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Solar Energy

We develop and implement innovative solar technologies

Solar plants make a significant contribution to sustainable, climate-friendly energy generation.

Who we are

Our primary scope encompasses large scale solar power generation and extends to niche cutting edge projects. The development of a wide range of components and systems for both solar thermal and photovoltaic power plants for over 30 years have made sbp a leading international engineering office.


Both our experience and wholistic system design approach is enabled by an experienced interdisciplinary team. Together we solve complex problems and develop cutting edge technology. As both an engineering office and a technology provider, our work ranges from early concept development to detailed optimization of standard products.


Today, we are well known experts in the CSP industry (Concentrating Solar Power) for the development and design of parabolic trough collectors, point-focusing dish systems, solar tower power plants and heliostats as well as concentrating photovoltaics. We are also active in the photovoltaics mounting and tracker industry, consulting on structural resilience of utility scale power plants.


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Management Board

Markus Balz

Gerhard Weinrebe


Our Scope of Work

Technology Development
© sbp sonne

Design of parabolic through collectors and fields
Solar tower power plant concepts (tower, heliostats, heliostat field layout)
Design of point-focusing systems: CPV, Dish/Stirling
Heliostat field control and aim point strategy software
Kinematic drive concepts for solar tracking
Concentrating systems for chemical high-temperature concepts
Energy storage technologies (thermal and mechanical)

© sbp sonne

Design of photovoltaic structures and trackers
Development of dual use photovoltaics for both floating and agricultural applications

Integration of PV systems in buildings and sports halls
Energy-efficient building concepts

Solar Field Engineering

Preparation and adaptation of planning documents (drawings, specifications, material lists, etc.)
Preparation of the documents required for the building permit
General support with production, assembly and installation (time management, logistics etc.)
Static and dynamic calculation and verification


Our tasks during the tender process
General support with tender preparation
Technical evaluation of tenders
Answering technical queries


Our tasks during production, assembly and installation
General support with production, assembly and installation (time management, logistics etc.)
Planning of and consulting regarding the production line on site
Engineering supervision of production, assembly and installation

Consultancy for Client and Owner

Technology consultancy on all solar power systems
Feasibility studies
Independent assessment of technologies and concepts, technical due diligence
Calculation of efficiency and solar energy yield
Calculation of levelised cost of energy (LCoE)
Site search and evaluation, supervision of soil surveys
Recording and evaluation of weather data
Specification of weather stations
Thermodynamic design

Software development

Solar Collector Development

Development of structure, optical concept and drive
Supporting structure calculation, dimensioning and optimization
Optical evaluation and optimisation (see optical calculation)
Techno-economic optimisation analysis and optimization (structure, optics and drive system)
Load analysis (based on standards, or statistical analysis of weather data and wind tunnel tests)
Safety concepts
Development of production and assembly concepts

Construction and testing of solar collector prototypes
Tender documents preparation
Basic evaluation (solar field requirements, target market)
Mass and cost calculation
Preparation of the documents required for the building permit
Hardware and software development for tracking / data acquisition and Evaluation (see control technology)
Technical support during on-sun testing
Evidence of “bankability” of new innovative concepts

Optical Calculations

Optical calculation of all line-focusing and point-focusing systems
Form-finding of reflector geometry to optimize solar flux distribution
Flux density and intercept calculation of all systems taking into consideration deformations and imperfections
Multi-stage concentrator systems (re-concentrators)
Evaluation of survey results from deflectometry and photogrammetry, laser scanning, comparison with simulation

Mechanical Engineering / Drives

Design, calculation, dimensioning and tender for electro-mechanical and hydraulic drives
The same for bearings (sliding and rolling bearings, special solutions)
The same for wheel/rail systems
The same for hydraulic drives and rope drives for bridges and roofs
Costing of different drive systems and options
Commissioning of drives

Project Management

Project environment analysis, project planning and task definition
Scheduling and control
Budget planning and control
Project environment analysis, project planning and task definition
Scheduling and control
Budget planning and control
Monitoring of the project targets
Quality assurance in planning, production, assembly and commissioning
Obtaining building permits (prototypes)
Supervision and organization of procurement processes for structural 
Detailed engineering
Risk management
Development and submission of funding applications

Which technologies do we offer?

Heliostats - Stellio

The key to a cost minimized heliostat lies in the definition of the boundary conditions imposed by the solar power plant.


Optical performance, tracking accuracy, rigidity, the angle of rotation, wind loads, construction and operating costs present only a small part of the technical and economical boundary conditions the heliostat has to fulfil.


The heliostat’s technical restrictions and cost targets influence the solar power plant concept, which in turn results in the need for constant interaction between subsystem requirements to reach a holistically appealing design. This holistic consideration is the so-called techno-economic optimization.


In this context we develop heliostats, i.e. all the structures and reflectors including drives and control technology, from first design drawings and prototypes to the workshop planning for large fields.


The heliostat field is accompanied by a suite of state of the art modelling, optimization and control software which is implemented at various stages, enhancing the field’s techno-economic potential as well as the predictability and temporal stability of the receiver flux distribution during operation.

  • Turm Schema
  • Stellio Beam
  • Beam
Parabolic Trough Collectors

As of today, sbp sonne has developed three different types of parabolic trough collectors. 


The well known EuroTrough collector is applied most frequently.

Solar fields with this collector type, including the three 50 MW plants Andasol I-III, were implemented in Spain multiple times. EuroTrough plants are also operating successfully in Egypt and India.


Further developments are the HelioTrough and, most recently, the UltimateTrough collectors. They were developed to further reduce costs and particularly improve performance of large solar fields.


A glance at our moveables website shows more interesting insights into parabolic trough technology and into our current collector development, the Ultimate Trough.

  • Schema Rinne
  • Rinne Detail
  • Rinne Feld
  • Rinne Baustelle
  • Rinne UT © Flabeg Holding Gmbh

Intellectual Property rights

schlaich bergermann partner is the intellectual property right holder of the EuroTrough collector, the UltimateTrough collector as well as the Stellio and offers licenses for them. Of course we also offer extensive technical engineering support for project developers and general contractors. 


Our licenses enable our clients to use the latest and at the same time proven collector technology.

Photovoltaic Systems

Photovoltaic (PV) modules convert both direct normal and diffuse irradiation into electric energy through the photovoltaic effect. The substantial cost reductions in the PV industry as well as the simplicity and scalability of photovoltaics have seen large adoption of this technology in utility scale power plants and numerous other applications.

sbp has consulted on and designed a wide range of photovoltaic systems, including utility scale power plants, floating PV, agricultural PV and building integrated PV.

  • Sakaka © Nextracker
  • © Marcus Bredt / sbp
  • © Thomas Robbin
Dish-Stirling Systems

A parabolically curved concentrator, constantly oriented towards the sun, reflects direct solar radiation to its focal point.


A Stirling engine mounted there transforms the collected heat into rotational energy and finally into electrical power through a generator attached directly to the crankshaft of the motor.


In recent years we have developed, built and extensively tested several prototypes of between 3 and 50 kW per unit. Then first systems were installed and operated in various countries (Spain, France, Germany, Italy, India). The technology is technically mature.

  • Euro Dish
  • Infinia © Infinia Corp.
  • Wuhai
Markus Balz

+49 (711) 64871-0

Gerhard Weinrebe


+49 (711) 64871-0

Schwabstraße 43
70197 Stuttgart

+49 711 64871-0