High Efficiency Process Heating

High Efficiency Solar Thermal with Storage.

Institute of Gas Technology dba GTI Energy


Des Plaines, IL

Recipient Location



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The project has ended. The recipient’s team collaborated to develop the solar thermal transport and storage (STTS) technology. This technology integrates a two-stage concentrating solar collector with a particle thermal transport and storage system with the goal of providing cost-effective, on-demand high temperature process heat of up to 1112 degree Fahrenheit. The aim was to demonstrate the technology at an industrial site. The team developed a conceptual system design for the host site retrofit but determined during on-sun testing that the absorber tubes were bending. To address this, a model was developed that resulted in the development of a 2.7 meter absorber length. Due to COVID-19 and supply chain issues, the demonstration at an industrial facility could not be completed. The final report includes the theoretical and modeling work completed, and this work could be used by others in furthering the technology.

The Issue

Current technologies for reducing fossil gas use in industrial processes involve reducing heat losses and/or recovering and recycling heat that would be otherwise lost. A wide range of technologies are available, but many provide only modest gains in energy efficiency and long payback periods, and some may adversely affect the process. Solar thermal for process heating is attractive, but current technologies are limited to low temperature applications, not distributable, or not economical.

Project Innovation

This project has the potential to integrate high temperature solar thermal energy with an industrial process to significantly reduce fossil gas use. The project could be seamlessly integrated into existing infrastructure and controls with the potential of providing more than 20% fossil gas reduction with a simple payback of under 5 years.

Project Benefits

If the high temperature STTS technology can deliver cost-effective and on-demand, high temperature process heat, it will greatly expand the industrial market for solar thermal and have a major impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the industrial sector.

Lower Costs


The STTS technology has the potential to provide a cost-effective alternative to fossil gas for on-demand process heating for the industrial sector with an estimated simple payback of under 5 years.

Key Project Members

Project Member

David Cygan

Project Manager
Gas Technology Institute



The Regents of the University of California, Merced


Particulate Solid Research Institute (PSRI)


Match Partners


Institute of Gas Technology dba GTI Energy


Particulate Solid Research Institute (PSRI)


Contact the Team