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Development and demonstration of intelligent non-contact inspection technology for concentrated solar power plants

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is the renewable energy source with the highest potential for growth. From a strict techno-economic aspect, the two CSP technologies which are currently commercially viable are those based on parabolic trough and linear Fresnel reflector designs. Parabolic trough concentrators are the most widely deployed type of solar thermal power plant. Most of the existing parabolic trough plants operate up to 400°C, but with recent technological advances the maximum operating temperature of newly commissioned plants can reach 550°C.


InterSolar seeks to decrease by a noticeable margin the number of failures associated with the coolant system and absorber tubes of CSP plants resulting in the minimisation of corrective maintenance costs. The consortium members of the project will achieve this through the development and successful implementation of an intelligent guided waves inspection platform based on the use of preferably non-contact electromagnetic acoustic transducer sensors (EMATs).


The successful implementation of the INTERSOLAR project will contribute significantly to achieving the reliability, socioeconomic and environmental targets that have been set for the European solar thermal industry by 2020, and support the competitiveness of European SMEs by putting them at the forefront of CSP plant inspection and maintenance technology.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 605028.