On the rooftop of a bakery in the Lebanese village of Remhala, concentrated solar power systems installed by “Partners With Sun” generate heat to operate a hybrid convection oven.
Targeting the food and beverage industry, the startup heats a transfer fluid using focused sunlight. The fluid is then used to help operate a convection oven, allowing it to reach a baking temperature of some 300 Celsius (572 Fahrenheit).
“This oven will save bakery owners about 80% of their monthly usage of diesel, and therefore it would reduce the price of the bread bundle that reaches the consumer,” co-founder of Partners With Sun and its operations and communications manager, Hitaf Ghazal explained.
The solar convection oven uses an innovative heat exchange mechanism, for which the patent is currently under review in the Netherlands. The oven is designed for industrial use in the baking industry.
“It saves on our production’s diesel consumption and gives us better quality… We are still in the trial period, we started with them. I hope we can continue and it gives us what we need so we would rely on it,” echoed Wissam Shamseddine, owner of al-Wissam bakery with which Partners With Sun are testing their pilot oven.
Producing clean energy, the project not only reduces energy costs but helps reduce the environmental impact of fuel boilers.
“We aim, from now until 2030, to bury the last boiler operating on diesel or electricity in food and beverage production,” co-founder of ‘Partners With Sun’ and inventor of their solar convection oven, Toufic Hamdan, said.