the development of system concepts for the integration into processes and case studies to motivate the realisation of demonstration plants.


First the low temperature energy demand of Austria's industry and trade companies has been investigated and documented. Based upon these results the possibilities to supply this demand by solar thermal systems was assessed. In particular branches where state of the art solar technology can be used are shown.


The food industry (dairies, breweries, etc.), the textile industry and some niche branches (production of concrete goods, electroplating, etc.) show a high potential for solar process heat. The total energy demand of the examined industry in the low temperature range (process heat and space heating) is about 37 PJ/year. Due to available roof areas, the economic size of solar plants and other boundary conditions an amount of 5,3 PJ/year could be supplied in the mid-term and 3,3 PJ/year in the short-term by solar thermal systems for the selected branches. This would lead to am medium-term market volume of 4.300.000 m2 and 2.600.000 m2 respectively of collector area for the Austrian solar industry.

Six case studies have been carried out and showed clearly the technical feasibility, whereas the realisation of one plant (SunWash - a 100% CO2-neutral car wash facility) within the framework of this project demonstrates the economic feasibility of solar process heat.

Project Partners

Project manager

DI Thomas Müller


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hans Schnitzer
Joanneum Research - JOINTS

Contact Address

Ing. Werner Weiß
DI Thomas Müller
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Erneuerbare Energie
Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
Institute for Sustainable Technologies
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19
Tel.: +43 (3112) 5886-16
Fax: +43 (3112) 5886-18

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Hans Schnitzer
Institut für Nachhaltige Techniken und Systeme
Steyrergasse 17, A 8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (316) 876-0
Fax: +43 (316) 876 1130