Fuel-Free Power from Solar Thermal
Middle East Technical University Campus, Cyprus
Application Type: Solar Thermal
Nominal Power Output: 18kW
Thermal Heat Input: 200 – 400kW
Hot Water Input Range: 170 – 225°F
Hot Water Flow: 185 GPM
Cold Water Input: 80-100°F
Cold Water Flow: 220 GPM
Date Commissioned: Q4 2010
Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus (METU NCC), located in Cyprus, sits on prime solar power real estate, with high, direct solar radiation providing an attractive synergy for solar power generation. 2,325 sq. feet of Parabolic Through Collectors (PTC) were installed nearby the campus’s waste water treatment facilities, and in Q4 2010, METU NCC commissioned an ElectraTherm Power+ Generator to initiate research on small scale solar thermal power generation. METU NCC’s research partner SOLITEM GmbH, a German renewable energy company, purchased the machine following a competitive bid to provide proof of concept for its Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technology. The machine continues operation and has logged more than 75 hours of power generation to date.
ElectraTherm’s Power+ generates power at METU NCC by harnessing hot water generated in SOLITEM’s PTC1800 collection panels produced by the sun and using a water cooling tower. The water collected by the solar array is pumped to the Power+ to heat a working fluid that, under pressure, rotates ElectraTherm’s twin screw expander to generate electricity. The collection panels’ solar tubes consists of glass, much less expensive than other CSP tube options, and well suited for water temperatures of 190-240°F. The pilot installation utilizes a 300kW back-up boiler to sustain the required hot water flow to the Power+ to maintain a consistent power output. Currently, the Power+ runs at the nominal 18kW, sized down by 40% for this project. When the solar array is expanded, the machine expects a power output of 50kW.