Solar 28-10-04 new defV03   29/10/04   17:47   Page cov1                                                           Europea...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03     29/10/04     17:47   Page cov2           Interested in European research?           RTD info...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03   29/10/04   17:47   Page 1                                                   EUROPEAN COMMISSIO...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03       29/10/04    17:47    Page 2                                   Europe Direct is a service t...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03           29/10/04         17:47       Page 3              Foreword              The White Paper...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03                            29/10/04                   17:47             Page 5       Contents   ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03          29/10/04       17:47     Page 7     Introduction     In 212 BC, Archimedes is said to h...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03          29/10/04      17:47       Page 8                                  What is concentrated ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03          29/10/04           17:47   Page 9            The different concentrated solar          ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03    29/10/04        17:48      Page 10                            The central tower system       ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03        29/10/04          17:48   Page 11            Concentrated solar power            system i...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03    29/10/04           17:48    Page 12                                                          ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03         29/10/04        17:48         Page 13            Community support for concentrated     ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03    29/10/04         17:48   Page 14                            contributions and have broadly fo...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03          29/10/04        17:48        Page 15            Potential of concentrated solar power  ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03    29/10/04        17:48      Page 16                            the state-of-the art technology...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03       29/10/04      17:48     Page 17            Research and technological development needs   ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03    29/10/04        17:48       Page 18                            There are also opportunities t...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03        29/10/04        17:48      Page 19            Conclusion             Concentrated solar p...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03   29/10/04   17:48   Page 21                                RESEARCH AREAS                      ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03        29/10/04      17:48    Page 22                                                       Sola...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03          29/10/04       17:48     Page 23                                                       ...
Solar 28-10-04 new defV03        29/10/04     17:48    Page 24                                                      Solar ...
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
European research on concentrated solar thermal energi
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5

European research on concentrated solar thermal energi


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

European research on concentrated solar thermal energi

  1. 1. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page cov1 European Research on Concentrated Solar Thermal Energy PROJECT SYNOPSES EUR 20898
  2. 2. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page cov2 Interested in European research? RTD info is our quarterly magazine keeping you in touch with main developments (results, programmes, events, etc.). It is available in English, French and German. A free sample copy or free subscription can be obtained from: Information and Communication Unit Directorate-General for Research European Commission B-1049 Brussels - Belgium Fax: (+32-2) 29-58220 E-Mail: Internet: EUROPEAN COMMISSION Directorate-General for Research Directorate J – Energy Unit J.3 – New and Renewable Energy Sources Contact: Philippe SCHILD European Commission Office CDMA 5-141 B-1049 Brussels E-mail: Helpline: For further information on Energy Research in the EU, please refer to the following Internet sites:
  3. 3. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 1 EUROPEAN COMMISSION European Research on Concentrated Solar Thermal Energy 2004 Directorate-General for Research EUR 20898 Sustainable Energy Systems
  4. 4. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 2 Europe Direct is a service to help you find answers to your question about the European Union Freephone number: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 LEGAL NOTICE Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the following information. The views expressed in this publication are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission. A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server ( Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004 ISBN 92-894-6353-8 © European Communities, 2004 Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged. Printed in Belgium PRINTED ON WHITE CHLORINE-FREE PAPER
  5. 5. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 3 Foreword The White Paper “Energy for the Future: Renewable Sources of Energy – for a Community Strategy and Action Plan” set a minimum target for the European Union of 12% of energy to be supplied from renewable energy sources, including hydropower, by 2010. In the White Paper, a target of 1GWe was set for all renewable energy sources that had not yet achieved a significant market penetration. These sources include concentrated solar thermal, as no commercial power plants have been built anywhere in the world since the 1980s. During the 1990s, the market conditions for concentrated solar thermal systems improved. Studies estimated that the installed capacity could be as much as 23GWe in the Mediterranean region alone by 20201. They also showed that the annual installation rate could reach 2GWe2. Furthermore, EU-sponsored research activities have demonstrated the viability of the technology and helped to develop cheaper and more efficient components. The development of concentrated solar thermal systems presents the research community with many challenges – in particular because these systems are more efficient and more economical at the large scale. The current economic and legal framework leads to installations being optimised at around 50MWe of generation capacity, representing an investment of around 200 million €. Fifty percent of this cost is in the solar field components, which therefore require a research focus on cost reduction. In addition, researchers are looking at the use of concentrated solar thermal power in novel applications such as hydrogen production. This widening of applications will open new markets and increase production volumes of solar components which should lead to a reduction in costs. Collaboration at the European level offers the concentrated solar thermal research community a unique opportunity to coordinate know-how and resources, and to create synergies. Through these actions, the European Research Area for concentrated solar thermal systems will be shaped. This publication presents an overview to help researchers, industry, and planners to work together to reach the ambitious targets set in the White Paper. Pablo Fernández Ruiz 1 H. Klaiss and F. Staiss, Solar Thermal Power Plants for the Mediterranean Area, Springler Verlag, 1992. 2 Cost Reduction Study for Solar Thermal Power Plants, World Bank Report, 1999. 3
