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09/01/2012 | News, Newsletter April 2012
The world biggest solar thermal plant in Riad

The current world biggest solar thermal plant was built in Riad, Saudi Arabia by Millemium Energy Industries and started delivering heat in July 2011.

The Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University for women is currently being built North of Riad, Saudi Arabia. With 8 km² and 40.000 students it is a city in itself. A district heating will deliver hot water and heat (over 40 heating days in Riad) to these numerous clients.  The heat will be produced by 36.305 m² solar collectors and an oil boiler with a power of 70 MWth. The whole collector surface will be centrally installed on a flat roof of a 60.000 m² storage building. A storage volume of 900 m³ was also designed, to deal with times with high radiations and low need.

The contract for the collectors was awarded to the Austrian producer GREENoneTEC with its large-surface collectors GK 3100. Apart from the energy efficiency and economical aspects, it was important to have a convenient hydraulic system, to facilitate the collector’s integration in a large collector area. Another condition was that the collectors must be able to resist the static loads resulting from sand storms with over 150 km/h speed.

The solar plant was brought into service at the end of July 2011, and delivers heat to the district heating ever since. An appropriate monitoring of the plant is planned and will help picture the functionalities of each hydraulic detail, find solutions for stagnation problems and provide info about the energetic performance of the whole system.

Source: Erneuerbare Energie, AEE Intec, April 2011

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