Project in the news

The rain threatens and we quail, this Friday morning October 1st, in the hilly countryside of North Sarthe. The sun does not shine the ocher of the ripe trees and the red of the roofs. But that's good.
We visit a small new generation solar thermal power plant, installed since July in the farm of Frédéric Vaucelle, in Saint-Georges-du-Rosay. The European Union has bet two million euros on this equipment, in the hope of encouraging farmers in colder North West countries to opt for this renewable energy.

This morning, the meter connected to the "central" displays a water temperature of 59 °. Frédéric Vaucelle uses 2,500 liters of hot water per day to feed his 400 veal calves: “Yesterday, it was perfect, but today, I have to add a little gas heating to reach 80 °, temperature necessary to dilute the milk powder. “

All the same, 59%, under this grayness? “It's not just direct radiation,” explains Liqung Feng, the designer. "We also capture the diffused light and that which reflects on the ground clad in white tin.” This engineer passionate about solar started his own business in 2010 with his wife. At home, in Mayenne, they oft multiplied the tests. And decided to target rearing, a major activity in the department. Today, fifty farms are equipped.

All over europe

The principle of heating water by circulating it in vacuum glass pipes has been around for a long time. But FengTech, the small company of three people based in Entrammes, near Laval, has designed and patented arrangements adapted to agriculture in our climates. he reputation has been traced back to the Chamber of Agriculture and the Technopole of Laval-Mayenne. Which landed the role of pilot of a European program called Icare4farm.

The first pilot site is therefore installed in front of Frédéric Vaucelle's rearing. Three others will be launched in Belgium (heating a livestock building), the Netherlands (hot water for methanizer) and the United Kingdom (heating a greenhouse). “Europe is aiming to achieve carbon neutrality. This program is a first step in developing solar thermal energy everywhere.” says Floortje de Vink, of Laval Technopole.

Reassure the French State

This is why the small power station of Saint-Georges-du-Rosay "is surrounded by sensors", to transmit data to researchers, in particular to the University of South Brittany, specifies Gilles Beaujean, of the chamber of agriculture. from Pays de la Loire. With (hope that the French State, in turn reassured by the results, will start to support solar thermal on the farm.

By the way, how much does it cost? 70,000 €, for that of Frédéric, subsidized at 40%. It must save him five tonnes of propane per year. Ecological interest, economic interest ... This cold morning, visitors to the farm are very keen on the gas explosion. But them, with a small smile.

Thermal, photovoltaic? Two very different technologies. The first heats the water directly. The second produces electricity.

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