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Consulting services for a Study of local capabilities to manufacture and supply components for development of Concentrating Solar thermal Power plants (CSP) in India
South Asia Energy Unit Sustainable Development Department The World Bank
Table of Contents
0.1. THE SUN AS SOURCE OF ENERGY 0.2. DESCRIPTION OF MAIN TECHNOLOGIES 0.3. CSP PLANT VALUE CHAIN
0.3.1. CSP PROJECTS IN INDIA 0.3.2. CSP INDUSTRY IN INDIA 0.4. MANUFACTURING PROCESSES
6 8 9
14 15 15 16
1. LINEAR FRESNEL REFLECTORS TECHNOLOGY 1.1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 1.2. MAIN PLANT CONFIGURATIONS
1.2.1. SATURATED STEAM 1.2.2. SUPERHEATED STEAM 1.2.3. OTHER HEAT TRANSFER FLUIDS 1.2.4. MIXED LINEAR FRESNEL/PARABOLIC TROUGH SYSTEM 1.2.5. HYBRID SYSTEMS 1.3. MAIN COMPONENTS 1.3.1. HEAT COLLECTION ELEMENTS 1.3.2. MIRROR ASSEMBLIES 1.3.3. SUPPORT STRUCTURE 1.3.4. REFLECTOR DRIVE MECHANISMS 1.4. DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS 1.4.1. JOHN MARCHEFF SOLAR PROJECT AT LIDDELL COAL POWER STATION 1.4.2. FRESDEMO 1.5. COMMERCIAL PROJECTS 1.5.1. KIMBERLINA 1.5.2. PUERTO ERRADO 1 1.6. PROJECT PIPELINE 1.7. PLANT VALUE CHAIN 1.8. COMPONENTS VALUE CHAIN 1.9. MANUFACTURING PROCESSES
17 17 17 17 18 21 22 22 22 23 23 24 24
23 23 24 25 25 25
2. PARABOLIC TROUGH TECHNOLOGY 2.1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 2.2. MAIN PLANT CONFIGURATIONS 2.3. MAIN COMPONENTS
2.3.1. HEAT COLLECTION ELEMENTS 2.3.2. CURVED MIRROR ASSEMBLIES 2.3.3. HOSE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN TROUGH SECTIONS 2.3.4. TROUGH SUPPORT STRUCTURE 2.3.5. TROUGH DRIVE MECHANISMS 2.3.6. HEAT TRANSFER FLUID 2.3.7. DIRECT STEAM GENERATION (DSG) 2.4. DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS 2.4.1. PLATAFORMA SOLAR DE ALMERÍA (PSA) 2.4.2. ENEA‘S SOLAR COLLECTORS TESTING FACILITIES 2.4.3. SAGUARO DEMONSTRATION PLANT 2.5. COMMERCIAL PROJECTS 2.5.1. SEGS POWER PLANTS 2.5.2. NEVADA SOLAR ONE 2.5.3. ANDASOL PLANTS 2.5.4. PUERTOLLANO 2.5.5. ISCCS IN NORTHERN AFRICA 2.6. PROJECT PIPELINE 2.7. PLANT VALUE CHAIN 2.8. COMPONENTS VALUE CHAIN
26 26 27 28
29 32 32 33 34 35 36
37 37 38
38 38 39 40 40
41 41 43
2.8.1. HEAT TRANSFER FLUIDS 2.8.2. HEAT COLLECTION ELEMENT 2.8.3. MIRROR ASSEMBLY 2.8.4. SUPPORT STRUCTURE 2.9. MANUFACTURING PROCESSES 2.9.1. HEAT COLLECTION ELEMENTS 2.9.2. CURVED MIRROR ASSEMBLIES 2.9.3. TROUGH SUPPORT STRUCTURE
43 43 44 44
45 47 52
3. POWER TOWER TECHNOLOGY 3.1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 3.2. MAIN PLANT CONFIGURATIONS
3.2.1. WATER/STEAM WORKING FLUID 3.2.2. MOLTEN SALTS AS WORKING FLUID 3.2.3. SODIUM AS WORKING FLUID 3.2.4. AIR AS WORKING FLUID 3.3. MAIN COMPONENTS 3.3.1. MIRRORS 3.3.2. HELIOSTAT LOCAL CONTROL 3.3.3. METALLIC STRUCTURE 3.3.4. PEDESTAL 3.3.5. DRIVE MECHANISM 3.3.6. FIELD CONTROL 3.3.7. FIELD WIRING 3.3.8. RECEIVER 3.3.9. TOWER CIVIL WORKS 3.3.10. HEAT TRANSFER FLUID 3.3.11. PIPING, VALVES AND SPARE PARTS 3.4. DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS 3.4.1. PLATAFORMA SOLAR DE ALMERÍA (PSA) 3.4.2. WEIZMANN 3.4.3. JÜLICH 3.4.4. CSIRO-NSEC 3.5. COMMERCIAL PROJECTS 3.5.1. ABENGOA SOLAR TOWERS 3.5.2. GEMASOLAR 3.5.3. ESOLAR 3.5.4. BRIGHTSOURCE 3.6. PROJECT PIPELINE 3.7. PLANT VALUE CHAIN 3.8. COMPONENTS VALUE CHAIN 3.8.1. HELIOSTAT MIRROR ASSEMBLY 3.8.2. HELIOSTAT METALLIC STRUCTURE 3.8.3. TOWER RECEIVER 3.8.4. TOWER CIVIL WORKS 3.9. MANUFACTURING PROCESSES 3.9.1. HELIOSTATS 3.9.2. TOWER CIVIL WORKS AND MATERIALS
