Denmark: Concentrating Solar Collectors for District Heat in Northern Europe

By District Energy posted 08-11-2017 00:00


Baerbel Epp, Solar Thermal World


Brønderslev, a Danish municipality with a population of 12,500, is setting up a multi-purpose renewable heat plant for their district heating network. So far, local utility Brønderslev Forsyning has been operating seven gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plants and two gas boilers to produce 130 GWh of heat each year. In the future, most of the yearly district heating demand is planned to be met by a new Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) unit which receives its energy from two wood chip boilers (10 MW each) producing 17 MWth and 3 MWel and from a 16.6 MWth parabolic trough collector field with a mirror area of 27,000 m². 

Compared to steam turbines based on a water circuit, ORC installations make it possible to recover heat from low-temperature sources available in small-capacity plants. An ORC system can work well in concert with biomass combustion and solar concentrating units. The system was named for its use of an organic fluid characterised by high molecular mass and a liquid-vapour phase change at temperatures below water-steam transformation.

Photo: Aalborg CSP

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