These absorber tubes are a key component of solar thermal parabolic trough power plants. Some 25 million euros have been invested towards the new facility. 100 employees currently work at the new plant that has been producing products since the beginning of March, 2008. The annual production volume corresponds to a power plant capacity of up to 200 megawatts (MW). This means that SCHOTT Solar has now succeeded in doubling its manufacturing capacity in the area of receivers. The company only began operating its first industrial manufacturing plant for solar receivers in Mitterteich, Bavaria, in 2006.
With the Innovation Minister from the regional government of Andalusia, Francisco Vallejo Serrano, and representatives of the Spanish government in attendance, Professor Udo Ungeheuer, Chairman of the Board of Management of SCHOTT AG, emphasized the strategic importance of this production facility: “Solar represents an important core business to SCHOTT that promises to yield dynamic growth. In the field of concentrated solar power, we consider ourselves to be the global technology and market leader when it comes to receivers. The new plant located near Seville will help us to extend our strong position even further.” Luis-Alberto Solá, General Manager of the Spanish subsidiary, SCHOTT Solar S.L., added: “By selecting Seville as the location for our site, we now have a manufacturing facility that is located close to our Spanish customers. This is extremely important for achieving our growth objectives. After all, a number of parabolic trough power plants will be built in Spain over the next few years.”
Solar thermal power plants use heat energy from the sun to produce environmentally friendly electrical power. Parabolic trough power plants consist of a large field of parabolic mirrors arranged in the shape of a trough that permanently follow the path of the sun. The incident solar radiation is concentrated onto specially coated receivers (absorber tubes) that have been mounted along the caustic line of the parabolic troughs. Concentrated solar radiation heats up the heat transfer fluid to nearly 400 degrees Celsius as it circulates through the receivers. The fluid is then transferred to a heat exchanger that produces steam. As in conventional power plants, this drives the turbines that produce electricity.
The very first parabolic trough power plants were built in California more than 20 years ago. Now, new power plants are under construction. As early as the summer of 2007, the Nevada Solar One power plant went into operation not far from Las Vegas. This summer, AndaSol 1, located near Granada, Spain, will join the grid as Europe’s first commercially operated parabolic trough power plant. SCHOTT supplied solar receivers for both plants. SCHOTT Solar supplies its receivers to leading power and construction companies for use in still other power plant projects in Spain, the United States and other regions along the earth’s Sunbelt.
Due to the strong increase in demand, the company plans to continue to expand its manufacturing capacities. “By the end of 2008, we intend to set up a second line in Aznalcóllar and, therefore, double our manufacturing capacity at this site. In addition, we are now in the process of building a third receiver plant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and plan to begin manufacturing here in 2009,” says Dr. Martin Heming, a member of the SCHOTT Corporate Management Committee and Managing Director of SCHOTT Solar GmbH.
SCHOTT Solar high quality products utilize the potential of the sun as an nearly inexhaustible source of energy. And it’s for exactly that reason that SCHOTT Solar produces important components for photovoltaic applications and solar energy plants. In the photovoltaic industry, the company is one of the few fully integrated manufacturers of crystalline silicon wafers, cells and modules. The production of the wafers is ensured by the WACKER SCHOTT Solar joint venture, which secures the supply of silicon for the growing demand in the long term. In thin-film technology, SCHOTT Solar is also a leading supplier. And in the production of receivers for solar power plants, SCHOTT Solar sees itself as a market and technology leader. The receivers are key components in large-scale power plants that generate electricity from solar energy centrally on the basis of parabolic trough technology and are able to supply entire cities with power. SCHOTT Solar has production facilities in Germany, the Czech Republic, the USA and Spain. The innovative power and technological competence of the company date back to the late 1950s. SCHOTT Solar GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international SCHOTT technology group. SCHOTT AG develops special materials, components and systems for the household appliance, pharmaceutical, solar energy, electronics, optical and automotive industries. With a total of 16,700 employees, the SCHOTT Group generated a worldwide turnover of 2.1 billion euros in fiscal year 2006/2007.
Further information can be found under http://www.schott.com/csp
Photographs for the press can be downloaded from http://www.schott-pictures.net