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Masdar City hosts UAE's first solar concentrator at the MISP

The installation is the first step in the development of a scalable high-temperature concentrated solar power system (CSP)

UAE’s first 'solar concentrator' installed at Masdar City Campus
Wam
UAE’s first 'solar concentrator' installed at Masdar City Campus

The Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Masdar City, and Wahaj Solar have jointly announced the installation of a first-of-its-kind solar concentrator in the UAE at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform.

The installation is the first step in the development of a scalable high-temperature concentrated solar power system (CSP), including thermal energy storage for more efficient on-demand and ‘dispatchable’ electricity generation, solar fuels production, or industrial process heat applications.

Solar concentrators use lenses that take a large area of sunlight and direct it towards a specific spot by focusing rays of light.

The ASC10 model, which is 10m in diameter, is a pre-commercial scale solar concentrator that is designed and developed by UAE-based Wahaj Solar and is located at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP) within the Masdar City Campus.

In addition, the concentrator – a metallic reflector-based giant Fresnel lens with fixed focal point relative to the ground – will enable the system to achieve higher temperatures with less mirror surface, compared to conventional CSP systems.

It can also be combined with a more efficient high-temperature power generation system, in order to convert more solar energy into electricity, according to state-run news agency, Wam.

Commenting on the installation, the executive vice-president of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, said: “The installation of UAE’s first-of-a-kind solar concentrator marks the next stage of Masdar Institute Solar Platform’s advancing research in solar energy technologies.”

Al Hammadi added: “The MISP stands as an example for innovation and we are keen to contribute to seeking new solutions to increase efficient clean generation of 24/7 power, which remains one of the strategic areas for the UAE. We believe the MISP will further enhance its significance to innovations in the energy sector, especially solar power, while attracting more industry collaborators.”

The system is protected by patents registered in the US, European Union Countries, GCC, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation covering 150 countries worldwide.

With the installed concentrator, Khalifa University can develop other relevant projects to work on high-temperature thermal energy storage systems including thermochemical energy storage or solar fuel production. At a later stage, this could lead to solar metallurgy – melting metals such as aluminum with solar energy.

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