56 56 57
57 58 58 58
60 60 61 62 63 64 65 65 68 69 69 71 71 72 72 72 72 72 73
74 74 75
75 75 76 76
4. DISH-ENGINE TECHNOLOGY 4.1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 4.2. MAIN PLANT CONFIGURATIONS 4.3. MAIN COMPONENTS
4.3.1. DISH 4.3.2. RECEIVER 4.3.3. CURVED MIRROR ASSEMBLIES 4.3.4. DISH SUPPORT STRUCTURE 4.3.5. HEAT TRANSFER FLUID 4.3.6. DISH DRIVE MECHANISMS 4.3.7. STIRLING ENGINE 4.4. DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS
81 81 82 82
83 84 85 87 88 88 88
DISH SUPPORT STRUCTURE 90 91 91 91 91 92 92 92 92 93 93 94 5.1. GENERAL DESCRIPTION 6.4.1. THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM 6. MAIN COMPONENTS 6. BALANCE OF PLANT (BOP) 5. MANUFACTURING PROCESSES 4.9.2. COMPONENTS VALUE CHAIN 95 95 95 96 96 104 104 104 104 105 106 106 22.214.171.124. POWER ISLAND 5. TANKS 6. DISH MIRROR ASSEMBLY 4. STORAGE FLUID HEATERS 6. HEAT TRANSFER AND STORAGE FLUIDS 106 107 126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1. STORAGE MEDIUM 6. MAIN COMPONENTS 5.5.1. PLANT VALUE CHAIN 4.2.5. STORAGE FLUID / HTF HEAT EXCHANGERS 6. DISH STRUCTURE 4.4. COMPONENTS VALUE CHAIN 4.3. POWER BLOCK 184.108.40.206.1. VILLAROBLEDO 4. PROJECT PIPELINE 4. COMPONENTS VALUE CHAIN 6.1. COMMERCIAL PROJECTS 4.2. REFERENCES 108 .220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1. MARICOPA SOLAR (SES/TESSERA) 4. CURVED MIRROR ASSEMBLIES 4.1. STIRLING ENGINE 4.3.
The task members from the World Bank team include Ashish Khanna. Chandrasekeren Subramaniam. Nataliya Kulichenko.Preface The study for ‗assessment of manufacturing capacities for concentrating solar thermal technologies in India‘ is part of The World Bank support on Concentrated Solar Power to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).) comprising of NIXUS. and the Spanish National Centre for Renewable Energies. The report is in draft form. It should be noted that the analysis results does not represent The World Bank‘s view. This report from Phase 1 of the study was prepared by a consortium led by YES (Ynfiniti Engineering Services. Gevorg Sargsyan.L. undergoing review by The World Bank and would be finalized after completion of Phase 2 on ‗‘assessment of competitive positioning of India‘s industries and preparation of an action plan to stimulate local production of CST technologies in India‘‘ of the assignment (details are attached in the Annexure I on Terms of Reference).org . This work received Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) funding. for which we are grateful. . Anjali Garg and Ruchi Soni. S.org and Nataliya Kulichenko at nkulichenko@worldbank. please write to Ashish Khanna at akhanna2@worldbank. The World Bank would like to thank counterparts in the MNRE who provided guidance and inputs through the assignment. CENER under the contract for Contract Number P119536. For further clarifications and suggestions till the report is finalized.
