Avery Dennison Commissions Solar Thermal Platform and Storage Unit for Belgium Production Plant

Sept. 8, 2023
The total installation will provide the heat equivalent of 2.3 GWh of gas consumption and reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 9% annually

Avery Dennison has commissioned a Concentrated Solar Thermal platform and Thermal Storage unit for its production plant in Turnhout, Belgium. The platform has 2,240 surface mirrors and a solar field peak yield of 2.7 GWh thermal power. The storage unit has six thermal storage modules and a capacity of 5 MWh thermal power.

The project is a collaboration of Azteq, an organization building CST facilities, ENERGYNEST, a long-duration thermal energy storage provider, and local community group Campina Energie, which also secured a portion of the project’s financing.

The renewable energy platform covers about 5,540 square meters on site with installation of parabolic mirrors.  As compared to the current rates, the total installation will provide the heat equivalent of 2.3 GWh of gas consumption and reduce the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 9% annually once operational. The platform will also provide up to 100% of the factory’s heat demand during summer.

“This project will have tremendous payoffs for the company and the local community by helping reduce the plant’s carbon footprint, lowering energy usage, and ensuring reliable thermal energy supply for manufacturing operations throughout the lifespan,” said Koen Vermout, CEO of Azteq.

The CST platform developed by Azteq will concentrate energy from direct sunlight into a collector tube filled with absorption liquid, while the resulting thermal energy will be stored in ENERGYNEST’s ThermalBattery and dispatched on demand as secure, green heat.

The CST platform can produce and dispatch high-temperature thermal energy both day and night on demand when joined with the six battery modules.

“Companies across industries are considering how to best reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and decarbonize high-emitting activities, like heat production, while continuing to provide affordable, reliable goods and services to consumers,” said Christian Thiel, CEO of ENERGYNEST. “We will help solve these issues by reducing energy costs, helping the scale-out of reliable renewable energy like CST, and decarbonizing heat production.”

The project will help provide heat to operate drying ovens, which are used during the coating process of pressure-sensitive adhesive products manufactured at the site, by supplying zero-carbon solar energy. The products are used in automotive, building and construction, medical devices, and personal care industries.

While Azteq’s CST platform is partially funded by the Flemish Government through Green Heat, the ENERGYNEST thermal battery installation received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

The Avery Dennison production facility’s solar field, thermal storage, and heat distribution system is connected by the Balance of Plant (BoP) by AURA GmbH & Co. and used for heat shifting between the heat sources and heat sinks. The BoP has been developed in the research project #MODULUS, partly funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Avery Dennison also plans for solar grazing together with the local Turnhout community beyond the mirror installation to support biodiversity on site.