From: Green Progress, Green Progress, More from this Affiliate
Published April 28, 2009 09:46 AM

World's Largest Solar Power Tower Plant Begins Operating in Spain

Following the conclusion of the successful three-day production and operational testing period, Abengoa Solar has begun commercial operation of the new PS20 solar power tower plant located at the Solucar Platform, near Seville (Spain). Over the course of the testing period, PS20 surpassed the predicted power output, thus further validating the high potential of power tower technology.

PS20 is the world's second power tower plant in commercial use. PS20 features a number of significant technological improvements with respect to PS10, the first commercial power tower. These enhancements, developed by Abengoa Solar, include a higher-efficiency receiver, various improvements in the control and operational systems, and a better thermal energy storage system. Plant construction was carried out by Abener.

According to Santiago Seage, CEO of Abengoa Solar, "Generating more power during production testing than the design output is indeed a significant milestone. The technological breakthroughs we have achieved, coupled with our cumulative expertise, have enabled us to take a qualitative leap forward in our power tower technology."

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With a power capacity of 20 megawatts, double that of PS10, the new PS20 solar power plant will produce enough clean energy to supply 10,000 homes, and will avoid the emission of approximately 12,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere that a conventional power plant would have produced.

PS20 consists of a solar field made up of 1,255 mirrored heliostats designed by Abengoa Solar. Each heliostat, with a surface area of 1,291 square feet, reflects the solar radiation it receives onto the receiver, located on the top of a 531 feet-high tower, producing steam which is converted into electricity generation by a turbine.

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