Solar Thermodynamic

Turboden ORC enables the production of electricity from solar energy through the process of "thermodynamic conversion". This process uses mirrors to take advantage of solar radiations to produce heat.

The ORC technology is being used coupled with medium temperature solar collectors for commercial applications, thanks to its excellent results in terms of reliability. Turboden ORC units meet all the requirements a CSP plant presents: ease of operation, simple start and stop procedures, operation in a wide range of temperatures, low maintenance and good conversion efficiency.

Advantages of ORC in Solar Applications

The fact that decentralized electrical production is everyday more important and boosted by governments through renewable energy support policies, together with the difficulty of finding wide available lands, pave the way to the employment of ORC technology in those CSP projects ranging between 1 and 5 MWel.

The intrinsic unpredictability of the solar energy and hence of the thermal power collected is not an issue for the availability and reliability of the ORC. Turboden ORC can not only easily and quickly adapt the cycle according to the thermal power input but also strongly tolerate a frequent on/off regime in which the unit manages the start and stop procedures automatically.

Compared to photovoltaic conversion systems, the thermodynamic conversion has some important advantages:

  • It allows to use simpler, possibly locally produced, concentrating collectors
  • It is possible to accumulate the heat for delayed use, e.g. it is possible to accumulate heat during the day for evening or night use
  • The heat downstream from the conversion system can be further used for heating or cooling (in an absorption chiller) purposes

Compared to thermodynamic steam plants used for powers of large-scale (e.g. 50 MWel and 200 ha), the ORC technology offers, among others, the following advantages:

  • Great results at smaller scale, such as 1 MW and 3 hectares
  • The compact size of the Turboden ORC unit makes it easier to detect the right location, obtain the necessary authorizations, establish the electrical connection, access the financing and realize the plant in a shorter period of time
  • High reliability and easy operation and maintenance

Our Experience

Since our first ORC solar unit built in Perth (Australia) in 1984, we have continuously studied and improved the technology. Furthermore, Turboden is one of the founders and partners of ANEST, Associazione Nazionale Energia Solare Termodinamica. A hybrid ORC plant has been erected in Morocco, where a 2 MWel Turboden ORC has been installed to recover waste energy from a cement factory. The same ORC is also fed by 3 rows of 215 m and about 2000 m2 each for a total of a 6000 m2 captant surface of parabolic collectors.

Is it suitable for you?

The potential for Turboden ORC is huge. Solar energy is highly available in the MENA Regions, Australia, South Africa, South America, USA, South Europe. Needing only 3 hectares of land (depending the DNI values) for a 1 MWel plant, our plants are easy to plan and build.

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