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Solar Energy

Solar energy is providing a significant form of clean renewable energy for the future. Solar thermal power plants are becoming cost-effective renewable power technologies and are expected to have increased emphasis as this technology develops.

Solar energy can be converted to electricity in two ways:

  • Solar Thermal Power Plants generate electricity when heat from solar thermal collectors is used to heat a fluid which produces steam that is used to produce electric power.


  • Photovoltaic (PV devices) or “solar cells” – change sunlight directly into electricity. PV systems can be residential or large scale generating stations, and may be used in remote locations not connected to an electric grid.
Thermon has a full range of heat trace technologies and engineering expertise to provide the heating requirements for any solar related application.

Solar Thermal Power
Solar thermal power concentrates heat from the sun. The concentrated solar power heats oil which is used to produce steam.

Solar Flow Diagram - Click for larger view
  • Oil is heated to 75°C (167°F) in the piping before being heated by the gathered solar energy to produce steam. Recommended heat trace system: Thermon MIQ mineral insulated heating cable.


  • Molten salt needs to be maintained at 220°C (428°F) to keep it from solidifying. Recommended heat trace system: Thermon MIQ mineral insulated heating cable.


  • Freeze protection is required on all steam and cooling water piping. Recommended heat trace system: Thermon BSX self-regulating heating cable for the cooling water and Thermon MIQ for the steam
    and condensate lines.
Photovoltaic
Photovoltaic cells directly convert sunlight into electricity. Electrons in the cells become excited when they are struck by sunlight, generating DC power which is converted into AC power for distribution.

  • Photovoltaic cells are produced from raw material called polysilicon. Polysilicon production plants use water for cooling along with other chemicals to control by products.
    Recommended heat trace system: Thermon BSX self-regulating heating cable for freeze protection of the water piping and HTSX for process temperature maintenance.