In 2011 Aalborg CSP engaged in cooperation with the visionary Thisted Varmeforsyning in the establishment of a pilot project using concentrated solar power for hot water production. The plant was the first one in the world to use the CSP technology for district heating purposes.


Client:  Thisted Varmeforsyning
End user/Owner:     Thisted Varmeforsyning
Location:Thisted, Denmark

The system consists of 144m parabolic shaped mirrors with an aperture area of 830m2. The mirrors concentrate the sun's rays onto a pipe running through the parabolic shaped mirrors' burning point. The solar energy heats the water in the pipes to 140°C. The water is then directly or indirectly pumped to the district heating pipelines.

The parabolic troughs use a custom designed sun tracking technology, where a computer calculates and calibrates the troughs into the required position for receiving the optimal radiation of sunrays throughout the day.

Sun tracking technology

The sun tracking technology thereby ensures a very high efficiency per m2 mirrors. Suppliers of district heating can therefore experience an optimal utilization of the land they have available for such purposes. When the sun shines, the CSP system produces heat. The CSP technology can therefore produce heat all year round. Moreover, there is an anemometer installed registering if the average wind speed surpasses 15 metres per second, and when this is registered the parabolic troughs automatically go to a lock-down position.

The sun tracking technology is calibrating the troughs for obtaining optimal sun radiation, but the system can defocus the mirrors or shut them down if required. By doing so, the CSP technology is avoiding problems like overproduction of heat.

The CSP plant for district heating was officially opened on 11 October 2012 producing environmental friendly emission free district heating for the inhabitants of Thisted municipality. The plant is to supply around 500MWh a year for the district heating production.


Fuel:Solar radiation
Design pressure:12 bar
Aperture area:830m2
Annual production:     500MWh

Scope of supply

  • CSP parabolic trough units
  • Valves
  • Instruments
  • Sun tracking system
  • 3D-model
  • Steel structure
  • Installation and commissioning
  • Documentation