More Efficient Collector Design.
Solar-thermal power plants are designed to have a lifecycle of at least 40 years. High plant quality enhances investment security and lowers operating costs. Profitability can be improved either by enhancing plant efficiency or by lowering investment costs. As a result, the Company’s technology subsidiary Flagsol seeks to develop new collector generations that are both more efficient in converting solar radiation into heat and more cost-efficient due to their construction design. The HelioTrough is the Solar Millennium Group’s newest collector generation. It was developed by Flagsol GmbH, a joint venture of Solar Millennium AG and Ferrostaal AG, together with partners. Its new design and specific geometry make it even more cost-efficient than the preceding Skal-ET model. In autumn 2009, the company assembled a HelioTrough test loop and integrated it into a commercial parabolic trough power plant in the U.S. These test operations successfully demonstrated that the characteristics of the HelioTrough have improved over those of the preceding collector generation under normal operating conditions.
The HelioTrough research and development project was subsidized by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety during the development phase, while the U.S. Department of Energy supported the demonstration project in California. In the summer of 2010, the HelioTrough collector was awarded an innovation prize by industry experts. More information on the HelioTrough
Technological Quantum Leap – Automation of Collector Production HelioTrough
A more efficient collector design for parabolic trough power plants was developed by the Skal-ET research project under the consortial management of Solar Millennium. An 800 meter long test chain of the new collectors was then integrated into a commercial solar power plant in California. Efficiency increased by ten percent compared to the previous generation of collectors. The Skal-ET research project was concluded in 2003. The new Skal-ET collector design has been implemented in Spain in the Andasol power plants and in the hybrid power plant in Egypt's Kuraymat. More information about the Skal-ET project