Automated in-situ measurement of pollution for site and operation assessment of solar thermal power plants
Project duration: November 2019 – June 2023

The objectives of the project are the further development of a device for the automated detection of pollution, the testing of prototypes at two sites with different environmental conditions, the development of methods for improved site characterization, the development of methods for the improved operation of solar thermal power plants through optimized cleaning and the analysis of pollution processes.
There is also a need from CSP power plant operators to predict pollution events. If, for example, heavily polluting rain or dust storms can be predicted in good time before they arrive, then better protective mirror positions can be taken. If such events could be predicted at least 24 hours in advance, then cleaning measures could be better scheduled. Therefore, intensive meteorological analyses are to be carried out in this research project. The aim is to estimate how good the possibilities are for developing empirically based meteorological forecasting methods specialized on pollution events.
In a previous research project named AVUS, the concept of a completely autonomous measurement of the contamination of solar mirrors with integrated sample archive was pursued. Three functional models of the highly simplified prototype from the project have already been tested in the field and have shown promising results. However, there is a need for further development towards a robust and reliable design before the market can be addressed. For this reason, the project AVUSpro will be carried out.
Experiences of power plant operators have also shown that the pollution in the solar field of a power plant can vary greatly spatially. This phenomenon is therefore additionally investigated in the AVUSpro project by mobile measurements in the solar field. For this purpose the pFlex device with a mobile reflectometer is used.

Project partners:

Institution / CompanyRole in the project
Fraunhofer-ISECoordinator and joint project partner
PSE AGJoint project partner
TSK Flagsol Engineering GmbHJoint project partner
Suntrace GmbHAssociated project partner
With funding by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.