Week 1 of work was recently completed. Read More
ICaRE4Farms - Increase the capacity of Renewable Energies (RE) in Farms in the North West Europe Region by using Solar Thermal Energy
ICaRE4Farms (I4F) intends to boost the use of solar thermal energy (STE) in farming in NWE, to contribute to reduce GHG 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 RE. STE is an affordable RE to heat water and has a huge potential to replace fossil energies.
However, in the NWE region, it only provides 1.1% of total energy consumption and 0.25% of that in agriculture, due to the low efficiency of current systems in areas with low solar irradiance.
Through transnational cooperation, I4F will test next generation STE systems in 4 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 3 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 partners will share good practices and implement the solution taking into account the features of each region and sector, will install and monitor 4 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 GHG 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.
In 10 years, it is expected that nearly 1,000 STE systems will be operational in NWE (10 new sites per year in the first 5 years and 20 in the next 5), saving 92 ktCO2 per year, equivalent to 1,4% of CO2 emissions in agriculture in NWE in 2016 and generate 200 new jobs.
Association des Chambres d’Agriculture de l’Arc Atlantique
Maison de l’Agriculture, Atlanpole la Géraudière
University of Lincoln
SunChip Projects BV
Cornelissen Consulting Services BV
Université Bretagne Sud
Rue Armand Guillemot
Northern and Western Regional Assembly
The Square, Ballaghaderreen
Feng Technologies SAS
14 rue Eugène Jamin
Laval Mayenne Technopole
6 rue Leonard de Vinci
|Laval Mayenne Technopole||
6 rue Leonard de Vinci
|Association des Chambres d’Agriculture de l’Arc Atlantique||Pascal Dragonfirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
|University of Lincoln||Richard Turneremail@example.com||United Kingdom|
|SunChip Projects BV||Marc Petersfirstname.lastname@example.org||Netherlands|
|Cornelissen Consulting Services BV||Gijs van Pruissenemail@example.com||Netherlands|
|Université Bretagne Sud||Audrey Maffessolifirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
|Northern and Western Regional Assembly||Brendan Mooneyemail@example.com||Ireland|
|Feng Technologies SAS||Liqun Fengfirstname.lastname@example.org||France|
Construction work is about to commence for the installation of a Solar Thermal Energy test site. Read More
Feng Technologies SAS (Fengtech) are seeking expressions for interest from suppliers to provide suitable equipment that Fengtech will assemble to build 78 solar thermal collectors, regulators, protection valve (pressure and temperature) and connections between solar storage tanks that will be located on 4 sites in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the UK up to June 2022. Read More
An installation of Fengtech technology on a calf farm in Brittany. Read More
On Friday, September 4th, monthly online meetings resumed after the summer break. Read More
Launch of ICaRE4Farms project 11 to 13th March in Lille Read More
Laval Mayenne Technopole (LMT) is the key actor for innovation in Mayenne and supports economic development of the territory through innovation.
Member of EBN (European Business Network) and certified EU-BIC, LMT has more than 20 years of experience in supporting innovative entrepreneurs to validate their business idea, design their product/service, raise funds and grow on a national and international level. LMT also supports local SMEs to develop new products and services (Digital, Data, Agrifood business, NLP, RV/RA).
With more than 10 years of experience in collaborative and European projects, LMT has developed an extended network of trusted partners (Universities, SMEs and large corporations).
Association des Chambres d’Agriculture de l’Arc Atlantique is an association which was set up in 1993. Its members are the Chambers of Agriculture from the Atlantic area.
AC3A aims at providing the opportunity to the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area to experiment and exchange on a European level about agricultural issues in order to ensure the sector remains dynamic, innovative and sustainable.
AC3A’s projects identify and/or develop solutions to support the Chambers in this process, through European cooperation. Also, AC3A shares savoir-faire developed within the Chambers with partners from other European countries.
Innovatiesteunpunt vzw (ISP) the Innovation Support Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development is the specialized service in Flanders for guiding agricultural entrepreneurs, groups of rural residents and local governments in taking a new future-oriented direction. Embedded within Boerenbond, the largest farmers’ organization in Flanders, our activities are focused on a sustainable agriculture in a vibrant rural area, targeting three domains: technical development, business development and rural development.
ISP represents the Flemish farmers and will help to find Flemish farmers who want to invest in Solar Thermal energy systems on their farms.
The University of Lincoln main role is teaching, doing research and knowledge exchange with 13,000 students. Lincolnshire produces 25% of UK's fresh produce, so serving the Agri-food sector is central mission in close collaboration between the 'School of Engineering' and the Lincoln Institute of Agri-Food Technology. UoL is engaged in several North West Europe Interreg projects and in many international research projects.
