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20 de abril de 2019

First small-scale CSP project in Chile begins testing stage

  • The initiative was awarded innovation in energy of the year at SunRISE 2019.

The first small-scale concentrated solar power plant developed in Chile, the SolarBosch project, began its testing phase to assess the behavior of the heliostat control system, which was designed for this initiative with the support of Chile’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO) line on validating and packaging innovation challenges.

During the trials, heliostats will aim for two targets to gauge the effectiveness of followers and mirrors. Once the tests are completed and the followers’ effectiveness has been demonstrated, Enerbosh, the company in charge of the project, hopes to build a CSP plant to supply heat to its galvanizing facilities.

The future plant will be located in the municipality of Quilicura, which also constitutes a milestone for being the first CSP plant projected in the central area of Chile.” Once the testing stage is completed, we hope to build 300 heliostats, and the tower will be located as close to the galvanized pool as possible, since it will receive the heat from the plant. Once the system has been tested at a profitable scale, electricity could begin to be produced,” said Andrés Bosch, Enerbosh representative and project leader. The help provided by CORFO’s financing tools was also highlighted, since it facilitates developing innovations in different productive sectors. “Without CORFO’s financing, we would not have been able to begin the project,” added Bosch.

The project seeks to enable the use of CSP technology on a small scale with one main difference: current CSP towers use molten salts as heat transfer fluid and storage medium, while this project uses air and copper slag as heat transfer fluid and storage medium, respectively. According to Tomás Baeza, Innovation area of Solar Committee, “with initiatives like this, we shine a light on a significant ecosystem that is making innovation in energy. We have projects that seek to expand the use of renewable energy, and a small-scale CSP project could become a more sustainable solution for companies’ thermal processes.”

SolarBosh also won the 2019 edition of SunRISE, the largest energy innovation meeting held in Chile. Now, the challenge is to complete the testing phase and provide the outcomes that will allow them to obtain the financing to build the plant.