ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | September 2016

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Magnelis® shines in desert solar power

ArcelorMittal has just completed deliveries of Magnelis® for Latin America’s largest photovoltaic (PV) farm.

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Located in Chile’s harsh Atacama Desert, the El Romero Solar farm will have a peak capacity of 246.6 megawatts (MWp) when it comes on-stream in mid-2017. The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth and the perfect environment to collect energy from the sun. But for the structures which hold the PV panels in place, the corrosive desert winds and extreme temperatures provide a huge challenge.

With almost 170 kilometres of solar panels to protect, the company responsible for the for around half of the mounting structures used in El Romero – STI Norland, one of the leaders in the design, supply, and installation of fixed structures and solar trackers – turned to ArcelorMittal’s Magnelis®.

25-year guarantee with thickest coating

A metallic coating comprised of magnesium, zinc, and aluminium, Magnelis® ensures optimal surface protection against corrosion over the long-term, even in harsh desert environments. Thanks to its self-healing property, Magnelis® also offers protection on cut edges.

For the El Romero project, ArcelorMittal suggested Magnelis® ZM430 – the thickest coating available. This enabled us to offer a 25-year guarantee for the Magnelis® coated steel, significantly longer than batch and hot dipped galvanised solutions.

Processing and maintenance advantages

Apart from its superior corrosion resistance properties, one of the advantages of Magnelis® for STI Norland is that the metal is not distorted during profiling. This can occur with batch galvanised material, particularly hollow sections.

Another key benefit of using Magnelis® is that it requires little maintenance over the lifetime of the solar installation. This makes it a very competitive solution, particularly in difficult environments.

While the El Romero Solar farm will generate enough energy to meet the needs of around 240,000 Chilean homes, part of its capacity will go to power Google’s Chilean data centre. It will avoid around 473,000 tonnes of CO2 annually from coal-powered energy generation.

ArcelorMittal supplied the Magnelis® coated steel to Spanish company Asebal which manufactured the steel profiles used in the El Romero Solar farm by STI Norland. The Solar Energy Division of Asebal is a leading supplier of steel profiles for PV, concentrated PV, and concentrated solar power (CSP) installations around the world.

Key figures on Magnelis® supplied to El Romero Solar

Steel grades Coating
S220GD – S320GD Magnelis® ZM430

The Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth making it perfect for solar and Magnelis®

Steel used to form the supporting structures of the solar panels is coated with Magnelis®

The El Romero Solar farm has over 150 hectares of solar panels to capture sunlight and convert it to energy. The following time-lapse video shows how a small part of the Atacama Desert has been transformed into the largest solar farm in Latin America thanks to Magnelis®.

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Editorial by
Jean-Martin Van der Hoeven