German Association for Concentrated Solar Power
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) stands for the generation of energy using solar thermal systems. CSP technology can be used to generate green electricity, green heat and green hydrogen. The possible applications depend on the temperature requirements: CSP plants can supply temperatures from 60° Celsius to 400° Celsius. CSP technology is a globally proven technology and has been used economically for decades.
The most striking feature of a CSP plant are the concentrating collectors, which – depending on the technology – are used in different shapes and arrangements to concentrate the solar radiation.
The mirror surfaces of the collectors concentrate the sunlight on a heat exchanger (receiver) in which a heat transfer fluid (e.g. water, oil, salt) is heated. The solar energy can be used to generate electricity, heat, cold, solar fuels or for water purification.
Parabolic trough or linear Fresnel mirrors follow the path of the sun. They follow the sun by means of motors in one axis to get the best direct solar radiation. These line-focused mirrors concentrate the solar radiation onto an absorber tube. In this way, a concentration of about 100 times the sunlight can be achieved.
The great advantage of concentrating solar thermal energy: CSP solar collectors collect the heat radiation of the sun at high temperatures and allow effective storage. This possibility of storing solar energy is particularly suitable for a high degree of coverage and for a seasonally more balanced supply of heat.
CSP within a power plant can be combined with additional steam generation based on other renewable or even fossil fuels. In combination with a heat storage system and by adding biomass or PV, CSP power plants can continuously provide energy in the base load range similar to a conventional power plant.
Most of the technology for CSP power plants is developed and manufactured in Germany. Due to years of preparatory work in development and research, German companies have played a major role in making CSP a reliable, cost-effective and affordable power plant technology.
The German Association for Concentrated Solar Power
was established in September 2013 as the new legal form of the “German Industry Network Concentrated Solar Power” founded in 2011. Among the members are consulting and engineering companies, manufacturers of components, owners and operators of power plants as well as research institutions. The portfolio covers the whole CSP value chain.
The association’s objective is to join forces and interests of the market players in Germany and enhance their chances in international markets. In their latest policy paper, DCSP explains the social, economic and environmental opportunities of a global expansion of CSP and how the federal government and parliament can make their contributions to utilize these opportunities.