Fresnel Solar Collector System In Service

Commercial operations have begun at the first Fresnel solar collector system in operation, in Seville, Spain. The 352-square-meter system was installed by PSE AG under the terms of a contract with energy utility Gas Natural.

The installation generates solar process heat to operate an air conditioning system, and signals a start for the previously neglected growth market in solar process heat, PSE said. The project was undertaken by Gas Natural in cooperation with the Seville University Faculty of Engineering, with funding from Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía.

In the system, single-axis tracking mirrors with a total surface area of 352 square-meters focus sunlight on a water-filled 64-meter vacuum absorber pipe. The technology can produce temperatures of up to 200°C. The resulting peak output of 176 kilowatts of process heat is used to run an absorption heat pump to air-condition a university building.

“We will now be marketing our system worldwide,” said Andreas Häberle, CEO of PSE. The company said that its main market is expected to remain in Southern Europe and North Africa.

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