Danish CSP plant becomes fully operational

The CSP system with a capacity of 16.6 MWth consists of 40 rows of 125&nbsp;m U-shaped mirrors with an aperture area of 26,929 m<sup>2</sup>. (Photo: Aalborg CSP)
The CSP system with a capacity of 16.6 MWth consists of 40 rows of 125 m U-shaped mirrors with an aperture area of 26,929 m2. (Photo: Aalborg CSP)

Spring in Denmark not only means longer and brighter days but also the beginning of the first “harvest season” for a globally-unique solar energy system. The 26,929m2 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant now provides the city of Brønderslev with sustainable heating, but it will also enable power production as an add-on to a biomass-fuelled organic rankine cycle (ORC) system scheduled for completion in the second half of 2017.

Aalborg CSP was awarded the contract to develop and deliver the solar energy plant for the district heating of Brønderslev in February 2016. The whole construction and installation of the CSP sytem took only six month. Since the End of 2016 it was operational, but it was not until now, that the sun was strong enough, to bring out the full potential of the system.

For now, the 16.6 MWth solar energy system supplies heat to the district heating network, but it also intends to contribute to power production when a biomass-ORC plant goes operational later this year. This combination of a CSP and a biomass-fuelled organic rankine cycle (ORC) would be an absolut novelty.

The CSP plant consists of 40 rows of 125 m parabolic mirrors with a combined surface area of 29,929 m2. The mirrors reflect the sunlight onto receiver pipes with a total length of 5 km. Inside the pipes thermal oil is heated by the concentrated sun light. For the purpose of producing electricity the oil is heated to 330°C, but the temperature can also be lowered for the district heating purpose.

The achievement of the world’s first CSP system combined with a biomass-ORC plant is supported by the Danish Government’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP). The subsidy provides substantial support for technology development thereby making the Aalborg CSP solution more competitive in export markets, such as Germany, Austria or Italy that have a well-established district heating infrastructure or an existing base of ORC plants.

Philipp Kronsbein / Aalborg CSP