Honduras is one of the 148 countries in the world with best solar energy generation potential; however, solar thermal energy barely wakes up from several decades of stagnation and at present, its participation is not relevant in the national energy matrix.
Solar thermal energy has a unique competitive potential in the “Sunbelt” countries, characterized by high levels of solar radiation and, often, high prices in energy tariffs.
In Honduras, Choluteca and Valle are the areas with greatest solar energy generation potential, since a maximum annual average of 8.4 hours per day is registered.
February, March and April are the months of greatest solar energy availability in the country, in February there is up to 9.1 sunshine hours on average per year for country southern area.
Other places with high solar potential are in part of Lempira department and Francisco Morazán southern area.
As it happens in almost all Latin American countries, there is no solar thermal energy development according to its enormous potential.
Its performance is twice that of photovoltaic solar energy and is the purest expression of distributed generation.
In Honduras, its implantation in residential sector is scarce and there are only isolated cases in commercial and industrial sectors.
An example is the meat plant where a solar thermal system was installed to heat sanitizing water in production area, trays and tables cleaning, pigs blanching, slaughter tools sterilization, sausages cooking and smoking.
Water volume consumed was classified into two types: sanitation and processes.
The advantage of working with the solar thermal system is basically that a volume of preheated water is given to the boiler system.
Initial thermal variation of 20º to 165º C is reduced to a thermal variation of 90º to 165º C, this 70º C difference in temperature is equivalent to the saving (48% in average) provided by solar thermal system as complementary to industrial boiler system.
Another example is the dairy plant in which a solar thermal system was also installed.
In this case, energy efficiency measures were previously applied to reduce hot water consumed volume.
Main one was industrial water guns withstand temperatures higher than 100 ° C implementation.
A thermal solar system with heat pipe collectors was installed, which contributes to sanitization processes and boiler water consumption.
In year highest radiation times, system can cover 97% of monthly boiler water consumed, and 82% on maximum consumption day.
It can also provide up to 90% of total water consumed for production area sanitization.
It can even provide hot water at 42º C for yoghurt preparation.
Solar thermal energy potential in Honduras and in Latin America in general is currently not being exploited.
An exhaustive project survey and analysis allow us to know, a priori, savings will be obtained, initial investment and the generally low maintenance costs.
All you need is Sun. All you need is Sopelia.