  6. 6. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 5 Contents Foreword .................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 What is concentrated solar power? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The different concentrated solar power systems ...........................................................................9 Concentrated solar power systems installed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Community support for concentrated solar power systems ............................................................... 13 Potential of Concentrated Solar Power Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Research and technological development needs for concentrated solar thermal systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Conclusion ................................................................................................................ 19 Research areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 5
  7. 7. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 7 Introduction In 212 BC, Archimedes is said to have used mirrors for the There is a need for financiers and planners to better understand first time to concentrate the power of the Sun’s rays. In the technical risk inherent in the first prototype installations, 1615, Salomon De Caux invented a small “solar powered and to help developers to overcome financial barriers. There motor” which was the first recorded mechanical application is also a need for researchers and developers to recognise the of the Sun’s energy. His device consisted of glass lenses, a key issues required to enable systems to become efficient, suppor ting frame and an air tight metal vessel containing reliable, safe and economical. Furthermore, the public has to water and air. It produced a small water jet when the air be better informed about the potential and the benefits of this heated up and expanded during operation. In the 1860s, technology. French mathematician, August Mouchet proposed an idea for solar powered steam engines. In the following two decades, This brochure illustrates many of the current technical issues he and his assistant, Abel Pifre, constructed the first solar with examples of existing installations and energy projects powered engines and used them for a variety of applications. suppor ted under the European Community’s Framework These engines became the predecessors of modern parabolic Programmes for Research. In the first section, an overview of dish collectors for concentrated solar power applications. the technology is presented, including current achievements and future prospects. The second section describes the These inventions laid the foundations for modern concentrated research areas covered by European Community funded solar power technology. With the push towards sustainable projects since 1992, highlighting selected projects. power production and the increasing realisation for the need to reduce CO2 emissions, renewable sources of energy are becoming an increasingly impor tant element in the world energy balance. Concentrated solar power systems have the potential to replace conventional fossil fuels. They will also help mitigate the possible effects of climate change. In concentrated solar power systems the Sun’s rays are focused through optical devices. These focused rays generate heat which can be used either to generate steam and electricity or to trigger chemical reactions. However, because electricity is one of the prime energy vectors in the world, electricity generation is likely to be the first application to become commercially viable. Further research and development activities will play a key role in bringing this technology to the market. During the 1970s, methods of producing electricity via the solar thermal cycle were investigated. The efforts resulted in the further development of the technology and, in 1991, the first commercial power plant with a capacity of 354 MWe, based upon the concentrated solar power concept, was built in 2 California, USA. This plant was erected over an area of 7 km and feeds about 800 million kWh per year into the grid. However, most of the concentrated solar power plants in operation today are still at the prototype or demonstration phase and are dependent upon subsidies to make them competitive. 7
  8. 8. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 8 What is concentrated solar power? Classical optical theory predicts that light rays travelling In the parabolic trough, the focus is the focal axis of parallel to the axis of a spherical mirror will reflect off the trough collector. In the parabolic dish, the focal area the mirror and pass through the focus of the mirror is dependent upon the radius of the dish and is usually 2 located a distance R/2 from the mirror, where R is the an area of a few hundred cm . In a central tower, the 2 radius of the mirror. The energy of all incident light rays focal area is much larger, several m . combine at this point, effectively concentrating the light 2 energy. This concentration produces heat, hence the The average level of solar insolation is 1kW/m ; the name: concentrated solar power (CSP). So, in short, amount of solar energy available on the Earth’s surface. CSP systems use dif ferent mirror/reflector con- This can be concentrated several thousand times using figurations to conver t the sun’s energy into high- CSP systems. The efficiency with which this radiation can temperature heat. This heat can then be used directly be transformed into thermal energy is dependent upon or converted into electricity. a combination of optical efficiency and heat conversion efficiency. The optical efficiency of the system is defined The main components of a CSP system are: by accuracy of the reflective shape of the solar collectors. • The solar collector field Heat conversion efficiency is defined by the physical This is the array of mirrors or reflectors that actually characteristics of the solar receiver to convert solar collect the solar radiation and focus it on to the solar radiation to thermal energy. Optical efficiencies of up to receiver. The field is usually quoted in square 98% have been achieved along with heat conversion metres which represents the surface area of the efficiencies of between 70 and 95%. array, not the land use area. In CSP systems that produce electricity, the • The solar receiver concentrated heat is used to produce steam, either The solar receiver is the part of the system that directly or indirectly, which is then used to produce transforms the solar radiation into heat. Sometimes electricity. The efficiency of this system, solar to Fig 1.a: trough concept this receiver is an integral part of the solar collector electric, is dependant upon the combination of radiation field. A heat transfer medium, usually water or oil, to thermal efficiency and of the steam cycle efficiency. is used in the solar receiver to transport the heat Experimental installations have shown peak efficiencies to the energy conversion system. of up to 29% for parabolic dish systems. This efficiency is dependent upon which system is used, with the most • The energy conversion system mature technology, the parabolic trough system being The final component in the system converts the the least efficient. heat into usable forms of energy, in the form of electricity or heat. CSP systems can also be used in chemical processes, Fig 1.b: dish concept for example hydrogen or metal production where the Three different experimental configurations exist, as concentrated solar radiation is used directly as a heat shown in figure 1. These are the parabolic trough, source. Current laboratory experiments have shown the parabolic dish and the central tower system. There chemical conversion rates close to 100%, i.e. all the is a fourth, the solar furnace, which is a hybrid of the raw material was successfully converted into finished central tower and the parabolic dish systems. These product. However, due to current system design systems can be used for different applications as the limitations, heat conversion efficiency is limited to concentrated heat they produce is at dif ferent 50%. Higher ef ficiencies are expected with Fig 1.c: central tower concept temperatures, partly due to the size of the focal area. improvements in the technology. 8
