Solar-thermal power plant technologies

TSK Flagsol considers itself one of the pioneers of modern, industrial solar-thermal power plants. The most prevalent power plants are the so-called parabolic trough power plants, whose characteristic elements are collectors equipped with parabolically shaped mirrors. With regard to these collectors, Flagsol holds a licence developed within the scope of a co-operation (SKALET) and has established
its own further development (HelioTrough) with improved optical, thermal, and mechanical characteristics substantially reducing the levelized energy costs (LEC).

With solar-thermal power plants, electricity is generated by converting solar radiation into thermal energy. The implementation and cost effectiveness of each individual CSP technology (concentrated solar power) depends on amultitude of factors like scalability, the possibilities of hybrid operation, the geographical site, the energy transfer, the topographic situation, the materials, and operation and maintenance (O&M).

At present, several technologies are already considered ready for being implemented. In this context, parabolic trough systems have proven to be the most efficient and most
economic solar-thermal power plant technology available for the industrial electricity generation. That is why TSK Flagsol mainly focuses its activities on the parabolic trough technology, while profoundly studying other promising technologies.
Efficient and cost-effective
Today parabolic trough power plants still feature the most efficient and most cost-effective technology for the generation of electricity from solar energy in power plants.
Even in comparison with conventional power plants, they constitute an interesting alternative for the covering of peak load periods today.
Thermal energy can be stored
Parabolic trough power plants allow for the cost-effective and efficient storage of thermal energy. Thermal storage enables solar-thermal power plants to supply electricity even at night. This way, they considerably contribute to power system stability and to the security of energy supplies for industry and households.
Almost unlimited availability of appropriate areas
On a worldwide basis, there are more than enough vast deserts and regions with a semi-dry climate. Less than three percent of the Sahara would already suffice to cover the world's demand for energy with solar electricity.
Flexible implementation
In hybrid power plants, solar energy can be combined with other forms of electricity generation like natural gas or biogas. This means that parabolic trough power plants are able
to generate electricity 24 hours a day according to plan in a reliable way.
Proven technology
At present, the parabolic trough features the only technology of solar thermal having proven its efficiency over a number of years already. In California, a total of nine parabolic trough power plants have been commercially generating environmentally-friendly electricity for approximately 25 years. These plants demonstrate the reliability and sustainability of their technical components in an impressive
way. TSK Flagsol is continuously working on further projects in order to improve this technology.