Solar thermal technology uses the sun’s energy, rather than fossil fuels, to generate low-cost, environmentally friendly thermal energy. This energy is used to heat water or other fluids, and can also power solar cooling systems. This type of energy provides several benefits, which include:
- It is manageable and storable
- It is clean, safe and renewable
- It reduces energy dependence
- It provides opportunities for many regions in the world
Spain is the world leader in both installed power and technological capacity, with 50 plants in operation with a total capacity of 2,300 MW. A leadership that has been achieved thanks to the continued investment in R&D in the sector since the late 70s, and that continues today.
In this way Applus+, one of the world’s leading companies in Inspection, Technical Assistance and Certification, provides a wide range of services in this area through its division Applus+ Norcontrol, which include:
- Supply quality
- Production guarantee contract
- Statutory inspections
- Integrated systems for regulatory management
- Electromagnetic inspection
- Environment and safety
- Organization and process improvement
- Technical assistance for maintenance
- Predictive maintenance
Applus+ Norcontrol has participated in more than 15 of the 39 Solar Thermal Power plants in operation in the communities of Andalucía and Extremadura in 2014, successfully developing predictive maintenance in high-voltage works in substations, non-destructive tests, statutory inspections and quality assurance.
Additionally, the Occupational Risk Prevention area has carried out technical assistance and safety and health coordination during the solar thermal works execution. In the Environment Inspection Services area, Applus+ is the only company accredited by ENAC to determine fugitive emissions in solar field and power island. These emissions were determined in several plants during the annual campaigns.
Clear proof of Applus+’s commitment to renewable energies is SOLARPLUS, a product developed by the R+D+I department which will deliver a specific inspection methodology for this type of facilities and will allow to carry out the inspections without compromising the plant’s effectiveness. It will also offer an inspection plan which will include all the equipment and systems maintenance work. All of this will be implemented on a Management Computerized Maintenance Management System application.