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Morocco: Noor 3, the tallest solar tower in the world

In the south of Morocco stands Noor 3, the world’s largest solar power tower that propels Morocco towards the future of renewable energy, writes the French monthly journal “Sciences et Avenir”.

“In the middle of the lunar landscape of Ouarzazate, the Noor 3 tower looks from the top of its 243 meters at the thousands of mirrors dancing around it to the rhythm of the Moroccan Sun, like a rocket ready to take off from a distant planet towards the ‘one of its two moons”, underlines the French review which devotes a report to the solar station under the title “In Ouarzazate, the Noor 3 tower: the solar plant with two moons”.

Indeed explains the review, once a year, these thousands of mirrors are tested by focusing the sunlight on two points in the sky, creating the effect of two “moons” that surround Noor 3. “This optical effect is the product of a test carried out on the mirrors which supply the tower with light. Once a year, and only for a few hours, the mechanism of rotation of the mirrors is tested by directing all the rays of the Sun that they reflect towards two focal points in the sky, creating the two moons of Noor 3”, indicates the review.

In operation since October 2018, this concentrated solar energy tower (CSP) is currently the most powerful in the world, with a power of 150 megawatts (MW) – this corresponds to the energy consumption of around 65,000 French households, notes “Sciences et Future”, adding that thanks to a heat storage system, this station can produce electricity even at night, hours after sunset. “A capacity as futuristic as its design, which inspired the latest science fiction film interpreted by Jean Reno (in production), where they rightly pass it off… as a space rocket!”, comments the review.

“Sciences et Avenir” also notes the many advantages of this extraordinary power plant: “not only does the tower produce a lot of clean energy, but it also recycles the water vapor it generates in order to minimize use blue gold”. Thus, the vapor is recovered after being used to produce electricity and it is condensed again thanks to fans which cool it so as to return to the state of water, then reused to make … steam. A real closed circuit where the fans use the energy produced on site, explains the review.

“In the end, it may not be a space rocket, but with its large capacity for producing clean energy and low water consumption, Noor 3 propels Morocco towards the future of renewable energies”, observes “Sciences et Avenir”.

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