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Novatec Solar AG

Novatec BioSol, also called Novatec Solar, is a German company that focuses its efforts on concentrated solar power. Founded in 2006, Novatec constructed the world’s first Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar power plant in Spain in 2009. The Puerto Errado 1 (PE1) power station produces a maximum capacity of 1.4 megawatts with the help of 18,000 Fresnel mirrors and a proprietary solar boiler system. The success of the PE 1 station led to the design and construction of the PE2 station, which was completed in 2010 in Murcia, Spain. PE2 is a 30 megawatt generation facility capable of powering approximately 12,000 homes.

Novatec systems are currently capable of reaching temperatures of 270 degrees Celsius using supersaturated steam. The company’s goal is to reach 450 degrees Celsius for their parabolic trough technology over the next several years. They have already displayed a prototype Fresnel collector capable of reaching 500 oC. The system uses vacuum absorber tubes to reduce heat loss by 50%. This allows the boiler to make efficient use of the sunlight and superheat the steam further than many solar power tower systems at a fraction of the cost.

Novatec intends to remain focused on CSP and to continue to deliver innovation in that field. The company leadership has rejected several attempts by others to get the company involved in other renewable energy sources, including photovoltaic. Such diversification is seen as a detriment to the company’s ability to innovate, shifting focus away from delivering a cutting edge product in favor of managing sales. Novatec prefers to innovate, as evidenced by their superheated steam achievement.

None of this is not to say, however, that Novatec focuses exclusively on power generation.   Rather, their focus is on Fresnel-based CSP, which can be applied to the generation of electricity, desalination, cooling, and creating process steam.  Novatec has developed a hybrid power-desalination solution that relies on their Fresnel reflectors. The company s also developing “district cooling” systems, which use large-scale Fresnel installations and absorption chilling to generate large amounts of cool air for multiple homes. This strategy is more efficient than producing electricity to run individual cooling units.

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