Solar energy

Solar thermal power plants are an important technology in sunny regions for the environmentally-friendly and climate-friendly generation of power. Power generation with solar heat is based on a simple principle: mirrors (solar collectors) concentrate and bundle the suns rays and convert their power to thermal energy. The high resultant temperatures drive steam or gas turbines which generate electrical power using generators.

In solar thermal power plants parabolic trough systems are mainly used to bundle the solar radiation. At the focal point, the solar energy is transferred to a steam or oil heat transfer medium circulation system. The cylindrical parabolic mirror whose axes track the sun ensures that sunlight is always bundled and concentrated on the heat transfer element.
Solar power towers - also referred to as heliostat power plants - operate according to a similar principle. Mirrors which can move on two axes are controlled to ensure that the sunlight is always reflected to the top of the tower (collector).

Control with easy, switching with motor starter combinations

The alignment of the mirror determines the effectiveness and efficiency of the solar power plants. The local drives must be precisely controlled and switched. The control relays of the Eaton xControl family are ideally suited for this purpose: by utilising fieldbus communication technology they communicate reliably with the drives which are installed long distances away. The “actual” motor drive switches the tried-and-tested motor starter. The motor-protective circuit-breaker PKZ and the contactor DILM are an ideal combination especially because of their use of tool-less connection technology.
In further processes, the heated steam or oil heat transfer media must be reliably pumped through the heat transfer pipes. Also a task predestined for the motor starters.

Connection system SmartWire DT

If several pumps are used, the combination of motor starters and the innovative SmartWire DT connection system is the ideal solution: the motor starters can be quickly and safety interconnected with one another using pluggable, pre-assembled connection cables. The wiring effort is reduced significantly.
This approach ensures savings both in terms of mounting and troubleshooting during ongoing operation.