Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Advanced Measurement Systems to evaluate Concentrated Solar Power Plants

Speaker: 
Robert Pitz-Paal, DLR Institute of Solar Research, Linder Hohe, Cologne, Germany
Location: 
Bowen Hall Atrium (Lunch will be available at 11:30 am)
Date/Time: 
Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 12:00pm

Abstract: Concentrated Solar Power Systems can be considered as a technology that - other than PV - cannot be evaluated just by testing its subcomponents in the laboratories in order to characterize the system performance. Instead, it requires measurement systems that are capable to be used on site, covering a large collector area or can be used on top of a tower with limited access. The presentation will give an overview on a set of different advanced measurement systems that are specifically developed for this purpose. This includes the use of UAVs that can monitor the parabolic trough collector optical quality by flying over it, in situ measurements of heat losses of parabolic trough receivers in the collector loops, optical quality of heliostat fields or solar flux distribution on large central receiver systems. Particular measurement technologies to characterize hot air flow in volumetric receivers will also be presented. The measurement systems have been developed and validated and characterized under lab conditions or in prototypes before they were applied in larger scale facilities or in some cases in commercial CSP plants. The target is to help the operator of the plant to identify inefficiencies or degradations and find the physical reasons for them. The systems also help to validate computer models that predict the systems performance on the basis of component characteristics that have been evaluated in the laboratory.
 
Bio: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal graduated from the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich with a degree in physics in 1988. In 1993 he received his PhD in mechanical engineering and 1993 he joined the German Aerospace Centre. Today he is one of the two directors of DLR Solar Research Institute with more than 140 members of staff located in Cologne, Stuttgart, Jülich and Almería, Spain. This position is jointly assigned with a professorship for Solar Technology at the RWTH Aachen University. In 2008 he was also visiting Professor at the ETH in Zurich. He serves as associate editor for the ASME Journal on Solar Energy Engineering and the Journal of Solar Energy and in various roles in the SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems) implementing agreement of the International Energy Agency and is acting as its vice chairman today. He also chaired the CSP working group of the European Academies Science Advisory Council and is a member of the board of the German association of the CSP Industry (DCSP).
 
Host: Prof. Barry Rand
 
Seminar supported by Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE)