IK4-TEKNIKER is looking into ways of cutting costs in concentrated solar power (CSP) generation

IK4-TEKNIKER will be presenting its most recent developments in the field of Concentrating Solar Power; the common denominator is about increasing the output of the plants and cutting their operating costs.

Only two top companies worldwide currently have the capacity to manufacture the absorber tubes in plants of this type using in-house technology designed to transform solar power

Nobody is casting doubt any more on the huge future potential of solar power, but the current technology is facing difficulties like efficiency, which remains limited when it comes to transforming sunlight into electricity. That is why, rather than focussing on the more extended formula of photovoltaic panels, researchers are already working on other technologies that will allow the juice to be “squeezed” out of solar energy better.

One of these new technologies is solar concentration which involves focussing reflected sunlight onto a series of mirrors in a very small area until a very high temperature is reached. The energy is stored in the form of heat to be later transformed into electricity. This storage capacity is what turns it into one of the renewable energy technologies that is gaining more appeal for the power market. However, the mass dissemination of this technology still depends on cutting costs and increasing efficiency.

In order to increase the generating capacity of this technology, the European Commission through its 7th Framework Programme has launched the HITECO project; it has a budget in excess of 5 million euros, and the Basque R&D centre IK4-TEKNIKER is collaborating in it, along with another 9 R&D centres and companies in Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

The project, led by the company Aries Ingenier