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ABB concept to revolutionise concentrating solar power plants

ABB has launched a new concept for turnkey concentrating solar power plants based on a low-cost, highly efficient and highly scalable technology that uses considerably less material, land and water than any other CSP technology, says the company in a statement.

ABB and Novatec Solar, a company in which ABB is a shareholder, are together able to offer scalable turnkey solutions for revolutionary concentrating solar power (CSP) plants that are extremely quick, easy and cost effective to build and operate.

Based on Novatec Solar’s patented Fresnel-based CSP technology, the plants use 70% less material, require 40% less land and consume 80% less water per megawatt generated than parabolic trough designs. This is achieved through an innovative solar boiler design for direct steam generation based on linear Fresnel collector technology. Instead of the curved mirrors of a parabolic trough, the collectors use flat glass mirrors to reflect solar energy onto a receiver in which water is vaporised directly to produce superheated steam at temperatures of up to 500˚C and a pressure of 100 bars.

By using standard materials such as sheet plates and glass mirrors, the automated mass production of key components in locally erected production facilities, a fast and accurate assembly process, highly efficient land use, and a robotic cleaning system that uses very little water, the cost of building and operating the plants is kept exceptionally low, features that offer huge potential for global deployment.

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