The Control Tool as our second flagship web-based application will help to improve the integration of solar heat into industrial processes at different control levels while aiming to be as flexible as possible to be applied to a multiplicity of systems. Regarding its flexibility the tool is built as a “framework” offering to “plug together” certain modules which can be applied separately or together depending on the level of automation available at a plant. These modules are shown in the figure below and have the following tasks:

  • Module – A: Improving the operation of the solar plant through a more advanced control strategy to maximize the solar yield
  • Module – B: Optimizing the integration of solar thermal plants while minimizing disturbances to the process plant to a minimum
  • Module – C: Forecasting the produced solar heat of various collector technologies increasing the predictability of solar systems
  • Module – D: Controlling the whole system (solar and process plant) in an optimal way by a powerful model predictive controller (MPC) which is capable of considering several available heat consumers and producers while taking into account the different prices for energy (e.g. electricity, gas, …)

The modules are currently finalized and first tests in simulation are carried out for the demo site of Bodegas RODA and will be showed in the next SHIP2FAIR newsletter.

Figure 1: Various modules of the Ship2Fair Control Tool to improve the integration of solar heat into industrial processes at different control levels.