SolarSteam’s purpose is to decarbonize the highest emitting and hardest to abate heavy industry segments.
The problem that SolarSteam addresses is the elephant in the energy room – industrial heat. Globally, thermal energy requirements constitute close to 50% of total GHG emissions. In Alberta approximately 2⁄3 of GHG emissions come from the industrial sector.
SolarSteam Inc., a Calgary-based renewable company with a vision to develop the lowest cost renewable heat, represents a transformational cleantech solution which is data driven, sustainable, net zero focused that integrates artificial intelligence and machine learning while aligning with global parameters for evidence based validation of ESG focus areas.
SolarSteam’s system uses solar collectors to concentrate sunlight in order to generate hot water and steam. A transparent membrane enclosure increases efficiency by keeping the collectors clean and reduces capital cost by allowing for lightweight materials that don’t require rigid and expensive foundations and controls. SolarSteam’s generators will operate in conjunction with existing boilers and use boiler feed water to provide direct hot water and steam generation.
The concept behind SolarSteam was developed by CEO, Apostol Radev, as part of his graduate studies in Sustainable Energy Development at the University of Calgary. Since incorporation, SolarSteam has advanced the technology from market discovery, ideation and concept through multiple techno-economic assessments, prototypes, third party validation, and design, engineering, construction and commissioning of a demonstration TRL7 pilot in Ponoka, Alberta.
As a new Canadian, Apostol Radev has come to understand that Alberta is blessed with vast reserves of natural resources, a rich Aboriginal history and a culture that has made its people resourceful, persistent and hospitable to others. SolarSteam’s team is driven by the great entrepreneurship and innovation in Alberta’s energy industry, and firmly believe that the local spirit and knowledge will build the bridge to a unified and diverse sustainable energy sector.
These are challenging times for the energy sector in Canada, but responding to this new reality should be taken as an opportunity to put Alberta energy skill sets back to work. The changing ESG policy landscape in the country is creating new drivers from a business risk management and investment perspective. The business case for integrating a climate dimension on a corporate level is a lot stronger than it used to be. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction benefit of generating renewable heat using SolarSteam’s technology across various heat intensive industry segments presents an opportunity to enable Alberta’s Large Final Emitters (LFEs) to establish Alberta as the next big market for concentrated solar heat and become leaders in ESG.
In 2020, SolarSteam was selected to participate in a highly competitive program supporting deep technology development by the Government of Alberta, University of Calgary and Innovate Calgary called GreenSTEM. In 2021, SolarSteam was recruited in the Canadian Technology Accelerator, a global initiative led by the Government of Canada’s Trade Commissioner Services. This program provided an introduction to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), where SolarSteam was selected to participate in NREL’s Industry Growth Forum, and was awarded an agreement for technology assistance with NREL’s leading researchers in concentrating solar technology. In 2022, SolarSteam became the first Canadian company to be part of gener8tor’s sustainability cohort and was named one of Canada’s most investable cleantech companies by Foresight Canada.
In 2023, the team is incorporating the lessons learned from the development of SolarSteam’s TRL7 pilot with Scovan Engineering to develop a next-generation ultra-light collector. The evolution of SolarSteam’s design for manufacturing, shipping and assembly (DfMSA) allows the module’s elements to be stacked together, easing both upstream manufacturing processes and transportation. The high
modularity of the system and the containerization of components allows them to be manufactured quickly and deployed faster once the system is on site.
Today, SolarSteam is actively working on three demonstration projects residing in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario with strong interest for additional projects in the US and Europe.