SCHOTT to Build New Solar Receiver Manufacturing Facility in Spain
SCHOTT today announced plans to establish a second manufacturing facility for solar receivers in Spain. By opening a second solar receiver plant in the Sevilla region, SCHOTT will effectively double its current solar receiver production capacity by the beginning of 2008. The new plant will require a capital expenditure of approximately $28 million (€22 million).
In August, the company inaugurated its first dedicated solar receiver production line at the company's manufacturing site in Mitterteich (Bavaria).
Receivers represent a key component of solar thermal parabolic trough power plants. Solar thermal parabolic trough power plants convert solar energy into heat and then use this heat to generate electricity.
"Parabolic trough power plants offer enormous potential for meeting tomorrow's power supply demands. Our receiver makes us the global technology leader. Now, our goal is to become the market leader, as well. We decided to build our second production line in Spain, because this is where our European customers are based. Furthermore, the region along the Mediterranean has developed into a promising market for solar thermal power plants," said Professor Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT.
Francisco Vallejo Serrano, Regional Minister of Innovation, Science and Enterprises for Andalusia (Spain) appreciates the decision made by SCHOTT. "This is fantastic news which will convert Andalusia into an international reference for the use of solar energy as a clean energy source. It will help to develop a strong industry in the field of renewable energies, in which Andalusia is becoming one of the leading regions in Europe."
SCHOTT has already received orders to supply receivers for the solar power plants currently being constructed in Nevada and in Andalusia. The project in Nevada, the 64 megawatt Nevada Solar One power plant, is the largest solar thermal power plant to be built in the U.S. in more than a decade. The project in Andalusia represents the first commercially operated solar thermal power plant in Europe.
How Parabolic Trough Power Plants Work
Because they offer the highest level of efficiency and incur the lowest costs for generating power of all solar technologies, parabolic trough power plants will soon offer the potential to generate solar electricity inside the world's Sunbelt at competitive prices. This technology has proven to be a reliable source of centralized power generation for 20 years. Nine solar thermal power plants located in the Mojave Desert in California, with a total capacity of 354 megawatts, have been supplying 200,000 households with electricity for just as long. SCHOTT delivered the high quality special glass tubing used as envelopes in these receivers. In 2004, SCHOTT developed its own high-performance receiver, the PTR 70, which offers substantially improved quality when compared to previous solar receivers.
Parabolic trough power plants consist of numerous trough-shaped parabolic mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto receivers (absorber tubes) that are located along the focal line. Inside these specially coated receivers, concentrated solar radiation heats a special heat resistant transfer fluid to temperatures of up to 400° Celsius (752 °F). This fluid is pumped to the central generating unit. It passes through several downstream heat exchangers and, as in conventional power plants, generates the steam that is required to drive the turbines that produce electricity.
Public officials are becoming increasingly conscious of solar thermal power plants and their potential to provide an important option for power generation in the future. Renewables 2004, the International Conference for Renewable Energies held in Bonn, Germany, adopted the Global Market Initiative (GMI) on market introduction of solar thermal power plants as part of its activity program. In September of 2005, the European Parlia
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