CSP Workshop : 6. How to measure and avoid soiling in large solar plants

Dr. Peter-Heller
DLR, Germany

by Dr. Peter Heller, DLR, Germany

Soiling is influencing the performance of solar plants. Therefore, frequent cleaning of the optical surfaces is necessary to maintain the desired level of cleanliness at the components of the plant. As CSP power plants are mainly built in desert environments were water is a scarce resource, the reduction of the water consumption for cleaning is important. In general the influence of soiling on the performance of the optical components needs to be understood and quantified. Measures to reduce soiling may be applied such as antisoiling coatings.
New research results and best practices on how to characterize the effect of soiling on the optics and how to measure the soiling rate in commercial applications are presented. The results from outdoor exposure of antisoiling coatings on mirrors are discussed and the impact of soiling on the economics of a power plant is given.


Dr. Peter Heller is a Mechanical Engineer and received his PhD in 2001 from the RWTH Aachen on the topic of ” Investigation on receivers for solar tower plants “. He worked since 1989 for DLR on developing and testing of point focusing systems. In 1996 he moved from Stuttgart to Almerá, Spain, and took over the responsibility for the DLR staff at the Plataforma Solar de Almería in the area of tower and dish/Stirling systems. Since 2011 he is leading the department “Qualification” within the DLR Institute of Solar Research. The department has a staff of about 30 scientists and PhD students and is operating several laboratories specializing in energy meteorology and performance and durability assessment of components and systems. Among them are the heliostat test platform in Jülich and the QUARZ Laboratory for the qualification of parabolic trough mirrors and receivers in Cologne. In Almería, the laboratories OPAC for durability assessment of reflectors and METAS for energy meteorology are jointly operated with CIEMAT. Cooperations with partners in the MENA regions are focusing on capacity building, developing of test infrastructure and studying the impact of desert environment on the performance of the CSP technology.
Since 2008 Peter Heller is Operating Agent of the IEA SolarPACES Task III (Solar Technologies and Advanced Applications) with a special focus on the development of guidelines for CSP standards. He is also coordinator for the subprogram “Materials for CSP” of the EERA Joint Programme CSP.