Monitoring of a MW Class Solar Field Set up in a Brick Manufacturing Process
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InSun is an FP7 project that aims to demonstrate the reliability and quality of large solar thermal collector fields to produce industrial process heat at different temperature levels. In three demonstration plants, MW class solar fields with concentrating (Fresnel and parabolic trough) and flat plate collectors are installed, supplying heat to different production processes, at diverse climatic conditions. The new plants will be monitored to assess the performance and optimize the control strategies of the solar installations. One of the demonstration plants is a brick production company located in Italy (Laterizi Gambettola S.r.l.), where the installation of Fresnel collectors is foreseen, to reduce the consumption of natural gas, currently employed for the generation of process heat. After planning and commissioning, the solar field is now being monitored. Results in terms of temperatures, mass flows and control procedures are supervised to evaluate components’ performance and system energy balances. A dedicated procedure is under development, suitable for handling with the huge amount of data available thanks to the monitoring campaign. This paper presents a description of the solar energy integration into the brick production process and of the installed monitoring network. The data analysis procedure is also presented.