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Development of a low cost European desalination and process heat collector


1. Detailed EUROTrough design including procurement specs, manufacturing drawings, assembly drawings and operating instructions for the full size EuroTrough collector (SBP):
- Detailed technical description and specifications of all components of the new Solar Trough Collector Design;
- Detailed results of the structural behaviour of the new structure under all operation conditions by FEM calculations;
- Construction and workshop drawings of all collector parts;
- Design drawings of all required collector manufacturing jigs;
- Design drawings of the collector field assembling and erection jig as far as assembling procedures and required tools;

2. Full size prototype of half a 100m EUROTrough Collector Module (Inabensa/DLR).
Basing on the calculations, descriptions, specifications, design drawings and workshop drawings the prototype of the EuroTrough solar collector was fabricated and assembled at PSA, Almería.
The prototype collector was connected to an existing test installation at PSA which comprises:
- Heat transfer loop with Thermal Oil Syltherm 800 (silicone oil) for operation up to 400(0)C;
- plant components pump, cooler, expansion vessel;
- measurement and control systems for temperature, volume flow, pressure, power, local controller;
- a parallel reference collector (LUZ LS-3, from DISS project).
The EuroTrough prototype, which is 50 meters long half of the collector, has been mounted in east-west direction to facilitate the performance testing. The irradiation is entering in orthogonal direction once a day, so performance data can be extracted daily. The testing of the collector is primarily dedicated to thermal performance and operation & maintenance experience.
In the follow-up project (ERK6-CT1999-00018) an extended test phase includes more detailed thermal and mechanical properties investigation of the collector structure;

3. Solar Process Heat Market Assessment (Fichtner Solar).
This task deals with Market Introduction and Dissemination. Within this task, Fichtner was responsible for assessment of industrial process heat requirements in Mediterranean countries segregated by temperature range and suitability for solar process heat generation, based on published sources and detailed investigations for Egypt as a typical country.
Industrial Process heat is mainly used in the 80 - 150(0)C temperature range. There is another major use at temperature above 300(0)C, this is mainly in the metal sector.

Experience gained with the various evacuated tube and parabolic trough collectors indicates that collector performance mainly depends on how high the operating temperature is above ambient and the intensity of the incident radiation. The thermal output of different collector options has been determined for the solar conditions of Cairo.

Without concentration collector performance drops drastically for higher temperatures. For Industrial process heat application a concentrating collector like the Eurotrough is required;

4. Parabolic Metallic Reflector Design Concept (Ciemat)
- Theoretical study, by FEM calculations, of structural behaviour of small (1.2m aperture width) metallic collector with very thin metallic foil (<0.2mm thickness) under stress and non-stretched thin metallic sheet (0.5mm thickness);
- Two small prototypes: one with stretching technology (1.2 m aperture, 2.4m long) and other with non-stretching technology (1.2m aperture, 3.2m long);
- Optimisated procedures in assembly processes for both technologies, assuring a good enough optical quality;

5. Tracking Control Concept (Ciemat):
- Detailed tracking control design, with the optimisation in local control (electronic circuitry, communications, cost), optical encoder selection and solar vector mathematical algorithm;
- Construction of one tracking control unit and assembly in Euro trough loop at PSA;
- Detailed design of a structural testing device to evaluate collector twisting for different daytimes.
Construction of one structural testing device. It was installed at the collector 11 of DISS loop at PSA.
1. Objectives

In this project the most active solar thermal European industrial partners and research organisations in the field of solar parabolic trough technology want to join their forces, aiming at the development of an advanced, low cost European parabolic trough collector for electricity generation and process heat applications. Details in the industrial objectives are: the industrial development of a new European design of parabolic trough collector modules, that incorporate newest features in lightweight construction, drive technology, control technology and concentrator technology with collector weights below 30kg/m2,

-the development of a standard interface for different absorber types: -Iow pressure saturated steam absorber for applications below 200 C . Iow pressure mineral oil absorber for applications from 200 C up to 300 C -Iow pressure synthetic oil absorber for applications from 300 C up to 400 C the achievement of a mass manufacturing, transport and assembly concept, that allows the economic implementation of parabolic trough collectors for electricity generation, desalination and process heat applications ranging from a few MW up to several hundred MW,
-definition of suitable applications in the field of process heat, desalination and electrical power generation,
-the maximum possible automation of operation,
-the minimisation of O&M requirements,
-reduction of solar collector costs below 200 USD/m2,
-a possibility to integrate the solar heat source into co-generation processes.

2. Technical Approach

The following approach will be taken to achieve the R&D objectives of this project:

1. Two alternative collector structure concepts will be developed and analysed for their cost and performance;
2. One optimum design concept will be selected, for which the detailed procurement specifications and manufacturing drawings will be elaborated; 3. Up to 500m2 of representative collector segment will be manufactured and integrated into the existing solar facilities at Plataforma Solar de Almerfa depending on the final design of the collector segment and its cost; 4. A testing program will be conducted, to qualify the prototype experimentally and validate the performance prediction models; 5. During manufacturing and erection, costs will be carefully tracked in order to validate the cost predictions;
6. Standard, modular system concepts for commercial applications will be developed;
7. Desalination and other process heat applications will be identified that are feasible for the use of solar thermal energy.

3. Expected Achievements

For all partners, the achievement of the above stated objectives should result in the following industrial benefits:

-obtain world-wide leadership in renewable electricity generation and co-generation systems,
-obtain an own, full European parabolic trough design,
-obtain European system know-how for offering parabolic trough fields to Worldbank/GEF RFQs, obtain a solar
concentrating technology suitable for the process heat market starting from a few MW.

Call for proposal

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C/ manuel velasco pando 7
41007 Sevilla

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EU contribution
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Participants (5)