Energy Globe World Award 2017

Finalist in the category Fire


Project:
Inflatable solar collectors made of plastic films
Submitted by:
HELIOVIS AG
Country:
Spain


HELIOVIS developed a lightweight pneumatic technology for solar concentrators, which allows 55% cost savings and 40% CO2 reduction compared to the best parabolic trough technologies.

Initial situation
Various studies have shown that Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) offers great potential for commercial energy production in the desert regions of North Africa and the Middle East as well as in the arid southern regions of the United States and Europe. The main advantage of solar thermal power plants over photovoltaic systems is the option to integrate very economic storage capacity leading to a predictable renewable power source for peak- or base-load demand. However, current CSP technology solutions are still too cost-intensive. The current CSP solutions are not cost-effective enough to warrant their implementation. Conventional technologies are resource and energy intensive in construction, logistics and installation, leading to high costs and negative environmental impacts.

Solution
HELIOVIS has developed a lightweight pneumatic technology for solar concentrators, which allows 55% cost savings and 40% CO2 reduction compared to the best parabolic trough technologies. The HELIOtube is an inflatable cylindrical concentrator made of plastic films. Its full scale is 220 m long with a diameter of 9 m. It can concentrate light by a factor of 100 and heats the thermal receiver fluid to a temperature of 400 to 600° C, enough to provide steam to turbines for electricity generation. HELIOtubes are manufactured by a fully automated roll-to-roll process and in large quantities from commercially available recyclable plastic films (instead of the current steel-and-glass based technologies). The rolled HELIOtube can be transported in a standard container and can be inflated at the site designated for the power plant. This offers significant competitive advantages in materials, production, logistics, and installation costs.

Innovation
In the past, the supply of thermal energy by CSP has been economically feasible only for large plants. For small-scale applications the technology has been perceived as cost-ineffective. While the majority of solar power technology focuses on the generation of electricity, HELIOVIS, due to its cost-effectiveness, operates in the segment of thermal energy generation in which CSP has not yet been applied. Moreover, HELIOVIS sets itself apart from other players in the solar technology field by the scalable, transportable and modular design of the HELIOtube concentrators.

Fire

Fire
  • Project: Green Initiatives
    Applicant: Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences
    Country: India
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  • Project: Inflatable solar collectors made of plastic films
    Applicant: HELIOVIS AG
    Country: Spain
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  • Project: Biomass Gasification to reduce Lime Kiln Fossil Fuel Oil
    Applicant: Phoenix Pulp and Paper Public Company Limited (SCG Packaging)
    Country: Thailand
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