SENER and Dow will display their solutions for the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) market at Expoquimia.

The engineering and technology group SENER and the multinational chemical corporation Dow will display their solutions for the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) market at Expoquimia. The international chemistry show will be held at the Fira de Barcelona trade grounds between September 30 and October 3.

The project ‘Smart Chemistry, Smart Future’ has four themes, one of which is ‘Resources: Energy & Water’. It is here that SENER will present one of its key technologies in the field of renewable energy, the SENERtrough® parabolic trough. Designed and patented by SENER, today it is one of the most widely used collectors in solar plants across the globe. SENER and Dow work together on numerous CSP projects, a sector in which the two companies are industry leaders and supply solar plants both in Spain and other countries with emerging markets.

The SENERtrough® parabolic trough technology enables the concentration of solar radiation in a central tube (HCE – heat collector element), through which there is a continuous flow of heat transfer fluid. A high-precision guidance system with adequate software and various sensors (thermal, flow, optical, etc.) follows the sun East to West over the course of each day. The fluid, which increases in temperature by 100 degrees, is used to vaporize water. The water’s expansion in a steam turbine works an electric generator that sends power to the grid.

With its advanced technology that produces DOWTHERM™ A (the purest heat transfer fluid on the market), its production capacity, its demand-driven supply chain and logistical capacities, globally Dow is the best partner to reinforce the success of CSP clients and the sector’s growth in the long term.

The SENERtrough® collector comprises the following elements: a central body that rotates on a torque tube, arms to connect the mirrors to the mentioned torque tube and supports that join the HCE pipe— through which the fluid flows — to the torque tube. For all of these elements, the material used is carbon steel due to its good cost/strength ratio.

The SENERtrough® system is based on SENER’s own technology, patented by the company almost ten years ago, it has been installed in over 20 concentrated solar power plants. It offers design benefits (materials, weight, size and complexity of mounting in the field) that have made it one of the most sought-after systems in the sector, due to its reductions in solar field costs with high efficiency values maintained. Indeed, in this regard the system has been the subject of improvements, and SENERtrough®-2 is already on the market. This latest version means fewer collectors are needed to obtain the same amount of energy from the solar field. The reduction in the number of collectors, the optimization of basic parameters (aperture size, focal distance and length) and the design of its components represent a considerable saving in the solar field, and consequently, in the total investment cost for the facilities.

SENER’s technological advances have been used in many plants for other clients, but also in its own projects through its subsidiary, Torresol Energy. As a matter of fact, this subsidiary brought into commercial operation the world’s most advanced solar power plant, Gemasolar, the only plant capable of uninterrupted 24 hour power production, thanks to SENER technology. Power plants Valle 1 and Valle 2 also have innovative technology; they use SENERtrough® parabolic troughs and were the test field for SENERtrough®-2, which SENER is currently marketing with excellent results.