A SAM 400-series sensor has been deployed and installed at the Processes, Materials and Solar Energy laboratory – PROMES, a laboratory of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) located at Odeillo in the Pyrénées-Orientales in France. PROMES is the French national R&D laboratory for solar concentrating systems, and is closely associated with the University of Perpignan. Their high priority scientific areas of research are related to solar thermal power generation using gas thermodynamic cycles, hydrogen production, medium and high temperature heat storage, high temperature materials testing and evaluation, materials synthesis, and solar heating and cooling of buildings. Their web site is located at http://www.sollab.eu/promes.html.
The PROMES solar furnace is an enormous parabolic reflector that concentrates the region’s sunlight into a 1000 kW flux. It has been in operation since 1970 and is used in experimentation for studies that range from material sciences to solar electricity generation. The refractor’s power is enhanced by 63 flat “heliostat” reflectors, mounted on terraces on the surrounding hillside to direct more sunlight at the enormous dish. With the aid of these heliostats, PROMES can generate power of 1000 kW per square centimeter, resulting in temperatures of 3400°C.
The SAM sensor is being used in conjunction with their power generation studies.