Fraunhofer move to cut CSP costs

A Solar Tower Technologies heliostat prototype that allows for a very compact heliostat field design due to its proprietary mechanics and tracking

A Solar Tower Technologies heliostat prototype that allows for a very compact heliostat field design due to its proprietary mechanics and tracking

Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems has teamed up with Solar Tower Technologies (STT) to devise a cost-cutting next-generation concentrating solar power concept.

Being developed under the collaborative HelioPack project, the new system will feature optimised heliostats, improved tracking and control technology for more precise concentration of solar beam radiation, and a new design of receiver.

“In the project we will co-operate closely with our industrial partner to develop technologies contributing to cost reductions,” says Fraunhofer project manager Peter Nitz.

“With the know-how generated in this project, we will be able to offer future customers R&D services to further improve components for solar power towers or to manufacture them at reduced cost.”

STT chief science officer Antoine Bittar adds: “Through this co-operation we want to further develop and strengthen the advantages of the technology: reliability and cost competitiveness.”

HelioPack, set to run for three-and-a-half years, is supported by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

The Fraunhofer institute plans to build a purpose-designed heliostat testing facility for the project in the Freiburg area of southwest Germany.

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