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Power and energy management company BBE Energy has constructed South Africa's first locally developed linear Fresnel concentrated solar-power (CSP) demonstration plant, at its premises in Bryanston.
The demonstration plant comprises almost entirely of locally sourced components, is developed and constructed by local labour, and is estimated to come in at half the cost of importing a similar system.
BBE Energy director Steven Bluhm stated that the system was designed to be robust and applicable to local South African conditions, particularly the mining industry's refrigeration and cooling requirements.
The company is now hoping to construct a full-scale demonstration project, and is looking to attract financiers and mining industry clients, which would also be interested in proving the technology in South African conditions.
It is envisaged that the solar system could be used to power refrigeration and cooling systems in mines, which use absorption chillers driven by steam.
The system at BBE Energy comprises four mirrors, but should two more mirrors be added to the module, it could produce 75 kW. The system is modular and could be scaled up as required for different applications.
These six-mirror modules could be arranged in an array, and could produce some 3,5 MW from an area roughly equivalent to a rugby field.
News date: 16/11/2010