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Inspection technology for concentrated solar power plants

InterSolar: 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.

Project Partners

  • CIT Ltd
  • PSP Telecom and Networking
  • Applied Tecnologies
  • Viskam LK
  • Ingeteam
  • UCLM
  • Brunel University London

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Tat-Hean Gan
Professor Tat-Hean Gan - Professional Qualifications CEng. IntPE (UK), Eur Ing BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronics Engg (Uni of Nottingham) MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering (University of Warwick) MBA in International Business (University of Birmingham) PhD in Engineering (University of Warwick) Languages English, Malaysian, Mandarin, Cantonese Professional Bodies Fellow of the British Institute of NDT Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology Tat-Hean Gan has 10 years of experience in Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) and Condition Monitoring of rotating machineries in various industries namely nuclear, renewable energy (eg Wind, Wave ad Tidal), Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Construction and Infrastructure, Aerospace and Automotive. He is the Director of BIC, leading activities varying from Research and development to commercialisation in the areas of novel technique development, sensor applications, signal and image processing, numerical modelling and electronics hardware. His experience is also in Collaborative funding (EC FP7 and UK TSB), project management and technology commercialisation.

Related Research Group(s)

woman engineer

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Project last modified 12/10/2023