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AGRU presents plastics innovations for solar technology
The energy transition is impossible without solar energy. In order to increase efficiency, conserve resources and reduce costs, AGRU is participating in the world's largest research initiative investigating polymeric materials for solar energy technologies. The project called "SolPol" is a cooperation of 29 organizations led by the Johannes Kepler University Linz and is supported by the Climate and Energy Fund. The internationally unique research collaboration presented groundbreaking product innovations which have already been successfully introduced to the market during a press conference on October 11, 2016 in Vienna.
The results of AGRU are impressive: The high temperature geomembranes of AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH are not only used for high-volume solar thermal storages for local and district heat networks. Moreover, these liners are also installed in the geothermal sector, the mining industry, and so forth. Until now PE was only recommended for temperatures up to 60 °C. Nevertheless, the new high temperature resistant geomembranes developed by AGRU are applicable for temperatures up to 95 °C without hesitation.
The world's largest solar thermal plant
"A current project demonstrates the high potential of this application. The internationally largest solar thermal plant will be built in Graz. For this purpose hot water tanks with a total volume of 1.8 million m³ are foreseen. These huge basins, which are heated by the sun in summer, save the energy and give off heat to the district heat networks in winter, can be sealed with the new AGRU geomembranes." explains Dr. Markus Haager, product manager of fluoropolymer products and technical head of business unit lining.
The innovative, high temperature resistant geomembranes are applied in many other areas, where usual materials are faced with temperature limitations. The geothermal sector, mining industry and certain landfill sites rank among these potential application areas. Furthermore, the newly gained knowledge is also beneficial for further product developments like hot water pipes, chlorine resistant PE pipelines or the tank and apparatus construction.