3 min read

High Performance Solar 2, Portugal: Increased efficiency and reduced costs with control system and electrical infrastructure

Concentrated solar plants with thermal storage like HSP2 is currently in high demand by the industry, to generate process heat, helping to reduce production costs by up to 20%.

The participation of Siemens Energy was vital to ensuring our success as they brought critical competences in the areas of engineering and construction to the project.

Michael Wittmann

DLR* Institute of Solar Research, Project Director

Molten Salt as a Heat Transfer Medium - Parabolic trough Solar Power Plant

The customer challenge: Highly reliable electrical and DCS systems

The DLR Institute of Solar Research, together with the University of Évora and industry partners from Germany and Spain, have built a solar parabolic trough test facility using molten salt as its heat transfer medium. It is part of the High Performance Solar 2 (HPS2) research project located in Évora, Portugal, which is a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant that uses the sun’s energy to generate electricity and heat. With a total thermal output of up to 3.5 megawatts, it is equipped with a steam generator that provides steam at a pressure of up to 140 bar and generates a thermal output of 1.6 megawatts. The plant aims to develop and optimize the use of molten salt as a primary fluid, operating between 500°C and 600°C, increasing efficiency and lowering CAPEX and OPEX costs.

The solution: Effective support for the operators with Omnivise T3000

Siemens Energy was responsible for the engineering and construction of all electrical infrastructures (E-BOP), suppling the several systems installed by the consortium partners, plus the entire plant DCS, using our proven Omnivise T3000 control system, interconnected to two main black box systems (Solar Field Control and Trace Heating). The system supplied makes use of redundant configuration, by using PLC S7-400H and FH CPU410-5H, with 1000 hardwire I/Os, although the plant only uses around 500. The system is ready for future plant upgrades and additional research projects that will take place soon.

Control room in a power plant


The digital twin of T3000 maps the real behavior of the system 1:1 without making any changes to the “real” system. Employees can be trained directly in Omnivise T3000 and new control concepts can be safely tested.


By decoupling hardware and software, the control system is able to be run in a virtual environment. This allows the application software to be executed virtually without the need for dedicated hardware.

Find out more about the products and services applied:

The benefits: Efficient workflows and future-proof electrical system

  • Effective support for the operators with Omnivise T3000 
  • Integrated engineering, improved flexibility, scalability and reduced maintenance 
  • Efficient workflows in daily operations 
  • Thermal storage without batteries 
  • Plant automatization / stand-alone operation 
  • Highly reliable electrical and DCS systems

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