  9. 9. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:47 Page 9 The different concentrated solar power systems The main concentrated solar power systems are the The parabolic dish parabolic trough system, the parabolic dish system A parabolic dish system, or solar dish, as they are and the central tower system. sometimes known, is composed of a single structure supporting a parabolic dish covered in mirrors that The parabolic trough reflect light on to a solar receiver located at the focal This is the simplest form of CSP system, where the point of the dish, as shown in figure 3. On average, the solar collector field is composed of rows of trough- dishes are between 8 and 10m in diameter, but in some shaped solar collector elements, usually mirrors, with cases they can be much larger, for example, the an integral receiver tube, as shown in figure 2. They world’s largest is the ‘Big Dish’ in Australia which has 2 are parabolic in one dimension only and form a long an aperture of 400m . The Big Dish has 54 triangular parabolic shaped trough of up to 150m in length. The mirror elements attached to the dish-frame and collectors are usually installed in rows and the total produces steam at 500°C, which feeds a steam engine solar field is composed of several parallel rows. The driven generator connected to the Canberra grid. collectors are connected to a single motor, controlled by a solar tracking control system, which ensures that Solar dishes are being developed mainly for electricity the maximum amount of sunlight enters the generation and, therefore, the solar receiver is concentrating system throughout the day. The solar combined with the energy conversion element which receiver is a black-coated, vacuum glass tube contain- is usually a thermal engine, such as a Stirling engine ing the heat transfer fluid, either oil or water. The or a Brayton cycle engine. Parabolic dish systems are concentrated sunlight heats the heat transfer fluid to the most efficient of all solar technologies, with peak temperatures of up to 400°C, which can then be used efficiencies up to 29% efficient, compared to around to generate electricity using a turbine and an electrical 20% for other solar thermal technologies4. generator. The Direct Solar Steam project (DISS), a test facility at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) in Spain3, has a solar field composed of 11 parabolic trough collectors with a north-south-oriented rotating axis and a total 2 reflective surface of 2 750 m . The 11 collectors are each made up of 12m long by 5.7m wide reflective parabolic trough modules connected in series in one 550m long row. Fig 2: Picture of a close-up of a parabolic trough – Eurotrough Fig 3: Picture of dish/Stirling – Eurodish 3 Project DISS-phase II: Final Report, CIEMAT 4 Concentrating solar power in 2001, SolarPACES ISBN 84-7834-427-6). summary report, Tyner, Klob, Geyer and Romero. 9
  10. 10. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 10 The central tower system The central tower system is somewhat different in control systems. It does not produce electricity, but that the solar collector field is composed of several instead is used for other applications that require hundred individual, large sun tracking flat plane mirrors, high temperatures, such as the production of methane called heliostats. These heliostats track the path of the and materials testing, for example, the testing of sun throughout the day ands focus the rays on to the thermal shields of space vehicles simulating re-entry solar receiver, see figure 4. The solar receiver can be into the atmosphere. an area of a few metres square which is located on the tower at a height of between 50 to 100 m according Grid connection does not pose technical problems for to the level of concentrated radiation to be collected. CSP because in CSP plants the electricity generation In these systems, a working fluid, either high- utilises standard components from the power temperature synethic oil or molten salt is pumped industries. through the receiver where it is heated to 550°C. The heated fluid can then be used to generate steam to produce electricity. The CESA-1 test facility is the only one of its kind in Europe and is located at the Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain. It consists of a solar collector field of 300 heliostats distributed in 16 rows in a northern field, 2 with a combined area of 11 880 m and an 80m high concrete tower. Each heliostat is made up of 12 mechanically cur ved glass mirror facets. This installation is used to demonstrate the feasibility of central tower systems and their components, such as the heliostats, solar receivers, thermal storage and Fig 4: Picture of a heliostat, courtesy of Ciemat, PSA. 10
  11. 11. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 11 Concentrated solar power system installed Applications Current level of CSP installed capacity Concentrated solar power systems can be used for a Between 1984 and 1991, the world’s largest solar range of applications depending upon the energy energy generating system (SEGS), totalling 354MWe, conversion utilised, electricity or heat. However, at was built in the Mojave Desert in California, USA. The present, most systems focus on electricity generation. SEGS consist of nine solar thermal parabolic trough The different types of CSP system, discussed above, plants which can operate in hybrid mode as back-up are suitable for different applications, as shown in using natural gas as fuel. No more than 25% of the figure 5. The parabolic trough collector is the best electricity generated can originate from natural gas. In the solution for applications in the low temperature ranges best years the share of fossil fuels was less than 5%. It such as detoxification, liquid waste recycling and has been operating successfully on a purely commercial heating water. All three systems are suitable for the mid- basis and has been running continuously since it was first temperature range applications, and the central tower commissioned, providing power for 250 000 homes. In is the most suitable system because temperatures of addition, the annual output has increased by 35% as plant more than 1 000°C can be easily sustained. operations have improved over the past ten years and the Solar radiation into HEAT T < 100°C 100°C < T < 300°C 300°C < T < 600°C T > 600°C Chemical production Chemical production Food processing Food and textile Energy carrier Energy carrier Solar cooking processing production, Gas production, House heating Chemical production reforming, Electricity/Steam etc… Electricity/Steam production, production Metal production Parabolic Trough Parabolic Trough Parabolic Trough Parabolic Dish Central Tower Central Tower Fig 5: Applications for CSP systems Where the technology is targeted at medium-to larg- operation and maintenance costs have decreased by 40% scale production of electricity and/or heat, the as a result of private research and development initiatives. intermittent nature of production and the high capital A peak efficiency of 21% has also been reached, with investment cost are disadvantages when compared to annual efficiency running at between 14 and 18%. An current sources of energy such as natural gas. However, annual capacity factor of 24% was proven. The annual the diversity of application, ease of grid connection and capacity factor refers to the fraction of the year when the low CO2 emissions are significant advantages and the rated power is delivered in solar–only mode. technology is currently being considered by power development companies as a means to complement During the last ten years, several projects have begun existing power generation installations. around the world. However, the current economic 11
