CSP parabolic troughs

With a global leadership in concentrated solar power (CSP) systems and technologies, Aalborg CSP A/S was the first company to bring the CSP parabolic trough technology - that is typically used in sunny desert areas - to Northern Europe for the production of district heating.

In order to achieve highest efficiency in the European climate, the solar-thermal technology has been continuously optimized contributing to an award-winning design that maximizes yield of energy for hot water production as well as for combined heat and power generation. The solution received the “Greenest district heating solution of the year” award in 2012.

Maximizing solar heat with CSP

The CSP parabolic trough technology applies sun-tracking curved mirrors (called parabolic troughs) to maximize the sun’s energy and consequently the efficiency of heat production. The sunrays are captured and reflected onto a receiver pipe filled with a heat transfer fluid (water or thermal oil) that is located in the central point of the troughs. Here, the concentration and a significant better utilization of the sun’s energy is obtained. 

The flexibility of the technology enables high temperature generation for power production as well as lower temperature generation for heat production. 

Tracking the sun's daily circuit

The parabolic troughs use a custom designed sun tracking technology, where a computer calculates and calibrates the troughs into the required position in order to receive the most radiation of sunrays throughout the day.

The sun tracking technology achieves a very high efficiency per m2 mirrors. District heating plants can therefore optimize the use of their land intended for technology placement.

Too much sunshine?

The sun-tracking technology is calibrating the troughs to obtain maximum solar radiation, but the mirrors can also be defocused or the system can be shut down entirely if required. By doing so, the CSP technology is avoiding typical problems like heat overproduction. Therefore, CSP plants for district heating can be overdimensioned thereby allowing better heat distribution throughout the entire year, without the use of seasonal storage. This is unique compared to conventional flat panels that do not allow the system to be defocused.

Strong performance and long lifetime

The Aalborg CSP parabolic trough technology reliably produces energy even during average wind speed of 15 m/s. Moreover, the receiver pipe is surrounded by a special glass vacuum tube that has a lower loss of production compared to other constructions.This solution have been tested and verified in a commercial setting in Denmark for instance, where CSP in combination with flat panels today provides hot water generation for district heating purposes.

The CSP system requires a very limited amount of maintenance and have a life expectancy of over 25 years. Similar facilities were established in USA back in the 1980s and have been successfully producing green energy ever since.

Did you know...

...that AalborgCSP is the first company to integrate the CSP parabolic trough technology with a biomass-organic rankine cycle plant for combined heat and power generation?
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