Space is a scarce commodity in Flanders, and this is more true in the port area of Antwerp than anywhere else. That’s why it took some time to find a place for the CST Platform with a capacity of 0.5 MWh. At ADPO, this space was found at an unusual location: above a railway line, under a high-voltage cable, along a high-pressure gas pipeline and all that on a sprayed-up site.
In order to make the construction stable, specialized engineering firms were called in to determine the specific wind load. 20 m long piles were driven into the ground and reinforced with eight-tonne concrete foundations. A steel frame was also placed on top of these piles that was high enough to allow train traffic to pass safely.
We then placed the AZTEQ solar water heater on this steel frame. For this we designed a special lifting device, because it was not possible to lift the solar boilers into place with a standard crane. We proceeded like this because of the safety code of both the train and the high-voltage lines. In the end the solar mirrors are at their highest position, more than 11 m above ground. In the meantime, the system proved itself under extreme weather conditions: gusts of wind up to 120 km/h and hail storms were easily withstood.
The construction and installation of the CST Platform was completed in barely two months. After the start of the project, this 1,100 m² installation of solar water heaters delivers around 500MHWh of thermal heat in the form of steam at 10 bar pressure and will continue to do so for the next 20 years, without emissions.