  12. 12. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 12 CSP costs situation with low fossil fuel and electricity generation The economics of a CSP installation is strongly costs has made the operation of concentrated solar dependent upon its size. The size is defined in terms power plants non viable from a financial perspective. of the power output, but it is also directly related to land As a result, many projects have been forced to area. Nowadays, the minimum size of power plants is terminate due to lack of public financial support. 1MWe for parabolic dish installations, 10MWe for central tower systems, and 50MWe for parabolic trough The infrastructure and the particular legal framework systems. It is likely that the cost of individual parabolic also af fect the economics of an installation. dishes will fall, which will open the market for smaller The infrastructure influences which type and capacity single units with an estimated cost of 5 000 €/kWe. of CSP system to install, and the legal framework For central towers systems and parabolic troughs, determines the final design, the size and the financing, present system costs are already below 3 000 €/kWe, all of which affect the economics. but the likely trend is towards larger installations of between 100MWe and 200MWe which would lead to a With the increasing concern for the environment over the reduction of this cost. Future plants of 1GWe are last decade, in particular related to climate change, feasible if modular designs are utilised; this is several initiatives from governments and public institutions comparable to the size of a nuclear power plant and 2 have gone some way to improving the uptake of renewable would require 17km of desert land area. energy sources as a viable alternative to traditional energy sources, such as coal and oil. The reliability of However, developments in the technology will also renewable energy technologies, including concentrated ensure that the system costs decrease and cost solar power, has increased whilst the costs have fallen. reductions of up to 50% are expected as a result of a Following the results of a cost reduction study in 1999 5, combination of several factors. The costs of a CSP The World Bank established a financing programme, system can, broadly speaking, be split into solar costs through the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), to fund and non-solar costs. Reduction in relation to solar up to 50 million $ of the incremental cost of a costs lies in mass production leading to economies of concentrated solar thermal installation within a scale and in the development of innovative mirror conventional power plant in developing countries. As a systems, the solar collectors which currently constitute result, concentrated solar thermal systems have benefited 30–40 % of the present plant investment costs, along from increased interest from electrical generator with the development of novel optical systems. Non- companies, financing institutions and from governments solar costs will be reduced by the development of around the world. simpler and more efficient heat transport schemes, more efficient power cycles, direct steam generation, In 2003, there was a total of 2.7GWe demonstration integration with conventional systems, and increases projects in the pipeline, which represents more than in steam temperature to improve the efficiency of the 2 10 million m of solar collector field. Most of these steam cycle for electricity generation. projects aim to begin commercial operation before 2010. The total planned investment represents 4.5 billion €, A succession of three Commission funded projects, including 200 million $ of GEF grants and 15 million € DISS, DISS-2 and the INDITEP project6, have been of grants for demonstration projects from the European concentrating efforts on research into direct stream Community’s Fifth Framework Programme for Research. generation in the absorber pipes of parabolic trough collectors, as it is estimated that this development could lead to 26% reduction in the cost of the electricity produced. 5 Cost Reduction Study for Solar Thermal Power 6 Projects funded under the Community’s Fifth Plants; Enermodal Engineering Ltd for the World Framework Programme: DISS Project JOR3-CT95-0058, Bank, 1999. DISS-2 Project JOR3-CT98-0277 and INDITEP Project ENK5-CT-2001-00540. 12
  13. 13. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 13 Community support for concentrated solar power systems One of the declared objectives of the European Union launched a 10.5 M€ R&D programme on high- is to increase of the share of renewable energy sources temperature solar thermal power generation technologies. (RES) in the gross energy consumption to 12% and in electricity generation to 22.1% by 2010, from the In the European Union, research activities were levels of 5.3% and 13.8% respectively (in 1995). dominated during the 1980s by four countries: These targets are set out in the White Paper for a Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Today, only two Community Strategy and Action Plan: Energy for the large test facilities remain in operation: Odeillo (France) Future: Renewable Sources of Energy7. This document and PSA (Spain). In addition, there are several small also sets a target of 1GWe for the installed capacity solar furnace test facilities of 10 to 50kWth capacity of concentrated solar thermal technologies, ocean located in other Member States of the Union. energy systems and enhanced geothermal systems. Odeillo in the French Pyrenees has the world’s most This Strategy and Action Plan is implemented through powerful solar furnace capable of focusing 1MWth and a variety of measures, including the Campaign for reaching temperatures in the range 800°C to 2 500°C. Take-Off8, a detailed programme of demonstration This power is used to study the behaviour of processes and dissemination activities, and the Directive on the and new advanced materials at high temperatures, for promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy, space and environment applications. The energy sources (RES) in the internal electricity market9. European Test Centre for Solar Energy Applications The status of implementation is being monitored by the (PSA), located near Almériá, Spain, is undertaking Commission and levels are increasing. Results showed research into parabolic trough collector technology, that in 2002, the share of RES was 5.1% for con- central receiver technology and solar chemistry, to sumption and 13.4% for electricity generation10. develop new and improved ways to produce solar thermal electricity, and how to exploit the chemical and There is now Community support for concentrated solar thermal possibilities of solar energy for detoxification power technology and several Member States, including of industrial effluents, the synthesis of fine chemical Spain, Italy and Germany, have launched initiatives to products and the desalination of water. support the technology. The Royal Decree 436/2004, approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers on The research topics related to CSP technology covered 13 March 2004, grants different options to the CSP by the Fourth and Fifth Framework Programmes, over generators, giving a range of premiums linked to the the last ten years, represent 22 M€ of European Union average reference tariff for the first 25 years of operation for a maximum unit power of 50MWe. The Spanish Plan for the promotion of renewable energies also has a market objective of 200MWe installed capacity by 2010. Italy has also approved a four-years development programme with a budget of 100M €, under the leadership of ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, and in 2001 Germany Fig 6: Framework programme support for CSP projects M€ 7 Communication "Energy for the Future: 9 Directive 2001/77/EC of the European Parliament Renewable Sources of Energy" a White Paper for and of the Council, OJEC L283/33 27.10.2001. a Community Strategy and Action Plan, 10 EurObservER Barometer, 2003 European COM(97) 599 Final. Barometer on Renewable Energies. 8 Energy for the future: Renewable Sources of Energy (Community Strategy and Action Plan) - Campaign for Take-Off, SEC (1999) 504. 13
