BASF products support the construction of the world’s largest solar plant
BASF offers unique solutions for the construction of the Noor solar plant, the largest concentrated solar complex in the world in the Moroccan desert and proactively participates in producing enough energy to power over one million homes by 2018 whilst at the same time lowering carbon emissions. By the end of its construction the complex will cover an area of about 30 km² and produce energy of roughly 500 Megawatt.
The Moroccan solar park has a perfect location: The solar radiation intensity in the area around Ouarzazate reaches more than 2,500 kilowatt hours(kWh) per square meter and per year – one of the highest levels worldwide. This makes it the perfect site for high efficient energy production but at the same time is a big challenge for the facilities in terms of resilience and durability. The products of Master Builders Solutions of BASF’s Construction Chemicals division are specially designed for the toughest exposures.
The construction of a concentrated solar power system is a more complicated process to install than the widely used photovoltaic panels. Several BASF products were used in the construction of this project such as concrete admixtures, grouts, mortars, sealants, and joint water-resistant sealants. “We are proud that we are able to contribute our innovative solutions and know-how to help our customers master the challenges of this complex construction project,” says Andres Monroy, Managing Director, BASF Northwest Africa.
The requirements for the construction of the world’s largest solar plant were varied and very specific. The material had to conform to construction specifications and provide high early strength development. It was also necessary to take into consideration the desert area where the complex is being built, namely sand, clay, and high temperatures. Additionally, and taking safety into consideration, it was necessary to comply with strict criteria in terms of final strength and durability of the concrete in its hardened state. “These challenges can be mastered extremely effectively using the broad product portfolio and flexible solutions of Master Builders Solutions designed by BASF’s Construction Chemicals division, products that have proven to be beneficial for complex projects all over the world,” affirms Christophe Xavier Chuche, Director of BASF Construction Chemicals Morocco.
With solutions tailored to the requirements of the Noor project, the BASF Construction Chemicals division proposed high performance concrete products as well as grouting. MasterGlenium® Sky 671 superplasticizer provides a new generation of concrete with extended workability at high temperatures and ensures high strength and stability of the mirrors’ structure. Due to the product’s good stability and resistance to exterior conditions and reaction to sand, it maintains the high mechanical performance of the concentrated solar power system.
MasterFlow® 765 grout solutions protect the base of the solar panel from vibration and any harsh conditions, providing ultra-high strength, fatigue resistant cement, making solar energy projects more cost effective during installation, and more durable and secure over the entire lifetime of the solar complex. In cooperation with the Master Builders Solutions experts from BASF’s construction chemicals division, special tests were performed resulting in the selection of the most effective type of concrete and grout as well as the suitable application method for the products used in the construction of the solar complex. “For most of the big projects, customers benefit from the broad experience and connectedness of our experts in Africa and Europe, and they receive a comprehensive package of services and advice. This simplifies the construction process and ensures timely completion even of time-critical projects,” says Adil El Maaiche, BASF’s Admixture Systems Manager in Morocco.