On November 22nd, 2012 SCHOTT Solar AG (Mainz, Germany) produced its millionth solar receiver in its facility at Mitterteich (Bavaria).
The receivers are used in concentrating solar power plants (CSP) to convert concentrated solar radiation into heat that is used to produce steam initially, and then to generate electricity inside a steam turbine.
All solar receivers produced by SCHOTT so far lined up would extend for a distance of 4,000 kilometres. Local and federal policy makers attended the ceremony and presented the millionth solar receiver together with officials from the company.
“This important milestone underscores our leading position in the CSP market,” says Dr. Hans-Joachim Konz, a member of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG.
SCHOTT notes that CSP technology is considered to hold great promise for the future because of the possibility of thermal energy storage and therefore a guaranteed stability of the power grid. SCHOTT expects the entire CSP market to account for an annual market volume of EUR 15 billion (USD 19 billion) over the next few years. According to the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, roughly 60 CSP power plants are already connected to the grid in various regions of the world. Another 40 have now reached the construction or concrete planning phase.
By continuing to pursue an ongoing innovation process, SCHOTT will be able to contribute to making CSP technology even more cost-efficient in the future.
Officials from SCHOTT Solar and policy makers celebrated the production of the company’s millionth solar receiver.
“We see potential at many different levels,” Konz notes. “On the one hand, in developing new heat transfer media. Solar fields will either generate steam directly or use molten salt as a heat transfer medium in the future in order to be able to operate the power plant process at least 500°C and thus achieve higher efficiency.“
„In addition, it looks as if we will be able to use even larger receivers in many of the more recent power plants that are now being planned. This would increase the active surface area and thus enable the receiver to convert even more sunlight into heat. Nevertheless, we also see immense potential in optimizing the solar field, in other words improving how the receiver, mirrors and support structures interact.”
This is how the company plans to help lower the costs of generating solar electricity. SCHOTT is open to working with partners in order to achieve this objective. SCHOTT delivered solar receivers for CSP plants in various countries including Spain, the USA, Morocco and Abu Dhabi.