19 November 2012
Since September 2011 a research team led by the two Ph. D. students Fabian Wolfertstetter of the DLR Institute of Solar Research and Ahmed Alami Merrouni of the University Mohammed Premier Oujda, Morocco shared a common goal: the development of a new and improved measurement technique to determine the degree of contamination of the mirror surfaces that concentrate the solar radiation in solar thermal power plants. In September this year Wolfertstetter and Alami Merrouni presented the results of their successful collaboration at the SolarPACES conference in Morocco and received the DESERTEC Best Paper Award for their work. The award went to Dipl.-Phys. Fabian Wolferstetter, Master M & E Ahmed Alami Merrouni, Dr. Klaus Pottler (DLR), Prof. A. Maezrhab (Mohammad Premier University) and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Pitz-Paal (DLR). The award ceremony took place during the DII conference in Berlin.
The contamination of the mirrors by weather conditions affect to a considerable extent their ability to reflect solar radiation and thus the efficiency of solar power plants. During their collaborative work, the scientists engaged intensively with the issue of soiling and developed, among other things, the new instrument "TraCS tracking Cleanliness sensor".
It allows for an easier, more accurate and cost-effective measurement of the degree of contamination of the solar mirror surfaces than the previously known methods. Its use in solar thermal power plants will help the operators to optimize cleaning cycles for mirrors. It can be integrated with high-precision, meteorological stations that are widely used in solar power plants.
This work was made possible through the bilateral Collaboration Project "Morocco Meteonet solar MMS", financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the University of Mohammed Premier in Oujda.