Large-scale solar thermal plants

Large-scale solar thermal plants
(> 500m² collector area / 350kW power) are a cost-effective technology for providing renewable heat. The market has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The most common applications are heat supply to district heating and local heating networks and industrial process heat.

Boundary conditions

The construction of new plants requires a high initial investment, which is repaid over the operating life (25 years and more) by selling of the generated solar energy. Thus, the technology is only economically attractive for customers and investors if permanently high operating quality is achieved.

Increasing availability of data and digitalization technologies offer the opportunity to take the monitoring of large-scale solar plants into the digital future.



Although large-scale solar thermal plants are a mature and reliable technology to provide renewable heat, the central question “How optimal does a solar system work?” is difficult to answer on a detailed level even for solar experts. Performance and solar yield are a complex interplay of components, system design, control and stochastic influences of weather and customer-side load conditions.