  14. 14. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 14 contributions and have broadly focused on cost reduction mode and based on volumetric air technology. The and the development of receiver technology. The main project is located near Seville, with 981 heliostats and research areas and projects funded are described in a 90m high tower, and it is predicted that the plant will Section 2 of this document. An additional 15 M€ has achieve an annual electricity production of 19 GWh also been used for demonstration projects under FP5. net, with an installed cost of less than 2 800 €/kW, and a payback time of eight years. The start of operation The main results of these projects include: is planned for early 2006. The project is receiving • proof of the concept of Direct Steal Generation using 5 M€ support from the Commission Fifth Framework parabolic trough collector systems leading to an Programme. estimated cost reduction of 25% in capital costs; The AndaSol project, in Andalusia, Southern Spain, • a new parabolic trough collector structure with 2 costs of less than 200 €/m ; • a new parabolic dish system with unit cost of 5 000 €/kW, assuming a production of 250 units per year; • proof of the concept of a solar gas reforming process; • adaptation of gas turbine technology for use with CSP systems; • the development of a new and better performing central tower receiver; • development of the technology for the production (Courtesy of Flagsol GmbH) of hydrogen and metal as energy carriers. consists of two units of 50MWe solar plants using Following these successes, two demonstration projects parabolic trough collectors with storage capacity. The are now in progress in Spain. One is the PS10 (Planta partners anticipate that the electricity costs resulting Solar 10) project and the other is named AndaSol. from this installation will be 0.15 €/kWh, with a saving of 350 000 tonnes of CO2 annually in Spain11 and the creation of 116 permanent jobs in the region. The estimated project cost is 400 M€. The star t of operation is planned for early 2006 and a second and third site have already been reserved for project replication. The Commission Fifth Framework Programme is supporting the completion of one of the units with 5 M€. The parabolic trough collectors used in the AndaSol project are based upon a design developed in a previous Commission Framework Programme funded (Courtesy of Solùcar) project, the EuroTrough project, described in Section 2. The objective of the PS10 project is to design, construct AndaSol will validate this new trough design and should and operate, on a commercial basis, a 10 MWe central show that an installed cost of less than 2 500 €/kW tower system producing electricity in a grid-connected is feasible. 11 R. Arringhoff, M. Geyer et al; AndaSol 50 MW Solar plants with 9 hour storage for Southern Spain; SolarPACES 2002. 14
  15. 15. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 15 Potential of concentrated solar power systems Contrar y to its sister technology photovoltaics, Mediterranean countries13. A further study for the concentrated solar thermal requires a direct line of light World Bank in 199914 estimated the long-term annual to the Sun to function at peak efficiency. Global solar installation rate to be 2GWe. Electricity costs from irradiance consists of a combination of direct and concentrated solar power systems have reduced by over diffuse radiation. Solar thermal power plants can only 50% in the last 15 years and are now estimated at 0.08 operate using the direct irradiance, whereas – 0.1 €/kWh for a plant operating in a high insolation photovoltaic technology can use both direct and indirect region such as a desert15. However, these studies only radiation. Therefore, full exploitation of the CSP included systems which generated electricity and not technology is limited to those geographical regions those that generated process heat. where the annual direct irradiation levels are high; the so-called Sun-belt area, where the annual horizontal The European Commission Green Paper “Towards a 2 irradiation levels are between 1800 kWh/m and European strategy for the security of energy supply”16 2 2500 kWh/m . estimated that 50% of the heat demand for European industrial processes is at a temperature of below 250°C. Concentrated solar thermal systems can provide heat at these temperatures, and can therefore contribute to providing secure energy supply for the Union. The results of a joint IEA/EC workshop, in March 2002, highlighted that concentrated Fig 7: Economically viable regions for CSP (shown in orange) solar thermal systems are suitable for use in process applications ranging from This area covers mainly desert zones and includes the food/beverage sector to the textile and chemical many developing countries. In theory, a fairly small area sectors. Drying processes, evaporation, pasteurising, of the Sahara desert could be used to provide enough sterilising, cleaning and washing, chemical and electricity to supply the whole of Europe. CSP systems biochemical reactors, and general heating of processes could be utilised to harness this power, but more are all suitable applications for solar thermal systems. research is needed to assess the practical issues in However, to realise this potential, the cost of the heat order to be able to realise the full economic potential. produced needs to fall to be comparable with that from conventional systems, currently 0.01 €/kWh. In 1996, the market potential for electricity generation systems using concentrated solar power technology was The POSHIP project17, a Community funded project estimated, for the Mediterranean area alone, to be designed to assess the potential of using concentrated approximately 23GWe by 202512. About two-thirds solar power systems for generating low-temperature of this economic potential is in the Nor thern heat for industrial heat processes, showed that with 12 DG XVII Expert Group (1996), Assessment of 15 Tyner, Klob, Geyer and Romero; Concentrating Solar Solar Thermal Power Plant Technologies, Power in 2001, Solar PACES. European Commission, Brussels. 16 EC Green Paper, „Towards a European strategy for 13 H. Klaiss and F. Staiss: „Solar Thermal Power the security of energy supply“, November 2000 Plants for the Mediterranean Area“, COM(2000)769. Springer Verlag, 1992. 17 The POSHIP project (funded by the Fifth Framework 14 Cost reduction study for solar thermal power Programme for Energy, Environment and Sustainable plants, World Bank, 1999. Development), project NNE5-1999-0308. 15
