Mirror cleaning is a major operations and maintenance (O&M) activity in CSP power plants and their optimization is key in reducing the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of such systems. This optimization refers to labor as well as water consumption, especially in arid regions where water supplies are costly and scarce. Within the EU funded MinWaterCSP project, Soltigua has developed an automatic robot called “Soltibot” to clean the mirror rows of linear Fresnel collectors, together with a device to clean the collector’s receiver.
The robots automatically advance on the primary mirrors, wetting their surface and removing the dust with a soft brush, restoring the mirrors’ original reflectivity.
Soltibot crosses the collector drive system which lies just in the middle of the collector and recognizes any obstacle, which might be in the way, preventing any damage to itself or to the collector in case an operator executed an incorrect instruction.
At the end of each mirror line, Soltibot automatically moves from the mirror to a trolley, which completes the cleaning system. The trolley is used by an operator to slide the robot to a new mirror line and re-fill it with water.
The robot’s nozzle design reduces water consumption by 80% compared to existing CSP cleaning systems, with an average consumption of 0.11 lt/m2. Thanks to its wiping system, tap water can also be used in the system, saving on expensive water treatment systems.
During May 2018, the whole cleaning system was vastly tested at IRESEN’s Green Energy Park in Morocco, where a 16’000+ m2 Fresnel system is erected. Local operators learned to use it and effectively cleaned the collector mirrors, restoring the reflectivity to more than 99%.
Thanks to this new product, Soltigua can offer a complete package together with its collectors, also taking care of their customers O&M activities.
Author: Vittorio Orioli, Soltigua, Italy
Soltigua is an Italian SME manufacturing small scale solar concentrating collectors for distributed energy generation, such as industrial process heat, solar cooling and small scale CSP plants (a few MWe), as well as single axis trackers for PV arrays.
Soltigua has successfully developed projects across four continents and is renowned for the technological leadership of its products.
For more information, please contact:
Lorenza Amadori – Soltigua
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