In principle, a concentrated solar thermal power plant works no differently from a conventional steam power plant, but without the need to burn coal or natural gas. The “green” power is produced using the energy from the sun and operators are required to monitor for leaks of Di-Phenyl Oxide (C12H10O), as part of an operating licence.
There are two main types of concentrated solar energy utilities; tower plants and concentrated reflector plants. In both, it is important that the heat transfer fluid does not escape from both the heat exchange system and storage tanks. Leaks in pipe connections are inevitable as is the degradation of the heat transfer fluid with time. This results in small concentrations of Di-Phenyl Oxide escaping into the head-space of storage tanks, and similar concentrations being vented from expansion and overflow vessels of the Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) system into the atmosphere.
Following contracts in Spain, with two more on order for delivery in January 2011, Kittiwake Procal is now responding to similar enquiries from Italy.