  16. 16. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 16 the state-of-the art technology in the Iberian peninsula, reduced and confidence in the technology will grow. The for applications below 60°C, heat costs in the range group has already received support from financial and of 0.03 to 0.05 €/kWh are obtained, and at governmental bodies. The table below shows a list of temperatures between 60 and 150°C, the cost is projects currently in progress worldwide. For some of 0.05 to 0.1 €/kWh. The energy cost for German these, further development phases are already planned. conditions is almost double, mainly due to the different The 10kWe EuroDish system, located in Seville (Spain), irradiation levels further north in Europe. became the first Spanish and the first EU solar thermal generator to connect to the grid on 24 March 2004. The market potential for high-temperature applications With a power purchase contract under the new Spanish is still unknown, but early research shows promising royal decree, a follow-up 1 MWe plant project is now results. For example, the Spanish zinc smelters being planned. produced 385 million tonnes of zinc in 2001. Using concentrated solar power systems to provide the high temperature heat needed for the zinc smelting process could theoretically result in an environmentally clean and CO2 neutral process18. Meanwhile, CSP industries and proponents are pushing the introduction of CSP electricity power plants. Since 1995, several projects worldwide have been ongoing, but have been severely slowed down by legal and financial frameworks. In 2002, a group of CSP industries proposed a Global Market Initiative with a clear objective to install 5 000MWe by 2015. With this installed capacity, the cost of CSP energy will be Fig 8: Status of CSP projects worldwide, June 2004. 18 Solar Carbothermic Production of Zn and Power Generation via a ZnO-Zn-cyclic Process, C. Wiecker for SOLZINC- Consortium, (funded by the Fifth Framework Programme for energy, environment and sustainable development), Project ENK6-CT-2001-00512. 16
  17. 17. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 17 Research and technological development needs for concentrated solar thermal systems Concentrated solar power technologies still need Why is another resource assessment study needed? fur ther research to overcome non-technical and Solar radiation maps are well known and available, but technical barriers. CSP projects require a long-term view they do not always provide policy-makers and in the same way as traditional energy producing plants, developers with the real information needed to exploit and therefore benefit from stable policies and continuity the full economic potential of CSP. To install a CSP of legal and financial frameworks, ideally favourable for plant, a project developer needs to know the average CSP. Cost reduction will result from technical progress. annual available radiation at his location, and also the maximum expected deviations over a 20-year period. The non-technical barriers are mainly financial and/ Furthermore, he also needs to know the land availability, or legal and could be overcome by adequate supporting suitability and access arrangements. Therefore, tools for decision-making. Barriers include difficulties resource assessment studies need to link solar with access to the grid, authorisations to build plants, radiation levels with land use and topography. Urban power purchase agreements, access to financing, areas, farm land and forest are not suitable locations. environmental impact assessment approval, and The need for extra access roads, and links to grid and permits to operate. Financial institutions look for water connections will also increase costs. Therefore, per formance guarantees and business plans to a resource map showing only the places where CSP ascer tain the revenue and the sustainability of could be deployed would offer both plant developers projects, and at the moment they view CSP projects and policy-makers a good planning tool. as high risk, resulting in the requirement for high returns on their investment, which could be as much Improving the CSP per formance is and will be a as 25%. A major factor is the cost of the electricity continuous ongoing research effort. First, improving the produced, which is still high. Subsidies in the form of optical and the thermal ef ficiency of the solar “electricity premiums” can significantly alter the components will mean that for the same power delivery, economics of an installation. Policy-makers and law- the solar field can be smaller and therefore the cost makers need to be informed in order to enable of the plant will be lower. Secondly, improving the adequate support policies to be introduced, one of efficiency of the electrical generation system will have which could be premiums such as those set-up in the same effect. For example, operating a gas turbine Spain, as described early. at higher temperatures with CSP will increase efficiency of the turbine. Thirdly, improving operation performance Technical barriers remain to be solved in order to and the operating hours will increase the total energy bring CSP technologies into the energy markets. generated and therefore the revenue of a CSP plant. Nowadays, there are four impor tant hurdles to The elements to achieve a longer operation time are overcome: resource assessment, per formance adequate storage systems, efficient star t-up and improvement, component cost reduction, and operation shutdown procedures, and higher reliability of and maintenance (O&M) cost reduction. Research in components. Finally, hybridisation brings together solar these areas will address the medium-to longer-term energy and other fuel, from fossil origin or from needs of CSP technologies. In the short term, CSP biomass. This concept can help to solve the intermittent project deployment will provide increased confidence nature of CSP output, therefore, increasing the in the technology as well as preliminary cost reduction performance of plants and could lead to further cost through mass production. reductions. 17
  18. 18. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 18 There are also opportunities to reduce the cost of the reduce this further. Improved component design is CSP components themselves. The solar elements of needed to reduce mirror breakages that often occur a CSP plant can represent up to 50% of the total cost under heavy wind loads or strong thermal stresses. due to the low number of such components Limiting breakages will also have the added advantage manufactured today. Mass production will reduce of providing longer operation hours. Limiting water these costs. This could result from the use of the optical requirements could also lead to cost reduction. For components in other industries and diverse example, the use of cooling “dry-towers” will drastically applications, e.g. industrial heat processes. In addition, reduce the water needs. Improved mirror performance costs may be reduced by new state-of-the-art designs, requiring less cleaning also has advantages. development of new materials and new components. Clearly there are research and technological Operation and maintenance costs of the existing CSP development needs that remain to be addressed and plants have already been reduced by 25% over the last which will ultimately result in the improved performance, 15 years, but new technologies will be needed to acceptability and uptake of this exciting technology. Fig 9: CESA-1 Central tower test facility at Plataforma de Almeria, Spain. Fig 10: 1MWth solar furnace test facility at Odeillo, France. 18
