Erlangen, Germany, January 25, 2010 – On January 22, Archimede Solar Energy Srl, a joint venture between Angelantoni Industrie Spa and Siemens Energy, celebrated the first stone laying ceremony at the new receiver production facility in the Italian town of Massa Martana.
Starting in early 2011, the plant will have an annual production capacity of about 75,000 solar receivers. The plant’s capacity will be increased to 140,000 tubes per year. The solar receivers produced in this receiver plant use molten salt as heat transfer medium instead of thermo oil.
“The investment in the new production facility is an important step for the development of renewables-based power plant technology,” said RenÃ© Umlauft, CEO of the Siemens’ Renewable Energy Division. “Siemens has the broadest portfolio in the promising concentrated solar power business. We can offer about 70 percent of the components of a solar thermal power plant as well as EPC solutions. In the future Siemens can offer two receiver technologies using either thermo oil or molten salt depending on customer requirements.” The power block and the solar field are the key components of every parabolic-trough power plant.
The use of molten salt in the receivers can significantly increase the efficiency of solar-thermal power plants. If required, molten salt is used for heat storage, allowing the stored energy to be used for power generation at night.
A first commercial plant is currently under construction in Sicily. The Priolo Gargallo project will use 1500 solar receivers with molten salt as heat transfer medium and is expected to go operational in early summer 2010.
Until 2020, the market for solar thermal power plants will show annual double-digit growth rates and attain a volume of over EUR20 billion. In the future, the primary focal growth regions will be the U.S., South Africa, Australia, Spain, Israel, India, North Africa and the Middle East.