The University of Lincoln will
- provide research and support in optimising the technology in UK
- provide a pilot site at Riseholme farm (UoL farms)
- collaborate with other partners, especially with UBS, to develop the monitoring methodology, analyse the data and develop a digital model of the ETF system to understand the energy behaviour of the installation
- disseminate project results via articles and scientific publications
SunChip Projects BV is developing parameterized production processes and tooling for agricultural BIPV-roofing (Sunbqt) enabled by its revolutionary NVO electronics. This electronics combines significantly increased annual energy output, with greatly improved fire safety by no longer using contact technology-based solutions like connectors, but instead opting for full wireless power transfer.
Cornelissen Consulting Services is an energy consultancy based in the Netherlands that initiates and advises on projects in the field of energy. Key concepts in the CCS work area are:
- CHP and
We work in the agricultural sector, industry and building environment. Our mission is to realize profitable energy solutions through an innovative approach. CCS is continuously developing and improving new and innovative applications.
Université de Bretagne Sud (UBS) is a multidisciplinary university. It offers academic programmes to 8500 students (72 nationalities) from Bachelor’s degree to doctorate level in different areas: arts, social sciences, engineering, computer science, biochemistry, mathematics, law, economics and business.
Research at UBS among its 250 researchers and 200 PhD students. It’s organized around 14 laboratories grouped into 4 research and innovation centres: “materials and energy”, “digital”, “human, sea and coastline”, “customs and societies”.
Its research income is nearly 5.5 M€ / year.
UBS Main research axes are :
- D3 – Marine activities for Blue Growth
- D4 –Technology for digital age
- D6 - Advanced industrial technologies
- D7- Observation, and energy and ecological engineering
The Northern and Western Regional Assembly aims to play a transformative role in the success of our region. Our Vision is to craft a creative, vibrant and low-carbon regional economy. Our members and team simply want to ‘connect’ the strengths of this incredible region and celebrate its unique sense of place. The Assembly is intent on leading Ireland into 2040.
Our objectives are clear. The Regional Assembly is intent on adopting international best practice in planning & development in order to create better places. Underpinning this approach is the commitment to enhancing competitiveness through policies that build resilience and sustainability, working with our stakeholders to utilise EU & Exchequer funding. Achieving this will be done through a dedicated and principled approach to collaboration.
The Regional Assembly has a vision to enhance our region’s competitiveness through ‘CONNECTING’ and building on our strengths. The Regional Assembly is playing a lead role in the success story of this region.
Feng Technologies SAS is a Young Innovative Company created in 2010 by Liqun FENG, located in Laval in Mayenne and integrated into Laval Mayenne Technopole. Its main activity is focused on product innovation capturing solar energy to produce solar thermal energy. Thanks to outdoor installations, companies and individuals save at least 50% on their energy bill.
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There are 5 work packages in this project
- WP LT -Long term
- WP M - project management
- WP C - communications
- WP T - implementation, which is made up of 3 parts
- WP I - investments, which is made up of 4 parts
Each work package is comprised of many deliverables which have to be completed to ensure a successful outcome to the project.
The long term Work Package (WP) aims to boost the growth of Solar Thermal Energy (STE) use in farming activities in NWE regions.
The project has ambitious roll-out objectives: 300 new generation STE in 5 years after the project finalisation, and more than 900 STE systems 10 years after the project end. This will lead to 1Mt (million tons) CO2 saved over the system lifetime (i.e. 0.5% of the EU yearly agriculture emissions) and the creation of 200 jobs in different sectors. AC3A, NRWA and LMT will lead this roll-out strategy, in cooperation with the industrial partners (Fengtech, CCS, SunChip).
The ICaRE4Farms partners will implement a two-fold strategy:
- market development, and
- policy change.
Market development actions will be directly targeted at end-users (mainly farmers) and at commercial and non-commercial organisations that provide support to farmers. The commercial intermediaries (installers, distributors…) are key actors to spread STE throughout the NWE regions. Only if the project succeeds in attracting the interest of these commercial intermediaries to offer the STE systems to their clients, will it be possible to achieve the market uptake objectives. The 4 pilots and the additional 17 STE projects will be key to demonstrate they offer a highly competitive solution for water heating and heat generation needs in farming activities. The visits to the sites will provide real-life examples of the advantages (affordability, efficiency, return on investment (ROI), easy operation, low maintenance costs, environmental benefits) of STE projects. The LT market development actions will build on WP3 market uptake activities and on the project communication objectives, to create a community of STE stakeholders and end-users.
