A short introduction to the PCS Plant of the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre, where ENEA’s  innovative concentration solar thermodynamic technology was first tested and developed. The facility is now part of SFERA,  a laboratory network for the promotion of renewable energy.  Certification testing of commercial components and advanced training for researchers and technicians is available on demand.
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The PCS Plant

Luogo: Roma
Data: 07/12/2011
Canale: English
Autori: F. Falconieri, M. Maffioletti

A short introduction to the PCS Plant of the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre, where ENEA’s  innovative concentration solar thermodynamic technology was first tested and developed. The facility is now part of SFERA,  a laboratory network for the promotion of renewable energy.  Certification testing of commercial components and advanced training for researchers and technicians is available on demand.

This is the PCS  Plant of the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre: here the performance of the main components of concentration solar thermodynamic systems is tested in operation.
The PCS Plant was first developed in 2003 and it was meant to carry out tests for the development of a new concentration solar thermodynamic technology based on parallel arrays of parabolic troughs and the use of molten salt as heat transfer fluid.
The new technology developed by the ENEA’s researchers soon proved a success: a new and more efficient system to store heat  was introduced, overcoming a major drawback due to the lack of continuity of the solar source. Also, operational temperatures as high as 550 Centigrade opened up to a new way of producing energy, combining a solar field and a steam turbine plant.  
Research and development activities at the PCS plant never stopped, though, and it was soon converted into a  unique facility for the certification testing of commercial components. Vocational training to technicians and young researchers is also delivered during specially designed courses on location.  
The PCS Plant is part of the SFERA network,  a European Union funded project to boost  scientific collaboration in the solar concentration field.
It is  equipped with an advanced system for monitoring a large range  of different operating conditions. It can be easily modified, so that new components can be integrated in its circuit and their performance easily tested.
Solar technology  is becoming more and more attractive to industry in Italy and Europe  and in a not so distant future it  is to play an important role in the sustainable development of the whole world.
More performant and efficient materials and components are needed, as well as trained technician and researchers. The PCS Plant can contribute to both: the facility is open and available
at the ENEA Casaccia Research Centre.     

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