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Toward Greening the power of Radio Astronomy

Submitter: Arnold van Ardenne
Description: Experiences and insights from SKA pathfinders and precursors (LOFAR, ASKAP, MeerKAT) indicate that power will be an important part of the life-cycle cost of these large-scale radio astronomical instruments. Such aspects will be greatly amplified for SKA itself, and for example energy transport infrastructure and power generation to supply the electronics and signal processing are key factors. Thus, power generation and power efficiency become paramount ingredients of these projects. Besides, we all care, don't we?

As a concrete step, an EC proposal led by Spain was approved lately, to investigate just one of the innovative approaches. It involves many partners including ASTRON, through its experience with RFI assessments. Undoubtedly, we will report on that exciting "green initiative" in a future AJDIŁ.

In June, an international workshop was organised in Moura (Portugal). It was aimed at reviewing current R&D trends, industry forecasts for solar energy options, and experiences that may be relevant to the challenges set by Mega Science Infrastructures, and in particular by the Square Kilometer Array project. The Workshop also reviewed the convergence with the Horizon 2020 EC roadmap. The topics covered were Green Energy experiences, with a focus on Solar Photovoltaic, Solar Thermal installations and smart Grid management.

This highly interactive and informative workshop was attended by representatives of government, industry and scientific partners from all over the world. The accompanying picture shows just one relevant use of solar power.

The attendees were also treated to a visit to the now fully operational 50MW Moura solar voltaic power plant (see AJDI 03112008) and the EU's first commercial Solar thermal plants in Sanlucar near Seville in Spain (see e.g. http://www.power-technology.com/projects/Seville-Solar-Tower/ ).

The workshop presentations and other details can be found at the website http://www.av.it.pt/workshops/pcska/program.html
Copyright: ASPO
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