To induce some policy changes that will facilitate STE deployment, the project will liaise with policymakers in NWE and in the EU. Communication and dissemination actions will continue beyond the end of the project, to improve regulatory framework and market conditions to promote the use of STE.
This WP will be coordinated by the lead partner (LP), LMT, in close cooperation with all the partners.
Partners will be fully involved in the project management and coordination and co-operate with the coordinator in setting up the appropriate structures and procedures to ensure a smooth project implementation and fluent internal communication.
A Steering Committee (SC) composed of a representative of each partner and chaired by the LP will be leading the project implementation. The SC will be convened by the LP and shall formally meet once per year; SC may also meet online if required. The SC will preferably take its decisions by consensus; if it cannot be reached, SC will take decisions by majority vote. The SC shall not take any decision in breach of programme regulations or management documents.
Each partner will appoint a project (PM) and a financial (FM) manager to be the main contact persons in their organisation for project implementation and financial management. The LP PM will be responsible for the overall project coordination, while the partner’s PMs will be responsible for project management at partner level. Partners’ PM will be meeting regularly either on-line (at least 1 per month) or in-person (at least 2 per year). Activity and expenditure management and reporting will follow the programme regulations.
Partners’ FM will fill in the individual financial report and will have it certified by FLC according to Programme requirements. For internal monitoring and risk control purposes, the partners’ PMs will be asked to report to each SC meeting on the project implementation progress as well as on the WPs they lead. PMs must report to LP any issue that could affect project implementation as soon as they become aware of it. LP will be supported by an external consultancy for the project management and coordination activities. An external intermediate and final project evaluation will be carried out to assess the project compliance and offer corrective measures
ICaRE4Farms communication and dissemination should contribute to accelerate the market uptake of STE in the agricultural sector and therefore the project general objective of increasing the use of STE in farming in the NWE regions. As project progresses, the communication will convey the project findings and results to raise the awareness of the target groups regarding the advantages of STE, and to encourage them to implement a robust and efficient renewable energy source, in combination with another RES.
Main target groups of the communication activities are:
- farmers and supporting organisations (cooperatives, farmer’s associations, public agencies);
- commercial partners (distributors and installers).
Other additional target groups will be the research community and the policymakers.
Communication strategy and tools will be adapted to the target groups and will evolve as the project progresses. They should contribute to raising the awareness of the main target groups regarding the potential of STE to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and offset GHG emissions in farming, to make it more sustainable. They should help to change the minds of farmers and commercial partners that do not consider it as an efficient solution to be the main heating resource on a farm. These target groups require real-life examples, through direct communication actions (info-days, visits to sites…), and easy to understand information (factsheet, infographics, audio-visual productions…) to change their perspective.
Other groups (scientific community, policymakers, industrial prescribers) will be targeted with publications, social networks and other tools. This Communication WP will be coordinated by a communication officer belonging to NWRA, who will lead the communication actions, in close cooperation with all the other partners. Partners understand that project communication is a joint task to which all need to contribute to achieving the communication objectives.
This Work Package contributes to the 1st project SO, to accelerate the market entry of next generation of STE systems in the NWE.
Although STE has a significant potential to replace fossil energy sources for water heating, it is still little known and used in NWE: most of the systems installed and offered in NWE have a quite low efficiency due to low solar irradiance that has made STE less attractive for farmers. This WP will allow to better understand and identify barriers for roll-out: different regulations for Renewable Energy, access to finance, a sufficient return on investment of the NG STE, and support of NG STE by farmers and installers.
The partners will carry out market, regulatory and technical research and business intelligence analysis to prepare an effective strategy for future deployment and tackle the barriers for the roll-out of STE systems in farming activities. Partners will also carry out a thorough screening of STE and other RES technologies to evaluate alternatives and complementarities for the most efficient energy balance that meets the farm energy needs. It will lead to propose different STE deployment cases and business models that will include the financial structure and implementation alternatives.
LMT will lead a working group (WG) for market analysis, while CCS will lead the STE and RES technology screening. WG will agree on the requirements for the market study and the structure of the report, will issue guidelines for data collection, and will agree on a set of standard questionnaires to ensure comparability. Then, all partners will cooperate in the collection of primary (surveys & interviews to distributors, installers and end-users) and secondary (official statistics & other reports) data to look at hot water demand of farmers and their capacity to use STE across countries and agricultural sectors, to assess the outlook for STE in farming in NWE. Partners will also identify different ways to finance RE in NWE and to assess the impact on BM & finance STE deployment.
