Australian National University's "Big Dish" Controlled by Yokogawa PLC and FAST/TOOLS SCADA

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Executive Summary

Australian National University, Canbera, AustraliaLed by Associate Professor Dr. Keith Lovegrove, the Australian National University's (ANU) Solar Thermal Group has constructed the world's largest solar collecting dish on the ANU campus in Canberra. This reflecting parabolic dish is 25 m wide and has 500 m2 of highly efficient purpose-built mirrors that reflect the sun's rays onto a collector coil. This converts water to steam, which drives a steam turbine that generates electricity. Yokogawa's FAST/TOOLS software fine-tunes the dish's ability to automatically track the sun and maximize the energy collected.

This project had its genesis in the early 1970s, when a team lead by Stephen Kaneff and Peter Carden paved the way for the construction of the White Cliffs solar power station, with 14 comparatively small 20 m2 dishes. Convinced the idea had merit, the team at ANU proceeded to scale-up the solar generator, with the first "Big Dish" built in 1994 using commercially available space-frame technology. According to lead researcher Greg Burgess, the aim of the solar project has been to demonstrate that solar generated electricity is viable on a commercial scale. Their thinking is that building fewer large dishes, which can be easily replicated in the field, is more economic than building lots of smaller ones.

Planning is underway for the construction of a pilot solar generating plant that will prove out the concept already demonstrated by the existing solar generator dish. Mr. Burgess also sees other potential applications for super-heated steam produced by reflected solar energy. Such is the intensity of energy generated by the dish's efficient design that when concentrated it can melt through solid aluminum, stainless steel plate, and even the hardest ceramic known to man.

Yokogawa Australia is involved in this exciting solar energy project, which may provide the key to future solar energy projects in Australia.

Parabolic reflectorgenerates electricity image

The Challenges and the Solutions

The latest dish, SG4, was completed in June 2009, and since then a great deal of effort and research by Mr. Burgess and others has gone into fine-tuning the solar tracking, sourcing computer, and communication components, testing optical performance, and installing and testing the first steam generating receiver. Yokogawa has worked closely with these researchers to optimize the performance of this system by providing a PLC SCADA system that computes the precise position of the sun to ensure millimeter perfect tracking of the sun. The system also includes safety features that, for example, will put the dish into a "parked" position at night and before storms to prevent damage from high winds.

As new units are constructed at this ANU facility, the plan is to employ Yokogawa's new HXS10 controller as a cost effective means to automatically track the sun and ensure maximum efficiency of the solar reflecting dish.

Field operation center

Field operation center

FAST/TOOLS display


Customer Satisfaction

Dr. Lovegrove explained; "As a clean energy source, solar energy is a natural complement to wind and based on our climate is more available and provides most of the energy when you need it."

"As an example, in a large system with an array of dishes all feeding steam to a single efficient large steam turbine, each dish of this size would contribute the production of more than 100 kW when operating at full efficiency in full sunlight. Roughly speaking, up to 100 advanced energy-efficient homes could be powered by every dish. A solar field the size of the ACT could power the entire country."

"The medium term goal for the concentrating solar technologies is to make electricity for about the same cost as wind, which is currently around 10-12 cents a kilowatt/hour. While that's around double the cost of conventional coal-fired power stations, it may prove to be cheaper than adding carbon capture and storage to existing coal-fired power stations."

"Of course, the ultimate energy economics will be influenced by ruling government policy, with any moves to tax carbon impacting on fossil fuel power stations and tipping the economics more in favor of alternate energy sources in the future."

"We are very happy with the high reliability of Yokogawa's system. This is very important to keeping our solar plant running 24/7/365. Also, our engineers can easily configure the system at any time. FAST/TOOLS benefits us in many ways and allows us to clearly see the entire process, giving us the information we need to take immediate action."

Left to right:  Mark Biggin, Yokogawa Australia / Mr. Burgess, ANU / Dr. Lovegrove, ANU
Left to right:
 Mark Biggin, Yokogawa Australia
 Mr. Burgess, ANU
 Dr. Lovegrove, ANU


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    신재생에너지의 사용은 환경을 보호하고 사회와 산업 모두를 지속 가능한 사회를 만드는 목표를 달성하는 데 도움이 됩니다. 그러나 기존의 에너지원에 비해 생산 원가 상승과 그리드 전력 공급 불안정과 같은 급속한 채택에 직면하는 특정 문제가 있습니다. Yokogawa는 제어 및 계장 사업의 선도 기업으로서 다양한 산업 분야의 고객이 안정적인 운영을 달성하고 공장의 생산성을 향상시키도록 항상 노력해 왔습니다. 운영 효율성을 달성하기 위한 VigilantPlant 개념을 기반으로 우리는 신재생 에너지원의 사용 방법을 제시하는 솔루션을 제공하고 있습니다.

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  • 전력

    1970년대 중반, Yokogawa는 EBS 전기 제어 시스템 (EBS Electric Control System)의 출시와 함께 전력 사업에 진출했습니다. 그 이후로 Yokogawa는 전 세계 고객에게 최상의 서비스와 솔루션을 제공하기 위한 기술과 역량의 개발을 꾸준히 지속해 왔습니다.

    Yokogawa는 역동적인 글로벌 전력 시장에서 더욱 적극적인 역할을 수행하기 위해 글로벌 전력 솔루션 네트워크를 운영했습니다. 이로 인해 Yokogawa 내에서 보다 긴밀한 팀워크가 가능해져서 글로벌 리소스와 업계 노하우를 하나로 모았습니다. Yokogawa의 전력 산업 전문가들은 각 고객에게 정교한 요구 사항에 가장 적합한 솔루션을 제공하기 위해 협력합니다.

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  • 태양광 발전

    태양은 무한의 청정에너지원이며 인간은 이를 여러 가지 방법으로 오랫동안 사용해 왔습니다. 오늘날, 태양광 발전은 태양 열에너지의 대규모 활용을 위한 가장 효율적이고 비용 대비 고효율 수단 중 하나이기 때문에 상당한 관심의 대상입니다. Yokogawa는 전 세계적으로 1,300개 이상의 발전소 프로젝트 실행을 통해 습득한 경험 및 태양광 발전을 지원하는 지식과 전문 인력을 보유하고 있으므로 태양광 발전소를 효율적이고 안전하게 운영하는 것을 지원하고 있습니다.

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    FAST(Flexible Advanced System Techniques) 프로젝트로 시작된 FAST/TOOLS는 포괄적인 완전 통합형 SCADA 애플리케이션 제품군입니다. 강력하고 유연한 FAST/TOOLS는 50포인트 단위공정에서 수천 마일이상 확장되는 수백만 포인트 규모의 offshore 생산 및 Pipeline 시스템에 이르는 설비를 제공합니다.

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