Solar Thermal

Maintenance-free bearing for CSP power plants

<b>Solglide bearings by Saint-Gobain are maintenance-free for 25 years.</b><br><br><i>Photo: Saint-Gobain</i><br>

The bearings have a thick layer consisting of a fluorpolymeric compound, which is said to have better tribological properties compared with traditional bearings. The new bearings reliably avoid the stick-slip effect that occurs if the static friction is too high. Consequently, the mirrors can follow the sun smoothly and nearly vibration-free.

Solar support programme in California achieves results

Around 70 % of the hot water requirement will now be supplied by solar energy. The system is one of the largest that has so far been installed with the help of the CSI-Thermal programme.

Solar bath tour

<b>Start of the Xolar Solar Bath Tour </b><br><br><i>Photo: cityfoto/mayr </i><br>

With the Tour Xolar wants to entice passers-by to give a little more thought to the topics of water heating and solar energy. To this end, a 600-litre wooden bath tub was set up. Solar collectors heated the water to around 50°C over a period of just four hours, while a PV-driven pump served to fill the tub.

Soleg tests aluminium absorbers

“Once you have overcome the initial obstacles, aluminium tubes present a not insignificant cost benefit. In the end, the correct solar liquid is crucial.” Last year he had a 30 m² large facade collector installed on his company building, which hosts three large absorbers. For two of them the solar liquid runs through aluminium tubes, for the third it runs through copper tubes.

Helioenergy 1 goes online

A second, identical power plant (Helioenergy 2) is still under construction. Construction work on the power plants began in summer 2010. Each power plant is equipped with a solar array of 360 ASTRØ collectors. Like in all other commercial parabolic trough power plants, synthetic oil is also used here as a heat transfer medium and electricity is generated using a conventional turbine.

Quiz fun with Sun & Wind Energy

<b>They were the fastest to answer the quiz questions from solarthermalworld.org: (from the left) Jan Knaack (BSW Solar), Anja Loose (ITW Stuttgart) and Olivier Drücke (Eclareon). </b><br><br><i>Photo: Stephanie Banse</i><br>

This was definitely the case with our quiz, which challenged the trade visitors during the European Solar Thermal Energy Conference ESTEC 2011 in Marseille. The questions related, for example, to a frequently used vacuum-tube type that is named after a city in Australia, or to the year of issuance of the first solar keymark certificate for solar collectors.

Ten years of Termicol

Beginning with just 500 m² of operating area, the company’s founders Julio Castro and Àngel Martinez have now built up a globally operating enterprise. Today, 24 employees work across a 3000 m² operating area in the fields of production, storage, administration and research. Another 12 employees work in sales.

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