Tobacco Production with Solar Process Heat

Japan Tobacco International is the fourth biggest tobacco product manufacturer in the world with a large number of production sites, one of which is in Jordan and employs around 200 people. The tobacco production requires steam for drying purposes and furthermore, due to the geographic location of the production site, there is a high demand in air-conditioning. The steam has been supplied by a LPG-fuelled boiler and an electric compression refrigeration machine was used for the cold production. In November 2017 a solar process heat plant was installed. The Fresnel collector-field with an aperture-area of 1,254 m2 is installed on the factory’s rooftop and runs in direct-steam mode: water is pumped into the absorber pipe, steamed partly there, and fed as a water-steam-mixture into the steam drum. The steam accumulates in the upper part of the drum from where it is fed into the steam circuit while the un-steamed water is re-circulated and fed, together with feed water, to the absorber pipes again. The collector field and the steam drum can be run at temperatures of up to 220°C, which is significantly above the required temperature level. Therefore, at the given volume of the steam drum, more energy can be stored. The integration into the existing steam circuit is regulated by a pressure control. Solar produced steam is used with priority while the fossil boiler only covers the remaining heat demand.

Integration of Fresnel collectors into the existing steam circuit via a steam drum at JTI.

Since the production is done in batches, the dimensioning considered the peak loads and the store volume. An additionally installed absorption refrigerator evens out the load profile. The projected solar yield is at ca. 1,350 MWh per year and reduces the CO-2 emissions by 500 tons yearly, due to the lower demand in LPG and power.

The energy costs for LPG are monthly adapted to the fuel oil price in Jordan and are currently (July 2018) at around 70 €/MWh. The solar process heat plant has been realised without direct funding. However, plants for the production of renewable energies are exempted from import duties in Jordan.