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PhD and Continuing Education

January 2018| page 1/2

Popular science summary of the PhD thesis

PhD student Davide Ferruzza

Title of the PhD thesis Design of steam generator systems for

concentrating solar power plants

PhD school/Department DTU Mechanical Engineering

Science summary
* Please give a short popular summary in Danish or English (approximately half a page) suited for the
publication of the title, main content, results and innovations of the PhD thesis also including prospective
utilizations hereof. The summary should be written for the general public interested in science and

Concentrating solar power plants employ reflecting mirrors to concentrate the incident solar
irradiation, convert it into high temperature heat and, in a second step, into electricity. The
stochastic and fluctuating nature of the solar irradiation requires more operating flexibility as
compared to traditional systems. The rate of response to frequent load changes and start-up
procedures is however constrained by the use of conventional components, designed to operate
under steady-state conditions. In particular, steam generator systems are designed for baseload
applications. Their responsiveness to load changes is limited by thermo-mechanical stress,
which might affect the components lifetime or cause failure.

The first objective of this thesis is to quantify the impact of the heating rate constraints on the
economy of parabolic trough power plants to assess the prospects for improvement though the
use of more responsive steam generators. This is carried out by modelling the transient
performance of such power plants and implement control strategies, which accounted for these
constraints. The second objective is to define a method to design the steam generator system
considering for maximum allowable heating rates and their impact on the performance of the
power plant. This is achieved by evaluating the significance of implementing such constraints
in the sizing procedure and assessing the transient performance of the new designs. The models
are validated against either data available in literature or provided by power plant operators.

The results from this thesis indicate that it is of significant importance to account for the steam
generator thermo-mechanical limitations. The use of suitable designs could increase the electric
energy production of the power plant, while at the same time allowing for operating decision
flexibility throughout the year. Designing the steam generator systems for such constraints
results in different optimal configurations as compared to traditional sizing methods. However,
the derived increase in the steam generator cost can be compensated by the gain in electric
energy production and associated revenues.
PhD and Continuing Education
January 2018| page 2/2

Please email the summary to the PhD secretary at the department