The demonstration of the efficiency of next-generation STE systems is the second project sub-objective, which partners consider a key step for the uptake of this technology in the farming sector, for different reasons: STE has to make evident its efficiency and potential use in farming against other RES and conventional energy sources in NWE climate conditions.
To demonstrate it, partners will equip four selected sites with innovative STE systems (which are described in the WP Investments), will monitor their performance and will build, test and validate numerical models to simulate the system behaviour.
UBS and UoL will lead this activity. They will define the common and application-specific sensing and monitoring requirements will decide the instrumentation strategy and will identify, specify and procure the appropriate metrology to monitor and log data from the pilots. The monitoring strategy and measurement instrumentation of the pilots will be based on a pre-test carried out in an existing STE installation during the pre-audit phase, which will also provide basic data to build the numerical models.
The partners or sub-partners in charge of the pilot STE sites will be responsible for the installation of the metrology in each of the sites under UoL/UBS technical guidance, and for collecting and transmitting the data. Then UoL and UBS will analyse the data and determine energy-saving benefits with respect to short term day-to-day usage, and performance changes as a result of
seasonal variations and user requirements.
The data from the pilots will be used to validate the numerical models of STE systems. The validated numerical models will help to understand the functioning of the system dynamically and to predict its behaviour depending on location and needs. These models will support the optimisation of STE systems adapted to different farming activities, energy needs and climatic conditions.
The final objective of the ICaRE4Farms is to boost the deployment of STE systems in farming in NWE. All WP and activities are designed to contribute to that final goal, and this WP is intended to culminate the project endeavour.
The partner engineering companies (CCS, SunChip, FengTech) in cooperation with the research centres that have carried out the monitoring of the pilot projects will develop some supporting tools to assess the technical and economic feasibility of the STE systems for different farming activities and climate conditions and to facilitate the design and sizing of the installation, as well as the necessary additional backup energy sources (RES or conventional ES).
Under this WP, the partners will also carry out a market uptake strategy, which will be primarily led by the intermediate organisations that provide support to farmers, assisted by the partners that have been running the pilot sites. The market uptake will be strongly based on the awareness the project will raise among farmers and intermediate organisations (distributors and installers of energy systems) regarding the potential of STE to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and offset GHG emissions in farming. To achieve it, the partners will identify distributors and installers willing to add next-generation STE systems to their products and will run a series of training and demonstration activities (showcases) targeted both at intermediaries and end-users, including visits to the pilot sites to show the systems in operation.
Finally, the project will support the deployment of a limited number of additional STE sites, providing engineering and technical assistance to farmers interested in installing STE systems. The partners will launch an open call for applications and will select those that may have a higher impact and replication potential. A task force composed of the technical staff from partner organisations will provide support to end-users in design of the STE systems
The pilot will consist of a high-efficiency STE installation to supply hot water to a veal farm of 400 places in West of France for milk preparation to feed calves.
The STE equipment will be composed of an estimated 16 solar panels, with the connecting pipes, pumps, valves and other equipment. The farm EARL du Boulay will be sub-partner of AC3A.
The solar panels and valves of the STE system will be supplied by Fengtech, while the infrastructure and construction works will be realised by the partner owning the site. The installation will be carried out by an installer that will provide the small equipment (pump, pipes, cables...).
The installation process will begin with Fengtech’s visit to the pilot site, to validate dimensioning characteristics of the system required, fine-tuned on a rigorous assessment of the farmers’ needs. Once the installer selected, a second visit will be organised together with the installer and Fengtech to determine the place on the site where the system will be installed, the identification of plumber work needed, the location of trenches, and the positioning of pipework and the concrete slab. Then partners and
installer will agree on retro planning of the site preparation and installation. During the installation, the installer will be trained by Fengtech, becoming able to carry out other installations elsewhere and be part of the STE community that will be ensuring the roll-out of the technology. The installation of the STE equipment will be coordinated with the installation of the monitoring equipment to be done by UBS.
Operation and monitoring of this pilot site, as for other sites of the project, will contribute to the dissemination and market uptake of STE in farming, as it will demonstrate that is a robust and efficient renewable energy source for water heating purposes in veal farming. The pilot sites are considered as a core component of the project and will contribute to the main output in WP2: STE pilot sites.
The pilot will consist of a high-efficiency Solar Thermal Energy installation to supply hot water to heat a greenhouse of 12m by 6m in Lincoln, specialised in tomato culture.
The STE equipment will be composed of an estimated 8 solar panels, with the connecting pipes, pumps, valves and other equipment.
UoL is teaching, research, knowledge exchange with 13,000 students and serving the Agri-food sector is a central mission. For teaching purposes they have also an experimental farm in Riseholme, it will host the STE equipment on one section of the greenhouse. The solar panels and valves of the STE system will be supplied by Fengtech, while UoL will ensure the coordination
for the preparation of the site.
