The University of Lincoln is a project partner in the ICaRE4Farms (I4F) project. This project intends to boost the use of solar thermal energy (STE) in farming in North West Europe, to contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of renewable energies, to help the transition to a low-carbon economy and meet the EU 2030 goal of 27% share for renewable energy. Solar thermal energy is an affordable renewable energy to heat water and has a huge potential to replace fossil energies.
Through transnational cooperation, the I4F project will test next generation STE systems in four agricultural sectors that require hot water to feed livestock (calves) and heat farm buildings (poultry, pigs) and greenhouses (horticulture). The technology that I4F will test is up to three times more efficient than traditional STE systems (900 vs. 350kWh/m²). It has shown to be reliable, affordable, easy to install and long lifetime (40 years) with low maintenance requirements. It allows a 70% reduction of GHG emitted for water heating.
The project partners will share good practices and implement the solution taking into account the features of each region and sector, will install and monitor four pilot sites to test and demonstrate the technology, and will support the deployment of other 17 flagship STE systems to improve the economic model and validate the greenhouse gas cuts. The outcome of the monitoring will be fed into a feasibility assessment tool and a digital model of the STE system, including software for the farmers to manage the system. The project partners will build a transnational network of distributors and installers to roll-out STE in NWE, to lead the market uptake.
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