Industrial sectors and processes
The second noteworthy outcome of this survey is the definition of the most suitable industrial sectors, where solar thermal heat could be fruitfully used. In these sectors, the heat demand is remarkable and more or less continuous throughout the year. Furthermore, as described above, the temperature level required by some of the processes is compatible with the efficient operation of solar thermal collectors.
The key sectors are food (including wine and beverage), textile, transport equipment, metal and plastic treatment, and chemical. The areas of application with the most suitable industrial processes include cleaning, drying, evaporation and distillation, blanching, pasteurisation, sterilisation, cooking, painting, and surface treatment. Finally, among the most promising applications space heating and cooling of factory buildings should be included as well .
The relevance of each sector regarding the solar thermal market development also depends on the local industrial profile; for example, breweries represent an important industry in Austria and Germany, while dairies are important in Italy and Greece.