The installation will be carried out by an installer that will provide the small equipment (pump, pipes, cables, fittings….). The installation process will begin with Fengtech’s visit to the pilot site, to validate dimensioning characteristics of the system required, fine-tuned on a rigorous assessment of the farmers’ needs. Once the installer selected, a second visit will be organised together with the installer and Fengtech to determine the place on the site where the system will be installed, the identification of plumber work needed, the location of trenches, and the positioning of pipework and the concrete slab. Then partners and installer will agree on retro planning of the site preparation and installation. The installation of the STE equipment will be coordinated with the installation of the monitoring equipment to be done by UoL.
The operation and monitoring of this pilot site, as for other sites of the project, will contribute to the dissemination and market uptake of STE in farming, as it will demonstrate that is a robust and efficient renewable energy source for heating greenhouses.
The pilot sites are considered as a core component of the project and will contribute to the main output in WP2: STE pilot sites.
The pilot will consist of a high-efficiency Solar Thermal Energy installation to supply hot water to heat a manure digester in the Netherlands.
The STE equipment will be composed of an estimated 30 solar panels, with the connecting pipes, pumps, valves and other equipment.
CCS has developed several innovative manure digester systems that need heat to function. As to contribute to the functioning of manure digester is a particular technology, and developed by CCS; together with Fengtech, they will select the best location among already identified farmers, at the beginning of the project.
The solar panels and valves of the STE system will be supplied by Fengtech.CCS will therefore take in charge the budget required for its installation on the farm, preparation of site and selection of an installer that will provide the small equipment (pump, pipes, cables, fittings).
Once the site is selected, Fengtech will visit the pilot site, to validate dimensioning characteristics of the system required, fine-tuned on a rigorous assessment of the farmers’ needs. A 2nd visit will be organised together with the selected installer and Fengtech to determine the exact location of the equipment on-site, the identification of plumber work needed, the location of trenches, and the positioning of pipework and concrete slab. Then partners and installer will agree on retro planning of the site preparation and installation. The installation of the STE equipment will be coordinated with the installation of the monitoring
equipment to be done by UBS.
The operation and monitoring of this pilot site will contribute to the dissemination and market uptake of STE in farming, as it will demonstrate that it is a robust and efficient renewable energy source for water heating purposes of a biodigester. The pilot sites are considered as a core component of the project and will contribute to the main output in WP2: STE pilot sites.
The pilot will consist of a high-efficiency STE installation to supply hot water to heat a pig farm in Belgium in the region of Flanders, near Leuven.
STE equipment will be composed of an estimated 24 solar panels, with the connecting pipes, pumps,
valves and other equipment. ISP is an innovation centre for agricultural and rural development, supporting farmers to integrate innovative solutions and therefore they work with innovative farmers on a daily basis. NG STE is not well known among Belgian pig farmers so far. ISP has already identified farmers interested in STE, however, they need more information and to understand the overall benefits of STE, to convince one of them. At the beginning of the project, meetings will be organized in French farms already equipped to select the appropriate Belgian farm to install system.
Solar panels and valves of STE system will be supplied by Fengtech. ISP will take in charge the budget required for its installation on the farm, preparation of site and selection of an installer that will provide the small equipment. Once the site is selected, Fengtech will visit the farm to validate dimensioning characteristics of the system required. A 2nd visit will be organised with the selected installer and Fengtech to determine the location of the equipment on-site, the identification of plumber work needed, the location of trenches and the positioning of pipework and concrete slab. Then partners and installer will agree on retro planning of the site preparation and installation. STE equipment installation will be coordinated with the installation of the monitoring equipment (UBS).
The operation and monitoring of this pilot site, as the others of the project, will contribute to the dissemination and market uptake of STE in farming, as it will demonstrate that it is an efficient RE source for water heating purposes in pig farms. The pilot
sites will contribute to the output in WP2.
In the news
With solar energy you can not only make electricity, but also directly produce hot water. Europe wants to stimulate these solar thermal systems, often also called solar boilers. In France, some farms are lowering their energy bills with systems that make the most of the solar radiation. Read More
ICaRE4Farms was featured on Pays De La Loire Chambers of Agriculture website Read More
Two calf farmers, in Lynde and Thiennes, installed thermal solar panels to heat the feed water for their animals. They are the only ones in the region to have tested the installation, which saves them energy. The remainder of the report is viewable for a subscription. Read More
Pioneers, two farms in the North of France have just invested in solar thermal installations. Read More