Germany’s pioneering solar company, SCHOTT, announced that with the connection of the Godawari Solar Project to the grid, its solar receivers officially began collecting solar radiation on the Indian soil needed to generate its share of clean energy. As India’s first ever utility to generate electricity by using sophisticated CSP parabolic trough technology, the 50 MW project is contracted by Lauren Engineers & Constructors (I) Private Limited (LECI) and is based near Nokh Village, Pokhran Tehsil, Jaisalmer District, Rajasthan. Upon reaching full capacity, the project featuring a solar field aperture area of almost 400,000 m² will generate up to 118,000 MW hours of electricity per year.
“The connection to the grid and its successful operation is a milestone in our country’s energy diversification and a step towards long-term energy security. It was a great learning experience to work closely with our international partners like SCHOTT Solar, which is the producer of the world’s most high-tech CSP receiver. Such sharing of expertise and capabilities gives us confidence to undertake similar large scale projects in future,” said Mr. J P Tiwari, CEO of Godawari Green Energy Ltd.
“SCHOTT feels honored to be a part of such a phenomenal success story. Godawari Green Energy project is an example of success of CSP technology in India and we remain committed to support many more such endeavors. The technology has already proven itself and with scalability, the costs of generating electricity will soon be competitive. The completion of this project will serve as a model bringing much more awareness and educational benefits for CSP technology here,” said Dr. Patrick Markschläger, Managing Director at SCHOTT Solar CSP.
India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission recognizes CSP as a critical technology. Under Phase one of the government’s Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission, a total of 500 MW of CSP projects are planned. The framework conditions for the 2nd Phase are expected to be released by end of calendar year 2013.
CSP stations with parabolic trough technology are steam-driven power stations that generate electricity from heat. Parabolic mirrors arranged in long rows concentrate the solar radiation onto the receiver inside which a carrier liquid is heated to almost 400 degrees Celsius. The heat, in turn, is used to raise steam that drives a conventional steam turbine and thus creates electricity. What is unique about CSP electricity is its dispatchability. In the form of heat, the energy can easily be stored and fed into the grid when power is really needed. Hence, CSP solar power plants can continue to generate electricity long after the sun has set or has been obscured by clouds. This facilitates load management in grids – a factor destined to be of increasing importance as the contribution of solar energy to India’s electricity mix rises.
About SCHOTT PTR® 70 receiver
The SCHOTT PTR® 70 receiver that is being used in India’s first CSP project plays a key role in increasing the efficiency and longevity of modern solar power plants. The more sunlight they convert into heat, the better the performance of the entire plant. A full four meters in length, the SCHOTT PTR® 70 consists of a metal absorber tube that contains the heat carrier liquid, surrounded by an isolating vacuum and a special glass tube. Due to the combination of materials with matching coefficients of thermal expansion, the glass-to-metal seal of the SCHOTT PTR® 70 receiver can handle dramatic temperature changes and ensures vacuum stability. Moreover, SCHOTT Solar developed special coatings that allow for transmission of almost all of the sun’s radiation while emitting hardly any heat. The German company keeps on improving the design of the receiver to increase the active aperture area and thus its efficiency. Today, SCHOTT Solar is market and technology leader and has been supplying almost 1 million receivers to projects all over the world.