Only in August, the company inaugurated its first production line at the company’s manufacturing site in Mitterteich (Bavaria) by shifting from pilot production of small quantities of receivers to industrial serial manufacturing. By opening a second receiver plant in the Sevilla region, SCHOTT will effectively double its current production capacity by the beginning of 2008. The new plant will require a capital expenditure of approximately 22 million euros.
Receivers represent a key component of solar thermal parabolic trough power plants that are capable of converting solar energy into heat and then using this 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 AG.
Francisco Vallejo Serrano, Regional Minister of Innovation, Science and Enterprises for Andalusia 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 yet one of the leading regions in Europe.”
SCHOTT has already received orders to supply receivers for the solar power plants "Nevada Solar One" in the U.S. state of Nevada and in Andalusia (Spain) that are currently under construction. The project in Andalusia represents the first commercially operated solar thermal power plant in Europe.
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. Even then, SCHOTT delivered the high quality special glass tubing as envelopes for the receivers. In 2004, SCHOTT developed its own high-performance receiver that offers substantially improved quality.
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 is converted into heat which is transferred to a special heat resistant transfer fluid reaching 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.
Politicians 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 Parliament called upon the European Commission to offer subsidies for solar thermal power plants. Finally, at the World Energy Dialogue that was part of the Hanover Trade Fair in 2006, the Club of Rome also emphasized the importance of building solar thermal power plants, particularly in Spain and North Africa.
Klaus Hofmann | SCHOTT Newsletter
Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
19.09.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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