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King Saud Uni develops new solar collectors

DESERTEC Foundation endorses innovative CSP system

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DESERTEC's Dr Thiemo Gropp and KSU's Professor Hany Al-Ansary.
DESERTEC's Dr Thiemo Gropp and KSU's Professor Hany Al-Ansary.

Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University (KSU) has developed, engineered and constructed new concentrating solar collectors that are currently being tested at KSU’s Riyadh campus. KSU says that the technology is an innovative system that “has a strong potential to provide a highly efficient and cost-effective solution for a wide range of applications”.

The Point Focus Fresnel Collector (PFFC) technology concentrates the sun’s rays using flat, square mirrors that are arranged on a rotating surface. The specific arrangement of mirrors and the way their rows are constructed allows the technology to track the sun throughout the day.

“We are very excited about the PFFC technology. Several years ago, we set ourselves the objective of designing a solar-thermal energy system that is cost-effective and entirely made within the region. We focused on significantly reducing cost in comparison to available technologies through increasing efficiency and other measures. However the PFFC has exceeded all our expectations. We managed to build it both at low cost and with parts ‘Made in KSA’. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but we are more than satisfied with the first prototype,” said KSU researcher and chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Professor Hany Al-Ansary.

The DESERTEC Foundation, the hugely ambitious initiative that has developed the DESERTEC Concept which envisages a cross-continent renewable energy grid, has endorsed the project.

“We appreciate and highly value the progress made by the researchers at KSU and by our esteemed Saudi Arabian industry partners. They are driving forward the generation of clean power for Saudi Arabia’s domestic needs by developing their own concentrating solar-thermal (CSP) technology with a high proportion of content ‘Made in KSA’. Their work can help spur CSP’s cost-effective utilisation throughout the region,” said DESERTEC Foundation director, Dr Thiemo Gropp.
 

 

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