Adtec Plasma in CSP Renewable Energy Project

Adtec Europe Ltd is sponsoring two post-graduate students to do research in new potential applications for plasma in collaboration with Cranfield University.

The focus of this research is to understand the utilisation of plasma-assisted surface conditioning of low-iron glass solar reflecting mirrors for concentrating solar thermal power applications. The research project is supervised by leading experts in this field Professor Chris Sansom and Dr Peter King of Cranfield University and Dr Adam Bennett of Cranfield Plasma Solutions.

CSP plants generate electricity by concentrating sun light with large arrays of mirrors which are usually located in desert regions. Consequently, the mirrors get covered in sand and dust, and require cleaning with brushes and water on a regular basis. Currently much water is used to clean the mirrors, a precious resource in arid terrains. The aim of this project is to investigate the characteristics of a novel atmospheric pressure plasma system used to condition CSP concentrating mirrors which will be capable of reducing the amount of water used in the cleaning process.

The Global Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) market was valued at over $3 Billion US in 2016 and is anticipated to grow by 13% by 2025. There is also a compelling business desire to undertake this project. The development of a novel atmospheric pressure plasma system will be a significant game changer in the CSP market. Such a disruptive technology is anticipated to yield significant commercial benefits.

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