Zonnecollectoren: duurzame oplossing voor proceswater
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Solar collectors: sustainable solution for process water

  • 07 February 2022
  • By: Judith Witte

Energy prices keep rising and fossil fuels like natural gas are controversial and not very sustainable. Solar collectors are a good alternative: for the environment and for reducing energy costs.

Companies in the food industry that use a lot of hot water can use a collector system to make substantial savings on their fuel costs: from 30 up to 60%. "We also refer to a solar collector system as 'the low-hanging fruit', or 'the forgotten saving'. You can achieve a lot with relatively little effort and cost. The payback period is only 3 to 4 years, depending on the gas price that is used." Says Arjan de Bruin. He is director of G2 Energy, a Dutch company specialised in the development and production of thermal solar collectors. 


"An additional advantage of generating your own energy is that it makes you less dependent on energy suppliers," Arjan continues. "All you need is space on the roof and room for the boiler. The existing hot water system will remain; it will be powered by solar heat." The buffer vessels or boilers needed are custom made by sister company De Bruin Process Equipment. "Because we have everything in one place - both the solar collectors and the boiler tanks come from our own factories - we can always deliver customised solutions; with a purely Dutch product."

Ease and low maintenance

G2 Energy works on projects from 50 to 15.000 m2 solar collectors. A slaughterhouse for example chose a 920 m2 collector for the heating of 70,000 litres of process water per day. This provides the company with a gas saving of approximately 60,000 m3 per year. There are various installation options for the collectors; they can be installed on both flat and angled roofs, a shed, in the field, and so on. Once installed, the solar lighting system requires hardly any maintenance.

All or nothing... or just start?

The government still stimulates companies to get rid of the gas. There are attractive subsidy options for SMEs, such as the ISDE scheme and the Energy Investment Allowance (EIA). "With solar collectors, the first 60% saving is fairly easy to achieve. After that, it becomes more difficult. Some entrepreneurs say 'it's all or nothing'. We say: 'Do the easy stuff first! Then you can always look further and calculate how you can save even more. Just make an appointment to discuss your options for a collector system. Whether it is for heating tap water for the daily cleaning, for a crate washing installation or for heating the building; there is much more possible than you might think." Insurance-wise, a collector system will not present you with any obstacles. 


from left to right Peter, Dries and Arjan de Bruin

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2022