Scientists and engineers who are currently engaged in energy and power generation need to be aware of recent global expansion in the building of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants. This offers opportunities for the entire CSP supply chain, including component manufacturing.

Of the few renewable resources currently available to address the concerns of climate change and the drive for low carbon power generation, decision makers and energy providers are showing greater attention to solar thermal power.

To meet this need for increased knowledge and understanding of CSP, this specialist training course aims to provide both theoretical and practical expertise in this rapidly growing technology and its applications.

At a glance

What you will learn

This short course will allow you to broaden your knowledge of solar collector designs and solar coating technology, and will provide an overview of all aspects of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology.

Core content

Delivered through a combination of lectures, practical sessions and a group exercise, this short course will allow you to broaden your knowledge of solar collector designs and solar coating technology, and will provide an overview of all aspects of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology. 

This course will also encompass CSP applications, providing delegates with an understanding of:

  • its use for electrical power generation, heating and cooling
  • water desalination
  • the provision of industrial process heat
  • off-grid medium and small scale cooking and water purification for remote regions of the world.


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Lecture 4:
Durability of solar collectors
Lecture 8:
Performance measurements
and evaluation of CSP power plants
Lecture 1:
Introduction to CSP
Lecture 5:
Receiver Tube technology
Lecture 9:
CSP applications
Sensors and microsystems
for solar applications
11.00-11.15 Break 11.00-11.15 Break 11.00-11.15 Break
Lecture 2:
Parabolic Trough -
collector characterisation
Lecture 6:
Thermal storage and power generation
System Advisor Model (SAM) software
Lecture 3:
Heliostats and central
receiver systems for CSP
Lecture 7:
Solar coatings
13.00-14.30 Lunch 13.00-14.30 Lunch 13.00-14.00 Lunch
14.30 - 16.00
CSP Lab and Cranfield
University Energy
Facilities tours
Practical session:
Parabolic trough collector
characterisation (photogrammetry)
Group project:
CSP plant design using
SAM software
  19.00 Course Dinner 16.00 Close

Who should attend

This course will be of particular interest to scientists, engineers, managers, technologists, and postgraduate researchers from the energy sector. It will also be valuable to manufacturing and engineering companies, policy makers, investors, research academics, technical professionals, technical staff and non-specialists who wish to gain a better understanding of CSP technology, its opportunities, and its applications.


Dr Chris Sansom
Internationally recognised authority on CSP, whose current projects include concentrating solar power for electrical power generation, solar collector characterisation and ageing evaluation, polymer films for solar power plant heliostats and line-focus solar collectors, linear Fresnel community scale CSP, heliostat design and manufacture, solar thermal heating and cooling, solar driven desalination and water purification, thermal storage, and nanostructured thermo-electric devices for energy harvesting. A Member of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and the sole UK member of the EERA - CSP Joint Programme.

Dr Peter Turner
Former Head of CSP Technologies at E.ON. Responsible for the development of technical competency in Concentrated Solar Power plant across E.ON New Build and Technology, including E.ON’s CSP R&D and the management of technical support for CSP project development and in supporting engineering operational issues at E.ON’s 2x50MW CSP plants. Over 30 years’ experience in the power industry and broad experience in Power Engineering and Renewable Energy, Wind and Marine, with specialist knowledge of Concentrated Solar Power, Electrical Machines and Electro-magnetics.

Dr Debabrata Bhattacharyya
Research Fellow at the Surface Engineering and Nanotechnology Institute, leading research in infrared optics and thin film sensing coatings technology. Currently engaged in developing next generation of “Solar collector coatings based on thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) materials" that addresses the current limitations on high temperature spectral selectivity and solar collector efficiency.

Dr Paul Comley
Senior Research Fellow in the Precision Engineering Institute at Cranfield. Current research activities include the characterisation of CSP parabolic mirrors, the processing of high power laser optics, and manufacturing technologies for metre-scale optics. Areas of key expertise are metrology, precision machine tools, and cutting/abrasive material removal mechanisms.

Dr Kumar Patchigolla
Lecturer in Carbon Capture and Storage. Research interests are in advanced carbon capture and storage technologies and thermo-chemical energy conversion for power applications. Responsible for a wide range of energy process facilities, including pilot scale plants for gasification and carbon capture, as well as high pressure flow loop CO2 transport systems.

Dr Xavier Tonnellier
Research Fellow in Precision Engineering at Cranfield. Current research interests focus on large scale ultra precision surfaces technologies and process development, advanced optical fabrication for space and astronomy, high precision grinding technology, robotic polishing technology and CSP technologies - solar tubes coating technology.

Dr Heather Almond
Research Fellow in the Precision Engineering Institute at Cranfield. Currently increasingly involved in CSP, working mainly on sand erosion of the solar collector surfaces. Previous research experience (over a period of 20 years) has mainly been in the area of advanced manufacturing techniques, including rapid prototyping and manufacture, micro-electro-discharge machining, photochemical machining, electrolytic etching and various micro-engineering projects.


Where more than three delegates are booking from within one site of one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee.

Non-residential fee includes tuition charges, lecture notes, use of laboratory tools, materials, refreshments, lunches and the course dinner. 

Accommodation options and prices

This course is non-residential. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information about our on campus accommodation can be found here.  Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel. 

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.