Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Masdar City, and Wahaj Solar has jointly announced the installation of a first-of-its-kind solar concentrator in the UAE at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform.
The installation is the first step in the development of a unique scalable high-temperature concentrated solar power system (CSP), including thermal energy storage for more efficient on-demand and ‘dispatchable’ electricity generation, solar fuels production or industrial process heat applications.
Solar concentrators use lenses that take a large area of sunlight and direct it towards a specific spot by bending the rays of light and focusing them.
Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice-president, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “The installation of the UAE’s first-of-a-kind solar concentrator marks the next stage of Masdar Institute Solar Platform’s (MISP) advancing research in solar energy technologies.
“The MISP stands as an example for innovation and we are keen to contribute to seeking new solutions to increase efficient clean generation of 24/7 power, which remains one of the strategic areas for the UAE,” he added.
The ASC10 model, a 10-metre diameter pre-commercial scale solar concentrator, designed and developed by UAE-based Wahaj Solar, is located at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform, MISP, located at the Masdar City Campus.
The MISP is also part of the Masdar Solar Hub, which was launched in 2015 with focus on accelerating and testing pilot scale solar technologies.
The newly installed concentrator – a metallic reflector-based giant Fresnel lens with fixed focal point relative to the ground – will offer a concentration ratio close to 1000 suns and temperatures above 1000 degrees Celsius, enabling the system to achieve higher temperature with less mirror surface, compared to conventional CSP systems.
It can be combined with a more efficient high-temperature power generation system, helping to convert more solar energy into electricity. Moreover, high temperature thermal energy storage can be integrated with the ASC10.
With the newly installed concentrator, Khalifa University can develop other relevant projects to work on high-temperature thermal energy storage systems, including thermochemical energy storage or solar fuel production.