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Parabolic trough plants - top solar thermal technology

At present, parabolic trough plants represent the most efficient and economical technology available to generate electricity from solar energy. This technology has been employed in large-scale installations for more than 20 years, showing its impressive potential on a day-to-day basis.

A parabolic trough plant consisting of a solar field and a conventional power block produces environmentally-friendly solar electricity within a scope of 30 to more than 250 megawatts. This will supply anywhere from 100,000 and 1,000,000 people with electrical energy in a safe, reliable and clean way.

Parabolic trough-shaped mirrors in the solar field concentrate the solar radiation onto an absorber tube located in the focus line of the collector. A heat transfer fluid inside the absorber tube is heated by the absorbed solar radiation and produces steam in the power block by means of heat exchangers. From there, the steam is fed into a turbine to generate electricity the way it is done in conventional power plants. With an integrated thermal energy storage system, the supply of electricity can be stored.

Flexible application, integration into existing power plants
As the solar field feeds its thermal energy into a conventional power block, it is possible to extend existing power plants that run on either steam or combined cycle by adding a parabolic trough field. Hence, in hybrid operation they save fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions.

It's likewise possible for parabolic trough plants in hybrid operation to be run by additional fossil or regenerative fuel-powered facilities. This would thus improve the plant's safety and the availability of the supply. Planned electricity production can also be attained through the integration of a thermal energy storage system. With the help of these stores, facilities exclusively powered by solar energy can continue generating electricity at night or on cloudy days.

CSP Solutions Consult furnishes precise technical and financial performance analyses for the layout, design and optimization of parabolic trough power plants by employing highly developed simulation programs.

 

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