Japanese company Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) has introduced verification testing for the energy collecting performance of a concentrating solar power (CSP) system at a new facility within the company’s Yokohama Works.

Received under contract from the Japanese Environment Ministry, the testing will be conducted through to March next year.

The contract is part of a fiscal 2016 project under the ministry’s Low Carbon Technology Research and Development Programme. The testing will verify the efficiency of improvements made by MHPS to its earlier systems, which involve a higher-temperature steam. This will enable the system to supply stable power at low-cost.

"MHPS' system will be able to produce the equivalent of 300kW of electric power."

A CSP system uses a sunlight concentrator to accumulate solar thermal energy, generating high-temperature steam to operate a turbine. MHPS's 10,000m² testing facility features the CSP hybrid system. This includes a superheater, an evaporator, and 150 heliostats, which track the movements of the sun and use mirrors to reflect the sunlight to the focus point on the superheater. When connected to a generator, the system will be able to produce the equivalent of 300kW of electric power.

The major challenge under the current project is to verify the feasibility of the system and these tests will confirm its effectiveness.

Image: Verification Testing facility of advanced CSP system. Photo: courtesy of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems