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Ambassador Visits the First Solar Thermal Energy Plant in Southeast Asia

Ambassador Visits the First Solar Thermal Energy Plant in Southeast AsiaDr. Hanns Heinrich Schumacher, the German Ambassador to Thailand, visited the first solar thermal energy plant currently under construction in Thailand.

Located in the province of Kanchanaburi northwest of Bangkok it is the first commercial parabolic trough plant in the world to use direct steam generation to achieve an output of 5 MWe. Solarlite GmbH is also the first company in the world to build plants with this technology.

The German Ambassador to Thailand, Dr. Hanns Heinrich Schumacher, visited the “TSE 1″ solar thermal energy plant under construction in Kanchanaburi Province northwest of Bangkok on March 11, 2011. He was accompanied by Stefan Duppel, Regional Counsellor and Deputy Ambassador, and Dr. Thomas Multhaup, who heads the Embassy’s Economic and Trade Division.

This 5 MWe plant is the first commercial parabolic trough plant in the world to use direct steam generation from water. This technology is more efficient, less expensive and more environmentally friendly than conventional systems, which use thermal oil and an additional heat exchanger.

Solarlite GmbH, based in Duckwitz, Mecklenburg-West Pommerania, is the only company in the world that offers this technology for commercial applications. Solarlite GmbH executives Joachim Krüger and Moritz von Plate were on site to explain the project and lead the delegation through the various production stages, such as the positioning of individual segments and the welding of the receivers.

The German Ambassador and his accompanying delegation were impressed not only by the size of the facility (an area of 110,000 m2) but the precision work required to build it. The fact that technology “made in Germany” is creating jobs and added value in Germany and Thailand is a definite plus.

Dr. Schumacher assured Solarlite GmbH of his assistance in making the Thai government aware of “solar thermal power.” On that note, Joachim Krüger said, “It is important to also draw attention to German companies whose entrepreneurial activities are primarily carried out abroad. That is why I am pleased that the German Ambassador, Dr. Schumacher, as well as Mr. Duppel and Dr. Multhaup are the first official visitors of our project and are learning more about it on site.”

Solarlite is a pioneer in this industry in Southeast Asia. The company has become a leader in the market, particularly in Thailand, due to its sustained and intensive networking efforts.

Key Facts

Electrical output: 5 MWe

Thermal output: 19 MWth

Operating temperature: 330°C

Pressure: 30 bar

Efficiency: 26.4%

Solar field area: 110,000 m2

Collector area: 45,000 m2

Annual energy production: 9 million kWh/a

Annual thermal output: 38.5 million kWh/a

Solar field design: Solarlite GmbH

Engineering: Solarlite GmbH

Investor and operator: Thai Solar Energy Co. Ltd.

The “Plugged to the Sun: The Kanchanaburi Project” has been endorsed by the European Commission’s Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign as an Official Partner.

Solarlite GmbH

Solarlite GmbH develops and builds decentralized solar thermal parabolic trough plants (CSP- concentrated solar power) for combined heat and power generation. These power plants have an electrical output in the range of 500 kWe to 30 MWe. Solarlite is the only supplier of parabolic trough plants in this segment. Compared to conventional parabolic trough collectors, the direct steam generation implemented by Solarlite is more efficient, less expensive, and more environmentally friendly. Solarlite GmbH (German limited liability company) was founded by Joachim Krüger in 2007. The first-ever commercial 5 MWe solar thermal parabolic trough power plant based on direct steam generation is being built in Thailand. The plant will begin operations in the first half of 2011.

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