Essen, Germany [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] MAN Ferrostaal has increased its share in the Solar Power Group (SPG) by close to 19%, and now owns 43.8% of the company. The Solar Power Group is active in the field of solar thermal power generation and develops and constructs components for solar power plants based on Fresnel technology.
Because of the high levels of daily insolation, the states of the MENA region, the U.S. and Australia are principal target markets for the application of the technology. In addition, with the takeover of the majority shares in MAN Ferrostaal by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), the countries of the Middle East are now increasingly coming into focus for future SPG activities.
“We regard our involvement in SPG as a strategic investment and as a cooperation geared towards the future,” said Dr. Klaus Lesker, Member of the MAN Ferrostaal Executive Board and person in charge of the company’s solar and conventional power plant business. “We’re convinced that the Fresnel technology has great potentials. At the current time in particular, increasing our capital investment should be perceived as a positive signal by the market.”
There are various technical differences between the parabolic trough and Fresnel power plants. The flat mirrors, for instance, which are used in Fresnel collectors, can be produced with very lower manufacturing costs than traditional parabolic troughs. Instead of thermo oil which is used in parabolic trough collectors, water flows through the absorber tube in Fresnel power plants. The water can be directly heated to 450°. An energy- and cost-intensive heat exchange isn’t required. The space needed for the technology is comparatively small.