Tag Archives: FLABEG

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): Millions of Losses with Wrong Components

According to calculations by DLR (German Aerospace Center) the increase in yield resulting from annealed parabolic mirrors over a period of 25 years amounts to more than seven million Euros. This is based on independent figures and on the company’s practical experience with more than seven million solar mirrors that have been installed in the field for 30 years already.

In the industry it is discussed whether CSP solar mirrors made from tempered or annealed glass achieve a better overall performance. Manufacturers of tempered mirrors advertise lower costs for mirror replacement. This calculation fails to take account however of the higher plant yield that solar mirrors made of annealed glass achieve owing to their better precision collector interception.

The key parameters for the yield of a CSP plant are the bending properties of the mirrors. The basis for assessing the bending properties of a solar mirror is the focus deviation (FDx). This measures the frequency distribution of the real focus deviation in transversal (x) direction of the reflected beam from the ideal focul line of the collector parabola. Consequently, the lower the FDx value, the higher the plant yield. According to the calculations of the DLR each millimetre of decreased scattering loss amounts to an additional plant yield of 11.25 million Euros1 over a period of 25 years.

Based on these data, FLABEG Holding GmbH, the market leader in the field of glass finishing and the leading international manufacturer of solar mirrors has made the following calculation:

Yield and cost summary for a 50 MW plant with 23,000 tubes and 200,000 mirrors

Additional yield due to better precision collector interception (FDx): Annealed + 7,875.000 €1 Tempered 0

Costs for mirror replacements due to glass breakage:
Annealed – 650,000 € Tempered – 42,500 €
Costs for absorber tube replacements due to glass breakage: – Annealed 65,000 €
Tempered 0

Total: Annealed + 7,160.000 € Tempered – 42,500 €

Additional yield of the plant with annealed solar mirrors after 25 years: 7,117,500 €

Bases of calculation:
Average mirror breakage rate: annealed 0.20 %2, tempered 0.01 %3
Average absorber tube breakage rate: annealed 0.025 %2, tempered 0 %3
Precision rate / focus deviation: annealed FDx < 8 mm4, tempered FDx < 8.7 mm3

1Mean values according to calculations by the German Aerospace Center, reference
values: plant capacity 50 MW, period of observation 25 years, nominal glass
thickness 4 mm
2Average values according to KJC/Harper Lake, period of observation 10 years,
nominal glass thickness 4 mm
3Tempered glass manufacturer’s indications
4 Current average focus deviation of FLABEG parabolic solar mirrors

The result shows that during long-term observation, the annealed solar mirrors are markedly more profitable: More than seven million Euros of additional plant yield is achieved over the period of 25 years.

Axel Buchholz, CEO of FLABEG Holding GmbH, is able to confirm this calculation based on independent figures from his own practical experience: “Competitors advertise with extrapolations. In contrast, our solar mirrors have been in the field for 30 years already and have proven their durability and constantly high performance”. Another item of practical experience to be borne in mind: “Glass breakage generally arises only at the corners or edge of a mirror. Tempered glass shatters into a thousand individual pieces in this case, which may result in considerable damage to other components in the field. Our annealed mirrors on the other hand continue to remain operational”.

FLABEG, founded in 1882, is an independent company with 13 facilities in Europe, America and Asia. FLABEG is active in the commercial sectors of automotive mirrors, solar mirrors and technical glass; specializing in all processes of glass finishing. As the pioneer of solar technology with a worldwide network, FLABEG produces mirrors for all CSP-applications – Parabolic Trough, Dishes, Tower and Linear Fresnel. Due to latest coating technologies our solar mirrors are characterized by a reflectivity of more than 95%. FLABEG sets technological standards in terms of the company’s core competencies – bending and coating.

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Concentration:FLABEG pools Know-How

FLABEG, the international glass finishing specialist, now provides its customers with even more transparency. With the formation of FLABEG Deutschland GmbH the company will concentrate its key competences in the field of automotive and technical glass, in future FLABEG GmbH will focus simultaneously on the development of the solar mirror business.

“The significant expansion of our worldwide business locations made it necessary to re-organize our key competences,” said Axel Buchholz, CEO of the FLABEG Group, explaining the new structure. The automotive and technical glass divisions will operate under the umbrella of FLABEG Deutschland GmbH. The mission: to create a powerful, flexible center of competence for partners in the automotive, consumer electronics and aerospace industries.