  19. 19. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 19 Conclusion Concentrated solar power energy has the potential to new installations, resulting in future cost reductions. make a valuable contribution to the European energy Other research projects investigating various por tfolio. The concept is technically simple and applications, including high-temperature solar chemistry sustainable and the potential lies both in the electricity for hydrogen production, are coming to fruition, which generation sector and in the industrial processing will open new markets. These developments will ensure sector. Fur thermore, it can be expor ted easily to the future viability of CSP. developing countries with high solar radiation, providing them with an opportunity to develop ‘clean’ power However, there is still much to do and even though the generation and industrial facilities. This potential has technology has been largely demonstrated, the been recognised worldwide and European Union European Union faces the challenge of finally bringing Member States have taken initiatives to promote both it to the commercial market. This challenge can only the energy generation and the industrial development be met by deepening collaborative work and by of concentrated solar power technology. strengthening the European Research Area in this field. The achievement of this effort could be illustrated European developers have taken up the challenge to by 2010 with a European installed capacity of 500MWe demonstrate the financial viability of the technology and and with the technical demonstration of an industrial- to widen the range of applications. The two commercial sized solar-enhanced fuel installation. power plants currently being built in Spain, with a total installed capacity of 110MWe, should strengthen the position of the European CSP industr y in the worldwide electricity generation market and encourage Fig 11: Eurotrough collector under test at the KJC powerplant in USA, courtesy of Flagsol GmbH. 19
  20. 20. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 21 RESEARCH AREAS 1994-2004 21
  21. 21. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 22 Solar Trough: Direct Steam Generation – DSG Challenges In conventional solar electric generating system Thirdly, component improvements identified (SEGS) plants, parabolic trough collectors are during manufacture and testing were evaluated. used to concentrate the solar radiation, with Finally, an economic assessment of the Abstract synthetic oil as the heat transfer medium. These plants have already improved their efficiencies and technology was per formed which led to the development of a large-scale prototype plant. lowered Operation and Maintenance (O&M) costs, The European Commission, through the The main challenges today for resulting in a reduction of electricity generation Directorate-General for Research, has financed concentrated solar power plants are to cost to 0.10-0.15 €/kWh. Direct Steam Gener- three research projects related to DSG, spanning improve operating performance and reduce ation (DSG) offers a new and innovative means the Fourth and Fifth Framework Programmes. The costs, both in terms of capital investment to achieve even further cost reduction. projects represent a continuous line of research and operation and maintenance (O&M), to The technical challenges were to prove the and development. The first project, “DIrect Solar be able to generate electricity at less than feasibility of stable two-phase flow operation Steam” (DISS), looked at the design of a real-size 0.08 €/kWh. Three consecutive projects mode using water, to gain information on O&M 300kWth test loop, the design of a control have pursued this objective by developing costs and procedures, to test the three basic scheme for the three main operating modes and testing new and more efficient steam operating modes (once-through, re- (once-through, re-circulation and injection) and concepts for parabolic trough collectors circulation and injection) at three dif ferent evaluated the potential of solar collectors for using water as the heat transfer medium operating pressures, and to identify fur ther increased ef ficiency and reduced cost. In technology improvements. addition, an economic assessment of the through Direct Steam Generation (DSG). The approach was to test sequentially each step technology was undertaken. The second project, of the process. First, a single row of 11 solar “DIrect Solar Steam – Phase 2” (DISS-2), DSG in the solar trough collectors offers a collectors, capable of producing 300kWth, was investigated the three operation modes, substantial reduction in cost due to the built with water as the heat transfer fluid within developed and implemented components reduced need for equipment and a test loop to extract steam. The row was divided following the improvements identified in the first maintenance when compared to project, and defined promising plant concepts for into water evaporation and superheated steam conventional technology, which typically a DSG commercial power plant into either sections. In the first section, the water is uses synthetic oils as the heat transfer fluid combined cycle plants or SEGS-like plants. The evaporated through nine solar collectors. In the that needs heat exchangers to produce the third project, “INtegration of DIrect solar steam second section of three collectors, superheated steam, incurring additional cost. steam, i.e. steam at temperature above 400°C, Technology for Electricity Production” (INDITEP), is produced. Secondly, the three dif ferent continued the solar component improvements, The first project, DISS, focused on the operation modes (once-through, re-circulation developed new components able to operate at development, the construction and the and injection), and pressures were then tested. high temperature, increased the test loop by commissioning of a 300kWth DSG test loop. In the once-through mode, water goes once 200m to further study the re-circulation mode of through both sections. In the re-circulation mode, operation and, lastly, designed a 5MWe solar-only The follow-up project, DISS-2, tested the a given amount of water is taken after the first plant. three basic steam generation processes (once-through, re-circulation and injection). section and re-injected at the beginning of the All the projects maintained a balance between loop. In the injection mode, a given amount of experimentation, theoretical development and INDITEP, the third project, is now water is taken after the first section and re- economic evaluation. The project team consists developing and testing new components in injected at dif ferent points in the water of a partnership between utilities, component order to increase the operational evaporation part. Re-injecting hot water into a cold manufacturers, plant developers and researchers temperature by 50°C to 500°C, to improve water part is thought to improve the process. and has remained intact since the outset, the performance of the steam turbine. 22
  22. 22. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 23 Research Areas INFORMATION Project DISS Reference: JOR3-CT95-0058 Duration: 35 months Total cost: 4.280.996 € EC funding: 2.000.000 € Status: Completed Partners: - CIEMAT (ES), Co-ordinator - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DE) - Pilkington Solar International GmbH (DE) Progress to date - Iberdrola (ES) ensuring continuity of the work. Ciemat (research) Construction and commissioning of the 300kWth - Union Electrica Fenosa (ES) - Empresa Nacional de Electricidad (ES) was the coordinator for DISS and DISS-2, the two solar loop, the world’s largest and first prototype - Instalaciones Abengoa (ES) first projects; Iberinco (utility – research branch) of its kind, was completed in 1998. It is located - Siemens AG (DE) is now the coordinator of the follow-up INDITEP at the Plataforma Solar de Almériá in Spain. The - ZSW (DE) project. The change of co-ordinator for the final preliminary economic assessment using this project is an indication of the successful test loop technology, when extrapolated to an Project DISS-2 80MWe generation plant, showed the possibility Reference: JOR3-CT98-0277 development of the work, as it has moved from Duration: 37 months being research led to being industry led, with the of reducing electricity generation costs by 26%. Total cost: 5.592.620 € focus now on application of the technology to a In 2001, super-steam generation