One-of-a-kind facility for SU

PICTURE: Lizelle Lötter Photography

A large fan and cooling system test facility, the only one of its kind in the world, was officially opened at the faculty of engineering, Stellenbosch University.

This exceptional facility is part of the university’s participation in the European-funded Horizon2020 MinWaterCSP project. Its opening coincided with a two-day international conference on the reduction of water consumption in concentrating solar power plants, hosted in conjunction with Stellenbosch University.

The purpose of the conference was to introduce the South African industry and the wider international community to the project and the possible advantages that its results hold for the concentrating solar power (CSP) industry.

The Horizon2020 MinwaterCSP project could contribute to technologies that would significantly decrease water and energy consumption in power plants, while maintaining or possibly even improving net-power output to the client, especially in drought-stricken regions where CSP plants are customary. 

Topics covered by the conference ranged from water management at solar power stations, the reduction of water consumption used for cleaning at solar power plants and innovative, low water consumption cooling technologies for solar plants.

Stellenbosch University is well known for its expertise in cooling technologies, as well as solar thermal energy solutions and therefore made a significant contribution to the conference.

On the final afternoon of the conference, Professor Willie Perold (vice-dean: research and industry liaison, faculty of engineering) officially opened the new test facility.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654443.