In contrast to photovoltaic systems, the process at Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants resembles that of conventional power plants. While in conventional power plants a fuel provides the heat for steam generation, in CSP power plants it is the sun. This only works in sunny areas, such as our CSP plant in Spain.
We can therefore contribute our many years of experience in conventional energy generation to solar thermal projects. In order to remain independent of insolation levels, we are examining whether and to what extent hybrid technologies can be used. Hybrid technology combines solar thermal systems with a fossil-fired steam power plant.
We also design, build and operate solar thermal systems. Our subsidiary STEAG Energy Services is also investigating the feasibility of solar thermal projects worldwide.
Via a heat exchanger, its energy is passed on to the downstream power plant process and a conventional water/steam cycle. Finally, kinetic energy is generated in the steam turbine, and is converted into electricity by a generator. In many CSP power plants, a thermal storage tank is charged in parallel during the day. It ensures that further electricity can be produced after sunset, usually for a further eight hours.