Industry News: Energy

KLINGER equips Europe’s biggest steam-production plant in Spain

Solar-boiler technology will be providing up to 10 percent of a Spanish brewery’s demand for heat. KLINGER shared crucial technical knowledge and provided valves that can withstand high temperatures and pressures.

In a boost for sustainability, Valencia-based Solatom was selected by a major beer brand to provide its solar boiler technology for a large-scale brewery project in Quart de Poblet, Spain. KLINGER provided all of the necessary valves and instrumentation for the project, while sharing technical expertise to guide the installation. Solatom’s technology aims to reduce the carbon footprint of industries that use boilers to generate steam for manufacturing processes. The brewery installation – now Europe’s biggest solar steam production plant – uses 6,000 square meters of mirrors to produce an energy peak of 3.5 megawatts thermal. It will provide up to 10% of the brewery’s demand for heat.

Europe’s largest solar steam production plant produces an energy peak of 3.5 megawatts thermal.

Contacts mentioned in the article:

Juan Carlos Cuenca, Technical Sales Lead at KLINGER Spain

Iván Gadea Vacas, Regional Sales Manager at KLINGER Spain

Comprehensive Solutions

“This is a very interesting and important cooperation for KLINGER, as Solatom is an expanding company working with a highly innovative process,” says Juan Carlos Cuenca, Technical Sales Lead at KLINGER Spain. “We collaborated closely with Solatom to share our technical knowledge for all the elements needed in their development work.” Juan Carlos has been working at KLINGER for more than 40 years. With significant knowledge of KLINGER products and experience in steam production, he played a crucial role in specifying the installation. “For Solatom we offer the full range of KLINGER equipment of all the valves, sealing materials, and instrumentation to measure level, flow, and pressure. We also provide heat-shielding materials,” says Juan Carlos.

KLINGER valves are critical for shutting off the installation during maintenance.

“Engaging with EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) and R&D (Research and Development) companies is crucial, as renewable-energy projects are growing and there is a place for KLINGER products. We’re currently working on the development of new market niches in biogas and hydrogen.”

Juan Carlos Cuenca, Technical Sales Lead at KLINGER Spain

Fact Box

Solatom – the solar-boiler company taking on the world

Founded in Valencia in 2016, the company has a vision of making solar-boiler technology more widely accessible. Even small-scale industries can create heat plants using Solatom’s offering.

Key to its approach is a modular-design philosophy. Solatom builds the number of modules the customer needs and calibrates the mirrors before shipping. On-site installation is fast and straightforward.

Solatom's solar boilers have already been implemented in some 14 plants worldwide, catering to industries in mainland Spain, the Canary Island, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The company is also now also working on a brewery project in Mexico with KLINGER.

“KLINGER offers a complete solution that enables us to bring Solatom’s solar-boiler technology to a range of different industries. This way we can help to reduce the carbon-footprint of operations that typically use fossil-fuel boilers.”

Juan Martinez
Chief Operation Officer (COO), Solatom

Valves for steam processing

The beer brewing industry is a heavy user of steam, both for heating malt and cleaning vats. KLINGER has been supplying its equipment to brewers for many years, so the company had an existing relationship with the brewer behind the Spanish plant. This client introduced KLINGER Spain and Solatom – laying the foundation for a partnership that is now flourishing. “It’s great to work with the team at KLINGER Spain, as they knew the end customer already. KLINGER is always there to support us in developing the right solution,” says Solatom’s Chief Technology Officer, Carlo Terruzzi. “Even though you design everything with software, in the end you have to work together in real life. Human cooperation is the most important part.”

Working at the brewery was nothing new for the KLINGER team.

Expanding solar boiler use

Thanks to the flexibility of KLINGER’s equipment, Solatom is able to apply its solar boiler technology in different industries that may use fuel types other than steam. Aside from brewing beer, the company’s solutions are also used in the production of snacks such as chips and popcorn. With their combined offering, KLINGER Spain and Solatom are now looking ahead to other solar boiler projects. First up is another brewery for the same end customer – this time in Mexico. “The brewer knows us and sees that our solution is reliable. We’re looking forward to continuing the excellent cooperation with Solatom. They know the process, and we know the best solution with our range of products and experience,” says Regional Sales Manager for KLINGER Spain, Iván Gadea Vacas. “A successful project like this is only possible when you build trust with the client. Our technical consultancy team did an excellent job working with Solatom.”

Fact box

Did you know ...

  • …the solar field is the place where 6,000 square metres of mirrors concentrate sunlight onto vacuum receiver tubes  ? The mirrors track the sun to maximize the concentration of sunlight. Different types and sizes of KLINGER valves are present in the solar field, so that heat flows can be regulated. The valves are also critical for shutting off the installation during maintenance. KLINGER pressure sensors are used in the solar field too.
  • …the Balance of Plant (BoP) encompasses the pumps and other mechanisms that keep the energy flowing to the kettle reboiler where the steam is produced? The different parts of the system are interconnected with special KLINGER valves that can withstand high temperatures and pressures. The valves can handle the expansion and contraction that comes with constant heating and cooling.
  • …the thermal storage is a large tank where excess heat energy is stored in the form of hot water? When the sunlight is insufficient to meet energy demand, this stored thermal heat is utilized. The tank is equipped with KLINGER valves and controls to manage the flow of hot water. The equipment needs to meet stringent requirements for pressure and temperature gradients. KLINGER products also support ease of maintenance.
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