HELIOtube is a cheaper and less resource intensive collector technology for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants setting the new gold standard for a power plant carbon footprint. Conventional technologies (parabolic troughs, Tower, Linear Fresnel, Parabolic Dish) are resource and energy intensive in construction, logistics and installation, leading to high costs and negative environmental impacts.
HELIOVIS has developed a lightweight pneumatic technology for solar concentrators which allows 55% cost savings and 40% CO2 reduction compared to the best future parabolic trough technologies. The HELIOtube is an inflatable cylindrical concentrator made of plastic film. Its full scale/commercial size is 220m long with a diameter of 9m.
The HELIOtube is aligned from North to South and tracks the sun one-dimensionally from East to West. The concentrated solar irradiation is used in commercially available thermal absorbers attached along the focus line for the generation of steam. The heat can then be used for industrial processes or power generation.
It can concentrate light by a factor of 100 and heats the thermal receiver fluid to a temperature of 400 to 600° C, enough to provide steam to turbines for electricity generation. HELIOtubes will be manufactured by a fully automated roll-to-roll process and in large quantities from commercially available recyclable plastic films (instead of the current steel-and-glass based technologies). The rolled HELIOtube can be transported in a standard container and will be inflated at the site designated for the power plant. This offers significant competitive advantages in materials, production, logistics, and installation costs.