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Mexico: Second Solar Process Heat Case Study on Copper Mining

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on December 1, 2016
Mexico Copper MineArcon-Sunmark has announced the completion of a second solar-heated copper mine project. In September 2016, the Danish company installed a 6,270 m² collector field (4.4 MWth) at La Parreña in central Mexico. A 30 September press release said that the solar field would cover 58 % of the mine’s demand for heat. The field consists of 456 components of nearly 14 m² each and a storage tank of 660 m³. The first project of its kind, a field of 39,300 m² (27.5 MWth), was completed with a joint-venture partner at the Gabriela Mistral mine in Chile in 2013. Being the world’s largest solar system for process heat application, it had produced 142,000 MWh in the first 35 months of operation, the press release said. This corresponds to a specific yield of 1,112 kWh per m² and year. 
Photo: Arcon-Sunmark
 

Chile: Consistent Electrolytic Bath Temperature Control Increases Copper Cathode Quality

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 28, 2016
Ian NelsonPampa Elvira Solar (PES) operates the largest solar process heat installation worldwide, a 27.5 MWth collector field at the Gabriela Mistral mine in Chile. “It´s an every-day, every-hour struggle to harvest the sun and earn our wages, so we may continue the very humble – and much too often neglected – business of running a solar heat-delivering system in the middle of the desert,” said Ian Nelson, General Manager of Pampa Elvira Solar. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with him about dust problems, the opportunities of concentrating collectors, the challenges of ESCO operation and improved copper cathodes. Five-and-a-half years ago, the engineer started at Energía Llaima, an independent producer of hydro and solar thermal solutions. PES, which was founded in 2012, is a consortium of Danish company Arcon-Sunmark and Energía Llaima. 
Photo: Pampa Elvira Solar
 

Solar Process Heat in Chile: “It is essential to use the ESCO model”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 21, 2016
Roberto RomanThe world’s largest process heat installation has recently completed its third year of operation. The 39,000 m² collector field, which went online in October 2013 at Codelco´s Gabriela Mistral mine, is located 100 kilometres south of the town of Calama in Chile´s high central desert. Planning, delivery and installation of the solar field were done by Chilean-Danish joint-venture Pampa Elvira Solar, which has since been the operator of the system as well. The plant provides around 80 % of the energy required for the last step in copper production, the electrolytic refining of the metal in an acid bath. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with Roberto Roman, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematical Sciences of the University of Chile. Roman has been part of a university team advising Codelco, Chile´s state-owned mining company, on solar mining from the very beginning.
Photo: Taken from the video interview at the Eurosun 2016
 

Austria: Award-Winning Energy Service Company Publishes ESCO Model Fact Sheets

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 26, 2016
Contracting AwardEnergy Service Companies (ESCO) have become pioneers in the development of financing and operating models for various energy sector customers. Every two years, the so-called Contracting Award highlights exemplary ESCO projects in Germany (“Contracting” is the German word for Energy Service Contracts). For the first time since the launch of the awards in 1997, the jury members from the magazine Energy & Management and the German Heat & Power Association, AGFW, presented one of these awards to a solar thermal ESCO. On 16 April, Christian Holter (third from left), Managing Director of Austrian turnkey system supplier S.O.L.I.D., was presented with the second prize for its solar energy supply contract with a district heating company in the Austrian city of Graz. The company published Tech Sheets and Fact Sheets about ESCO models as part of the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling programme’s Task 45, Large Scale Solar Heating and Cooling Systems (see the attached documents).
 

Denmark: From Sunmark to Sunmark Solutions

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on April 1, 2014
SunmarkBecause of a lack of turnover, Danish collector manufacturer and turnkey solar thermal system supplier Sunmark had to file for bankruptcy on 10 February 2014. “We had had a hard time with the competition during public tenders, but also some difficulties with bad quality products from Danish and Swedish subcontractors, which had created some huge costs to Sunmark,” Hans Grydehøj, CEO, co-founder and one of the two shareholders of Sunmark, explains. “In the end, it was not possible to come to an agreement with the bank, and filing for bankruptcy was the only solution.” The photo shows a district heating plant installed in the Danish town of Oksbøl in 2010.
Photo: Sunmark
 

Chile: President Inaugurates Solar Field with 27.5 MWth

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 13, 2013

In the middle of October, Chile´s President Sebastián Piñera inaugurated the currently world´s largest solar thermal field with 27.5 MWth (39,300 m² of collector area). The system supplies heat to the Gaby copper mine of state-owned mining company Codelco. It is located in the high central desert, 100 km south of the town of Calama, in a region where it hardly ever rains. The mining installation’s size surpasses the 36,000 m² plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was finished at the end of 2011. “The solar field will replace underground fuel sources which pollute the environment and are expensive compared to a source that is abundant, clean and guaranteed,” Piñera said at the inauguration according to an article in the Latin American Herald Tribune from 15 October 2013. Codelco profited from fixed energy prices, so the company could plan ahead without having to worry about market fluctuations, the president added.
Photo: CNN

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