For FLABEG customers the pooling of expertise in the solar mirror business and the automotive, technical glass has distinct advantages. FLABEG provides its partners from consulting to support up to the individual precision solution all from one source. “Even with expansion, it is important for us to retain the flexibility and structure of a medium-sized company,” said Axel Buchholz. “Utilizing the concentrated development expertise of our all locations, we are able to produce tailor-made high-tech glass products for our customers in a timely manner. A key competitive advantage for FLABEG customers.”

FLABEG, founded in 1882, is an independent company with production facilities in Europe, America and Asia. FLABEG is an expert in all types of glass processing. Precision bending and coating are among the core competencies of the company.

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FLABEG Solar U.S. Corp. Opens New Solar Mirror Plant

FLABEG, global leader in high-tech glass and mirror applications, is opening a new production facility for solar mirrors which are used to help generate electricity at large-scale solar power plants. The new 209.00sq.ft manufacturing facility is erected in the Clinton Commerce Park near Pittsburgh International Airport.

The factory will have a annual capacity to deliver parabolic curved mirrors up to 450 MW for PT plants. This production site is therefore equipped to produce tempered solar mirrors in addition to the established monoliths, untempered mirrors.

“Our philosophy has undergone no change, nevertheless we want to be fully prepared for all possible changes in the law,” commenting FLABEG CEO Axel Buchholz on the extended production range. “We expect some federal states will introduce standards for safety glass for Concentrated Solar Power applications. Our core production will remain with untempered solar mirrors.”

Field tests indicate a breakage rate of 0.027% for FLABEG untempered solar mirrors. At such low levels breakage is not an issue.

“As always FLABEG continues to keep abreast oft he changing demands of the market,” says Buchholz. The facility will in future also be home to thinglass applications for Solar Dishes and Concentrated PV and also flat mirrors for Power Tower heliostats and Linear Fresnel power plants.

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Concentrated Solar Power: No Breakage Issue for Untempered Solar Mirrors

Field tests from the project „Nevada Solar One“ indicate a breakage rate of 0.027% for FLABEG’s solar mirrors: In the course of three years only 50 needed to be replaced from a total 183.400 installed mirrors. This erases the erroneous fact that tempered glass is necessary to mitigate breakage. However, there are no commercially available mirrors for parabolic troughs that are able to match the precision of curvature that FLABEG manufactures.

FLABEG redefines mirror bending precision by achieving FDx≤10 mm (measured by DLR). This is equivalent to a hit rate of 99.95% (focal line d=70mm). With this quality parameter FLABEG has achieved a unique standard of excellence and technical preeminence.

FLABEG’s parabolic mirrors are produced by a special sag-bending process, which results in the highest possible degree of precision. On the other hand, tempered glass can only be press bent, which does not allow to come to the same outstanding precision of bending as the sag bending process can provide.

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Naugatuck Glass continues under New Flag: FLABEG Technical Glass U.S. Corporation

With a change of name to FLABEG Technical Glass U.S. Corp. the acquisition of Naugatuck Glass, Connecticut, initiated in mid-2008, is now complete. By this move FLABEG has expanded its solar portfolio with a focus on thin glass technology for solar applications.

In the field of machining and finishing of thin glass with strengths of 0.95 mm, Naugatuck Glass acquired a leading position. And now FLABEG is building on this experience to develop strategically ist future orientation as a leading supplier in the field of concentrating solar thermal power plants (CSP). Additionally, in this context, it is also pressing ahead with the development of lead-and copper-free protection and coating systems for solar energy applications.

“Even for parabolic-reflector power stations thinner glass units are interesting. The thinner the glass, the higher the degree of reflection,” explains Axel Buchholz, CEO of the FLABEG Group. Thus FLABEG is once again manifesting its role as an experienced and innovative partner for plant operators.

FLABEG, founded in 1882, is an independent company with ten manufacturing facilities in Europe, America and Asia. FLABEG is active in the commercial sectors of automotive mirrors, solar glass mirrors and technical glass, specializing in all processes of glass finishing, and sets technological standard in terms of the company‘s core competencies – bending and coating.

Mirror components, bending and the application of optical and functional layers also rank among the core competencies of FLABEG Technical Glass U.S. Corp., (formerly Naugatuck Glass, founded in 1927) so that FLABEG now virtually covers the spectrum of flat glass processing.

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