instrumentation & control

ABB follows the sun in Spain

1 January 2009

ABB is supplying an automation system for Spain’s Extresol 1 and 2 solar thermal power plants, including what the company describes as “uniquely accurate control equipment to enable the 1248 parabolic troughs to capture maximum energy from the sun.”

Extresol 1 and 2, each rated at 50 MWe, will employ a vast solar field of parabolic trough collectors covering more than 510 000 m2, equivalent to around 70 soccer fields.

Extresol 1 is scheduled to start operation at the end of 2009 and Extresol 2 six months later.

Along with the 100 MW Andasol 1 and 2 solar thermal power project in neighbouring Andalusia – for which ABB has also supplied an extensive power and automation systems – Extresol is one of the largest solar energy projects in the world. Both projects are jointly owned by Sener and Cobra, two Spanish engineering and construction companies.

ABB’s scope of supply to Extresol includes control systems for the power plant and parabolic trough collectors, instrumentation, motors, drives and low voltage products, as well as substation power equipment for delivering the power to the national grid.

Each of the 1248 Extresol 1 and 2 collectors is to be equipped with an AC500 PLC with advanced solar positioning algorithm especially developed by ABB for parabolic trough collectors and solar trackers.The algorithm enables the collectors to follow the passage of the sun to an accuracy of 0.03 degrees, thus absorbing the maximum amount of energy at all times.

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