Higher efficiency for receivers thanks to a new coating. Noble gas capsules extend service lives. Optimistic view of the future of the CSP market.
SCHOTT Solar is extending its leading position in the CSP receiver market by offering a significantly improved product design. SCHOTT Solar will be introducing an optimized SCHOTT PTR® 70 receiver that sets new standards for efficiency and long-term stability at Solarpaces, the world’s leading conference on solar thermal power plant technology (CSP). Solarpaces is being held this year from September 20 – 23, 2011, in Granada, Spain.
CSP power plants convert solar radiation into heat, which then generates electricity inside a steam turbine. The absorption capacity of the CSP receivers represents a decisive criterion for the efficiency of a power plant. The new coating that is being used in the SCHOTT PTR® 70 increases the absorption rate of the receiver to over 95.5 percent. At the same time, the emission level of the heat radiation sinks to under 9.5 percent. Thanks to the new design of the ends of the receivers and the extension of the active length to 96.7 percent of its entire length, the receiver now absorbs more solar radiation and converts it into heat. Furthermore, new, optional reflectors at the ends of the receivers ensure that even more solar radiation can be used.
Besides these increases in performance, the durability of the receivers is also vital to the economic success of a solar thermal power plant. To keep heat losses low even after many years of operation, SCHOTT Solar has developed and introduced noble gas capsules for the first time ever that are to be integrated into the vacuum region of the receivers and may be opened at any time during the service life of the power plant. Noble gas helps keep heat losses permanently low and allows for the receivers to continue to be operated in a highly efficient manner.
SCHOTT Solar will continue to contribute to cost reductions and the success of solar thermal power plant technology by pursuing innovation and increases in efficiency. Each new power plant that connects with the grid clearly shows that CSP is a mature and reliable technology whose success story has really only just started. CSP electricity is extremely valuable because solar thermal power plants are a guarantor for stability within the grid. Unlike other types of renewable energy, the heat collected in solar thermal collector fields can be stored and converted into electricity when energy is actually needed inside the grid. This, in turn, means it is no longer necessary to maintain backup conventional power plants at extremely high costs.