An exciting new approach to solar energy is being tested now, and Outokumpu products are at the heart of it. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) – the subject of a Outokumpu Experience presentation by segment manager Jim Augustsson – deploys thousands of mirrors to reflect sunlight and a molten salt loop to convert heat from that light into steam, which is then used to produce electricity.
Because part of the process stores heat, CSP allows production of electricity around the clock. “Photovoltaic panels and solar parks represent a more conventional technology,” Augustsson notes, “but they only work during the day, when the sun is out.”
Pilot tests are underway now all around the world. Providing stainless steel for tank construction, Outokumpu is involved in the two biggest pilots: one in Spain, the other in California in the U.S.
Commitment to excellence
Outokumpu currently provides quarto plate for solar projects. Future applications may include welded tubes, heat exchangers and receivers.
The company has played an active role in development of the new technology, collaborating on material selection, corrosion and stress relief tests, and welding procedures.
It is an approach that demonstrates Outokumpu’s commitment to excellence. “We’ve provided technical support to our customer on this project from day one,” Augustsson says.