State of the Art Tri-Generation Project

Rayer is proud to be the company that installed the first Tri-Generation project in the world for the Generation of Electricity, distilled water, cooling and heating utilizing the parabolic trough system in Mu’tah University in South Jordan.

This project is unique in its totality of poly generation and has been operational since December 2011. Rayer designed the system, procured all of the equipment, installed and commissioned this innovative project that demonstrates the possibility of utilizing CSP for a total solution of energy supply.


For more detailed description please download the Rayer Tri-Generation CSP Project presentation

Project Case study

The efficiency of energy transfer from solar to electricity using PV systems can be between 14%-20%. On the other hand, the efficiency of energy transfer from solar to thermal using CSP systems varies between 50%-80%. What we do with this thermal energy determines how feasible the CSP system is. The application of CSP includes the following:

  • Industrial steam generation
  • Electricity Generation
  • Water desalination
  • Or all of the above as Rayer did in its unique Tri-Generation project

Why Tri-Generation?

Due to the low cost of PV systems, the utilization of CSP for power generation is losing its financial feasibility edge. However, in Rayer we realize that the thermal energy generation can be used on multiple levels. In this state of the art project we used the thermal energy from the parabolic trough solar matrix to generate steam. The steam is then utilized to power a 20 HP steam engine. The steam emitted from the steam engine is consequently used in the evaporation stage of water distillation as it is condensed to complete the power cycle. The heat rejected from the water distiller is then used to power an innovative air cooled adsorption chiller in Summer or used in space heating in Winter. All this was done on the roof of the Faculty of Engineering at Mu’tah University in Southern Jordan ( This building is now supplied with electricity, cooling, heating, and distilled water from this pilot project. As such, we utilize the thermal solar energy on three different levels improving the financial feasibility of the solar matrix three times.

In other words we produce with one solar matrix what originally needed three times its size to produce the total output of this project. Hence, we created a new window for the competitiveness of the CSP systems.


One can imagine the complexity of the design of these sequential systems where the output of one system is actually the input of the other. Various experiences and capabilities were needed in this design including in depth knowledge of solar systems, thermodynamics, controls, manufacturing processes and electromechanical contracting.


A reliable micro parabolic trough system was installed in the project supplied by SOPOGY. A total of 40 collectors each with nearly 6 m2 cross reflector area and nominal output of 120 KW is installed. The rotation axis is North –West with sunrise to sunset tracking. Oil output temperature up to 260°C has been achieved. These are roof mounted collectors.

Solar Collectors

Steam Generation

Rayer has designed and built an especial non-burning oil boiler to generate steam at 220°C and 14 Bar with super-heater using the oil flowing out of the solar matrix. Super-heated steam at these conditions has been achieved continuously. Five levels of safety exist in this boiler including two mechanical safety valves, three-way valve to control oil flow to the oil to the boiler, water level monitoring and control, steam pressure control, and finally oil temperature control by defocusing the collectors. All these 5 steps guarantee that the steam generation is a safe process.

Steam Engine and Electricity Generation

A 20 HP Mike Brown Steam engine was installed on the steam line output from the steam generator. This engine has an option to be connected to AC and DC electricity Generators. If operated at full power it can generate up to 15 KWe.

Water Desalination

The steam output from the engine flows into a specially made water distiller designed and built by Rayer. This distiller allows for steam output from the engine to be condensed and then pumped to the steam generator for the completion of the power cycle. On the other hand, as the steam is condensing the heat rejected is used to boil and evaporate brackish (or waste) water. The resulting water vapour is then condensed to generate distilled water at a rate of 150 Litre/Hr. The heat rejected from this distillation process is then stored in a thermally insulated storage tank where it can be used to power a heat driven chiller in summer or for space heating in winter.


The heat stored from the distillation process is used to power a state of the art air cooled adsorption chiller. This patented chiller operates at hot water temperature between 60-95°C and at ambient temperature up to 45°C while producing chilled water at 12-18°C. At no load conditions a chilled water temperature of 3°C can be reached.