DLR - Institute of Solar Research - CIEMAT Plataforma Solar de Almería - Europe's biggest Test Center for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)

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CIEMAT Plataforma Solar de Almería - Europe's biggest Test Center for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP)
(8. December 2010)

In the province of Almeria in southeast Spain, on the edge of Tabernas Desert, lies the Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA). Owner and operator of the PSA is the spanish research center for energy, environmental studies and technology CIEMAT, a co-operation partner of the DLR for many years.

On this over-250-acre site, the full force of the Andalusian sun has been exploited since 1980 for the testing and optimisation of a variety of high-temperature solar technologies under nearly practicable conditions. More than 20,000 square metres of mirrors of various shapes in different test facilities concentrate the direct solar radiation to generate high and extremely high temperatures.


These facilities in the middle of a barren landscape, some of which seem to have come from the future, make up the largest test centre in Europe for concentrating high-temperature solar technologies - and one which leads the world in its variety. Every year, the site fascinates not only solar enthusiasts, but numerous scientific and private visitors. DLR played a major role in its planning and construction, and has been making use of the facility since the very beginning with on-site scientific staff to conduct its own solar technology testing and deveopment work. It works in close co-operation with its Spanish partner, CIEMAT.

Test facilities at the PSA

Actually the following test facilities are available at the PSA:

  • Solar Tower Power Plant CESA-1, 300 heliostats with 40 m² each, 7 MWth, 83 m height, 4 test levels
  • Solar Tower Plower Plant SSPS, 92 heliostats with 40 m² each, 2.7 MWth, 43 m height, 2 test levels
  • DISS loop: direct generation of steam, 500 m LS-3-Collector, 2.5 MWth, 100 bar steam
  • Parbolic trough collector test field: Eurotrough Collector (75 m) and LS3-collector (50 m)
  • Parabolic trough ACUREX-field (2700 m², 1.3 Mwth Parabolic Trough Sector, 500 m)
  • Parabolic trough field MAN
  • Solar furnace (up to 3 MW/m², temperature gradients up to 104 K/s)
  • 6 EuroDish facilities
  • Solar chemical test facilities for water detoxification
  • Desalination facility


Plataforma Solar de Almería
Apartado 39
E-04200 Tabernas/Almería

Dr. rer. nat. Christoph Richter
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Solar Research
, Administration
Tabernas (Spanien)

Tel.: +34 950 271486

Fax: +34 950 260315

Links to Plataforma Solar de Almería
More Information on Current Research Activities


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