There are 3 different types of thermal solar power plants. Tower-Power-Plant Trough-Power-Plant Fresnel-Power-Plant
Tower-Power-Plant - around a receiver tower set up in the middle, here 140m high, many thousands of so-called Heliostats are built. Heliostats are flat Mirrors that are mounted on a complex Mechanism that constantly guides the Mirror-Surfaces according to the position of the Sun and thus focuses the Sunlight on one Point. The concentrated Solar-Radiation is directed in such a way that it hits the Receiver at the Head of the Tower. Up to 1.000° Celsius is generated at the Receiver, this Heat generates Steam that classically drives a Steam-Turbine. The problems of a tower power plant: The Life-Span of the Receiver is quite limited, since the extreme Heat-Leads to fast Material-Wear. Numerous Heliostats have to be built around the tower. In this power station, for example, there are 300,000 mirrors. The Costs for the Heliostat-Mirrors amount to more than 80% of the total Investment. These Mirrors are not static, but they have to be guided very precisely towards the Sun, which requires a very stiff Supporting-Structure on which the Mirrors are mounted. Each of these Mirrors needs a very complex Sun-Tacking-System, which the Heliostats exactly follow the Sun  and this is for each Heliostat, extremely complex in Construction. High Maintenance effort, since the many thousands of individual Heliostats are always subject to Electronic and Mechanical Failures. This increases exponentially with the Age of the System. The general Conditions in the Desert are very bad for a complex mechanics.
High maintenance effort when Cleaning the heliostats - Extreme Water-Consumption - where there is no Water. The Heliostats stand on a "Mono-Foot", which has to absorb all loads, especially wind loads, without De-Adjusting. Desert Storms are a real Challenge for Heliostats, in two respects, on the one hand the Wind-Loads and on the other hand the high Abrasion on the Mirrors by the Sand, which rubs with very high Dynamics over on the Mirrors.
The Trough-Power-Plant consists of giant Trough-Shaped Mirrors with a Line-Shaped Receiver-Tube in the Centre. Thermal Oil circulates in the receiver pipe; in newer Systems, Steam is also generated directly in the Receiver-Pipes - the Steam has a Temperature of up to 550° Celsius. The Steam then drives a Steam-Turbine in the traditional Way.
The Problems of a Trough-Power-Plant: As you can see very impressively on the Picture, the effort to build such Trough-Shaped-Mirrors is very high. The mirror substructure has to be extremely rigid without becoming too heavy, because the Mirrors have to be rotated around their longitudinal Axis to follow the Sun. On the Picture you can see very well how distorted the mirror image, because the Substructure is not precise enough. Distorted Mirrors cost Performance. The Precision of the Mirrors is an unsolvable task, even during assembly, without external loads such as wind. This brings us to the extreme Mechanical Maintenance-Costs associated with a large Solar-Field. Constant maintenance work on the filigree supporting structure. No automatic Monitoring of the Mirror-Field, whether Mirrors are destroyed, dirty or defocused.
As you can see very impressively on the Picture, the Cleaning of the huge Mirror-Field is a real Sisyphus Work. The Cleaning can only be done partially, because the sensitive and very expensive Receiver-Tubes in the middle of the Trough-Mirrors prevent a complete cleaning. Cleaning is not only a permanent Expense, but also the Consumption of Fuel for the Cleaning-Vehicles and very decisively the Consumption of large Quantities of demineralized Water. Demineralized Water is necessary so that there are no mineral Deposits on the Mirrors, these would burn themselves with the intensive Sun on theSurface. Both Power-Plant-Systems require huge Areas of Land that need to be fenced in as far as possible to protect the plant - a better option would be a fence that would also keep the direct wind away from the plant. In both Systems, the Mirror-Constructions are neuralgic Points, and this increases disproportionately with increasing Operating-Time. The Trough-Power-Plants, as well as the Tower-Power-Plants, are expensive to Manufacture and in Operation. The problems are system related and can be safely reduced by high quantities, but will basically remain.
This Decision-Matrix shows why we chose Fresnel-Solar-Power-Plants
The Fresnel-Power-Plant
Light Focussing Line-Mirror Receiver
The Pictures show the impressively simple Technology of the Fresnel-Power-Plants. The Line-Mirrors are suspended from their longitudinal Axes and rigidly connected to the next Mirror. Thus a powerful Drive drives many Mirrors at the same time. This saves technical Effort and the simple Mechanics can be designed to run extremely smoothly for a long Time. The Mirror-Mechanism is connected to a simple but effective feedback Technology, so if a Mechanism should fail, it is indicated at the same Moment in the Control-Centre which defect is present where. The Repair can be quickly repaired without expensive Cranes or other complex tool.