at 450°C was EC funding: 2.500.000 € real situation and demonstration at a larger scale. successfully demonstrated under real solar Status: Completed Partners: conditions in the three operation modes. - CIEMAT (ES), Co-ordinator Expected Impact The tests showed that the re-circulation mode was - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und DSG technology offers a means of producing high- the easiest to operate. The test-loop Raumfahrt (DE) was operated for more than 3 600 hours over - Pilkington Solar International GmbH (DE) quality steam from a renewable source: solar 37 months, averaging approximately 1 200 hours - Iberdrola (ES) radiation. It is, therefore, free of greenhouse - INITEC (ES) gas emissions. The power range varies from per year. A commercial installation is expected - ENDESA (ES) 500kWth to more than 200MWth. The technology to average 2 500 hours per year. Operational - Instalaciones Abengoa (ES) is both simple and advanced. Its simplicity lies experience has reduced star t-up time from - ZSW (DE) in the solar collector characteristics and 1:45 hours to around 1 hour. Improvements have also been made on the sun-tracking controller, on Project INDITEP materials. Its complexity lies in the control Reference: ENK5-CT-2001-00540 systems and operating strategies. Because of its the mirrors, on the solar receiver coatings and, Duration: 36 months in addition, a secondary stage concentrator was power range, of its technical specificity, and of Total cost: 5.397.570 € its cost, this technology is well adapted for tested. The updated cost analysis has shown that EC funding: 2.698.785 € industrial applications. The potential market for the target electricity cost could be achieved with Status: In Progress a reduction of 15% in capital investment costs and Partners: the technology is within the sun-belt area of - Iberdrola Ingenieria Consultoria (ES), both developed and developing countries, where global efficiency increase of 15%. The same Co-ordinator there is a high annual average solar irradiation, analysis also showed that an increase in the - CIEMAT (ES) above 1 600kWh/m . 2 steam temperature to 550°C would increase the - Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und global efficiency by a further 4%. Raumfahrt (DE) The INDITEP project is focusing on the - Flabeg Solar International (DE) decentralised generation market, with the The INDITEP project which started in July 2002 - INITEC (ES) development of a small size module, in the increased the test-loop length to 200m, enabling - Instalaciones Abengoa (ES) range 5 to 10MWe. Such a small size module 2.3MWth to be generated. Tests started in Spring - ZSW (DE) 2004 and the investigations to improve the - GES (ES) would be cheaper and easier to implement, offering an opportunity for a larger number of solar collector components are progressing well. Contact point: installations, which should reduce risk, lead to The preliminary design of a pre-commercial DSG Fernando Rueda Jiminez economies of scale, and ensure better visibility. plant is also under way. Tel: +34 913 83 31 80 Fax: +34 913 83 38 86 23
  23. 23. Solar 28-10-04 new defV03 29/10/04 17:48 Page 24 Solar Trough: Collector Development Challenges The challenges of the two European research a collector assembly consisting of the new design projects, EUROTROUGH and EUROTROUGH II, parabolic trough elements in parallel to the were to re-think parabolic trough collector design existing LS3 parabolic trough elements. In this Abstract originating from the 1980s, and to build a cheaper and more efficient modern version. Traditional way, tests under the same conditions could be done on both designs at the same time, and solar collector assembly is composed of 16, six comparisons of performance made. Today’s commercial solar thermal power meter long parabolic trough solar collectors, In both projects the consortium included partners plants use parabolic trough collectors making a 100m length solar collector assembly, with strong expertise in concentrated solar power designed during the 1980s. which is controlled by a single drive pylon in the technologies, market deployment and in design These collectors are used together and centre. In a solar field, the solar collector and manufacturing processes. This combination make up the solar field of a power plant; assembly is considered to be a single unit, which guaranteed that the new design would have this element alone represents almost 50% moves in unison following the sun. better performance and be easily manufactured of the total investment cost needed. The approach taken in the projects was to in large quantities. From the start, the projects Therefore, in order to reduce the electricity address the challenges in two stages. The were designed in such a way as to ensure that generation cost to less than 0.08 €/kWh, EUROTROUGH project focused on the design of new design could be easily exploited. A parabolic the price of the parabolic trough collectors, the individual solar collector element to improve trough receiver manufacturer joined the and consequently the solar field, must be optical performance under wind loads and reduce consortium for the second phase project. costs during manufacture and assembly. In reduced. Two projects, EUROTROUGH and EUROTROUGH II, the aims were to continue the EUROTROUGH II, are European research improvement of the basic design and to extend projects designed to tackle this. Approach and Results the length of a parabolic trough solar collector assembly by 50% to 150m. The research activities focused on the theoretical Their main target was to reduce the and experimental analysis of the performance of The European Commission, through the installation costs of a solar field to below a 150m parabolic trough collector assembly 2 Directorate-General for Research, financed the 200 €/m for an 80MWe solar thermal using new design parabolic trough elements, two research projects, spanning the Fourth and power plant. The research focused on under various insolation and wind load conditions. Fifth Framework Programmes, FP4 and FP5. In several areas, including extending the Comparisons were made with the conventional the first project, EUROTROUGH I, the basic design solar trough collector assembly. The collector length, improving wind induced design, called LS3, as used in existing projects covered many elements including the optical losses, reducing critical stress of concentrated solar thermal plants in the USA, development of design concepts, collectors and mirror facets and the demonstration of a was investigated in a wind tunnel and its entire fields. The detailed design, engineering, thermal collector peak efficiency of 60% at behaviour simulated using advanced computer procurement and manufacturing of materials normal incident design radiation of models. Then, a new concept was designed, and components for the test loop extension 2 850W/m . Increasing the collector length built and tested. In the second project, were also considered and new measurement reduces the need for central collector EUROTROUGH II, the prototype was extended and methodology and procedures were developed. tracking drives in the solar field. Reducing then tested. New optical characterisation techniques of flux the stress on the mirror facets will induce In order to qualify the performance of the new density measurement and photogrammetry for less mirror breakage from wind load and design, comparisons needed to be made with the efficiency analysis were also developed and therefore improve performance and reduce LS3 parabolic trough collector design. The tested. A complete new data acquisition system maintenance costs. consortium chose to use an existing installation was installed and techno-economic case studies at the Plataforma Solar de Almériá and installed for implementation in the sunbelt countries were 24