Soletair Power’s HVAC Integrated CO2 Capturing Unit is a modular carbon capture system that operates plug-and-play. Each unit can capture up to 20 tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to 3 hectares of Nordic forest aged 30 years, and can be integrated into the building’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. More units can be added to increase the capture capacity. Installation of the system also lowers HVAC energy costs by controlling the building’s ventilation runtime based on CO2 levels. The unique selling points of the system are its building retrofitability, easy installation, modular design, weatherproof capture, and low water/ heat/ electricity/ material/ carbon footprint.
We have installed a system in Wärtsilä Sustainable Technology Hub, Vaasa, Finland, where they have a standard ventilation unit handling 3.3 m3 of air per second. Soletair Power’s CO2 capture system has a dimension of 3m x 3m x 3m (LWH). So, it is small in land usage since it can operate in buildings.
We are using the Temperature vacuum swing adsorption process in our direct air capture technology. We have our own proprietary Amine-functionalized solid sorbent. From the HVAC system, incoming air is pushed through these sorbent filters, and carbon dioxide is trapped (or adsorbed) by them. When the filter is saturated with these compounds the machine is closed and regenerated via vacuum and heating at 90°C to collect CO2. Moisture is condensed leaving pure CO2 for compression. The captured CO2 is stored in a separate storage container.
When one wants to install this system, their building needs to have an HVAC system. We will inspect where we can install it, whether it should be inside the HVAC room, on the roof, or outside the building. The system will function at its peak when the air coming from outdoors has temperatures around 0° to +25°C. If there is a source of waste heat, for example, from a server room, we can utilize that to obtain the required 90°C temperature for our system. High moisture is typically not a problem. We also need to know the rate of airflow, i.e. how much air the building exchanging per hour. 1,700,000 cubic meters of air is needed to capture 1 ton of CO2 by utilizing Soletair Power’s Direct Air Capture system (as of 2023).
The system itself is fully automated. It can be connected to several IoT sensors and also to the building’s automation system. Signals to external systems can be pushed from our control cabinet and remote operation is possible. We can also monitor and control it remotely through the Internet.
Soletair Power’s direct air capture system is uniquely optimized for integration with urban infrastructures. Compared to most direct air capture technologies, Soletair Power’s system operates at almost zero noise level; the sound is muffled to below 50 decibels. 60 decibels sound like background music, 75 like a vacuum cleaner, while 85 sounds like a power lawnmower or a subway. Also, the system does not require a high amount of air to be blown over it. It will capture CO2 even at a low airflow rate, making it ideal for installation in buildings.
Currently, existing customers are utilizing the CO2 themselves for their own R&D purposes. We can help customers have utilization cases with captured CO2 through our different CO2 utilization and storage partners. For example, in Dubai, we made the world’s first compact Power-to-X demonstration unit for our customers. We partnered with Q-Power and Wärtsilä. Similarly, we can provide concrete injection, synthetic fuel production, or storage with our partners; it depends on the location of the facilities.