The simple Flat-Mirror Construction is ideal for automating the Cleaning and Monitoring.
During the Night, the Mirrors are rotated 180° - so they are in the Protection and Maintenance-Position. During the Night, the Maintenance-Robots drive past the downward facing Mirrors and clean them with a very effective Ultrasonic-Cleaning-System (patent pending). The Water is already reclaimed, filtered and constantly reused during the Cleaning-Process - a continuous cycle that permits virtually no Water-Loss. The Water-Consumption is negligible even with the huge Mirror-Surfaces to be cleaned. By the automatic, careful Cleaning of the Mirror-Fields, this procedure can take place each Night and the mirrors always have the optimal Reflection Degree. The Cleaning-Robot has a further function in addition to Cleaning. After the Cleaning-Process the Mirror is scanned over an ultra fast Optics and the Degree of Reflection of the cleaned Mirror is Measured. Any Defects are detected immediately and reported to the Control-Center. This type of fully automatic Maintenance of the Solar-Mirrors guarantees a permanent performance readiness of almost 100%.
The static Receivers above the Mirror-Fields are also maintained by cleaning and monitoring Robots. These Robots also perform the dual function of cleaning and scanning. Thus, the entire Mirror-Field is automatically cleaned and monitored, without the help of humans and without the Consumption of Water - this is what we understand by sustainability. In addition to Environmental-Protection, this form of maintenance means that the Solar-Fields are always in top condition and the Maintenance Effort is extremely reduced.
During the development of our Fresnel-Power-Plants, we have followed the Wisdom of Albert Einstein
You have to make Things as simple as possible. - but not simpler!
So we kept the Construction very simple, but used the most modern Materials and the smartest Developments. On the Picture you can see the Structure of a Line-Mirror. The Surface supporting Structure forms a high- performance Honeycomb that can withstand a Surface-Load of 200 tons per m². In an automatic Process for which a patent has been applied, a nanostructured Cold-Hardening Mineral is cast on both Sides, which ensures incomparable rigidity and longevity. The MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), after examining the Surface course Material, came to the Conclusion that it is one of the most durable Materials and should last at least 1.000 Years. The Thin-Film-Mirrors, 0.5 mm thick, are bonded directly to the Mineral-Surface by means of high- performance multi-layer Adhesive film under vacuum. This ensures that the Mirrors are always optimally bonded to the Mineral-Surface Layer. Since the Mineral-Surface Layer and the Mineral Mirror Glass have identical Thermal-Expansion, there can be no detachment stresses between the two Materials. The Thin-Film-Mirror is optimally protected by the direct Contact and the two-dimensional Bonding, because Mirror and Cover-Layer form an extremely stable unit. Even partial Impact, such as a Projectile, can only cause the smallest Damage, as the mirror cannot splinter due to the Surface-Bonding. The Construction described here leads to inexpensive, very precise and extremely durable Solar-Mirror- Systems. There is no Corrosion and other Destruction that can occur due to the special Weather Conditions in the Desert.
A very important Aspect in the Production of the Millions of Line-Mirrors required is automatic Production, preferably on site.
Here you can see the Design of a fully automatic Production-Line, which is able to produce Line-Mirrors for a solar surface annually, for 200 MWel. In order to guarantee a 24/7 basic supply, you need double the area. With 10 automatic Production-Lines one could produce each Year the Line-Mirrors, which would be necessary for    1 Nuclear-Power-Plant with 1GW Output. With 20 automatic Production-Lines, the Line-Mirrors for the projected PowerPlant could have been set up in 4 years. With 40 automatic Production-Lines in only 2 Years. After a Power-Plant has been built, the complete Production is set up on the next Construction Site. The construction of huge Fresnel solar fields is made possible by the production on site without any problems.
The most fantastic Feature of Fresnel-Technology is the formation of gigantic Sun protected Areas under the Mirror-Fields.
The Sun protected areas under the Sun-Mirrors can be used for infinite things: New Home for Millions of Refugees Greenhouses for the cultivation of food, irrigated with self-produced Fresh-Water. Cattle breeding and much more besides
Of particular importance is the opportunity to locate Energy intensive Companies, such as: Any kind of Server-Farm Cement-Manufacturer Glass-Manufacturers and Processors Aluminium-Production and Processing and many more. This is where the new Jobs are created that the Refugees need for their Integration. For the Refugees a new Chance of a new Home and a Life in Dignity and Prosperity. For the Industry, a Place with reliable Energy-Production at reasonable Prices for ALL TIME.
Thermo-Solar Power Plants System Comparison
DESERT-VISION PROJECT