The surface temperature of the sun is about 5,800 °C. Only a fraction of this reaches the earth, but still enough to convert this thermal energy into electrical energy. Mirror collectors in solar thermal power plants bundle the solar heat and reflect it onto an absorber. The resulting extremely high temperatures drive turbines with generators. In this way, climate-neutral electricity is generated from solar heat.
Whether in parabolic trough power plants, Fresnel systems or solar power towers: Powerful sensor technology is required to align the mirrors to the position of the sun and ensure efficient utilization of the solar heat. For this purpose, rotary encoders and inclination sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs are used. Inductive sensors for end position feedback are also frequently found in solar thermal power plants.
Because these power plants make use of the sun's heat, they are particularly suitable for deserts and desert-like landscapes with high solar radiation. These areas are characterized by extreme temperature differences between day and night, as well as by sandstorms or other deposits in the air. For these demanding environmental conditions, Pepperl+Fuchs offers sensors with high temperature resistance, tightness, and freedom from wear.