0. The Sun as Source of Energy The sun‘s spectral class label indicates that its surface temperature reaches approximately 5. Figure 1. Solar Resources for CSP technologies (DNI in kWh/m2/y). This huge potential is distributed along the Earth. Solar energy has two main characteristics: it is highly diluted all over the Earth. Global mean radiation is estimated around 1490 kWh/m2 year.0. . their value chain and manufacturing processes. Figure 1 shows the high potential of the solar energy in comparison with other energy sources. Source: Cener. Comparison of different energy sources in the World. having different incidence in specific locations depending on the latitude. Source: unknown. Figure 2. together with all the known fossil fuel reserves including uranium. making it possible only around 1 kW/m2 to get to Earth. This entails that the sun radiation by itself would supply low temperatures to a thermal fluid.1. Annual energy consumption is also depicted. but the big distance to be covered lead to a high dilution of the flux. and it is highly variable. Solar radiation received in the whole terrestrial surface is represented in this figure. making it necessary to incorporate a concentration ratio of the radiation received in order to get higher solar fluxes. for one year time period.778 K.400 kWh/m2 year in some locations like Sahara. The solar radiation at the sun is about 63 MW/m2. These values can vary from 675 kWh/m2 year in Arctic Islands to 2. what means that solar energy has a very high exergy. Introduction In this section we will provide some information on the Sun as a source of energy and after this we will provide a brief introduction to the main subjects of study: the different CSP technologies.
Indeed it has the possibility of including a storage system or hybridization that could avoid stops during transient conditions. Improving the integration to the grid. These technologies can be applied properly in regions with annual mean radiation values higher than 1. Figure 4 shows a depiction of transient moments that take place in a typical meteorological year in Caceres (Spain). Figure 4. The high number of short periods with low solar radiation shows the interest of buffering the energy to avoid strong variations of power production. economic growth. Spain. Amount of time intervals with DNI values lower than 10 W/m2. In addition.Figure 3 shows a graphic of the yearly distribution at La Risca. The benefits of solar power are compelling: environmental protection. Spain. Day hours by DNI level (left) and DNI distribution by day of year and hour of day (right). location where the solar thermal power plant Alvarado 1.750 kWh/m2 year. has been recently built. Offsetting variations of the solar radiation by fossil fuel to avoid partial load operation of the turbine. job creation. Source: Cener. The underlying advantage of solar energy is that the fuel is free. Moreover. the scheme of a current solar thermal power plant allows the design and operation of hybrid systems which presents the following advantages: Reducing polluting and greenhouse gases emissions compared to fossil plants. Increasing the capacity factor without increasing investment costs as with storage systems . solar thermal power has an added advantage compared to other renewable energies: dispatchabity. diversity of fuel supply and rapid deployment. as well as the global potential for technology transfer and innovation. abundant and inexhaustible. Figure 3. Yearly distribution of DNI at La Risca.
The receiver is integrated into a high-efficiency engine (the Stirling engine is the most common type of heat engine used). Linear concentration systems LINEAR FRESNEL REFLECTOR PARABOLIC TROUGH Point focus concentration systems POWER TOWER SYSTEM PARABOLIC DISH / ENGINE (STIRLING) Linear Fresnel reflector concentrating systems use flat or slightly curved mirrors to focus solar radiation onto a linear receiver. Two main technical designs can be distinguished depending on the working fluid used: water/steam and molten salts. Parabolic trough systems concentrate the solar radiation with a parabolicshaped mirror onto a linear receiver. In Figure 5 efficiencies for every subsystem are shown. A power tower system uses mirrors called heliostats with two-axis sun-tracking to focus concentrated solar radiation on a receiver at the top of a tower. 3. Dish engine systems consist of a mirrored dish that collects and concentrates sunlight onto a receiver mounted at the focal point of the dish. Every CSP technology shows different characteristics and efficiencies as a consequence of its configuration and operation conditions. trough an intermediate heat transfer fluid and the use of a heat exchanger. This process can be carried out directly or indirectly. Comparative efficiencies between different technologies for every subsystem: solar Collection system. There are four CSP technologies being currently developed and operated: linear Fresnel reflector. The parabolic trough system is the predominant linear system and is the most developed and commercially tested CSP technology. .2. Description of Main Technologies Solar thermal technology makes advantage of incident solar radiation. showing the variability of these figures for every functional subsystem. Efficiencies are estimated within a range of values.0. power tower system and parabolic dish engine (Stirling). concentrating and collecting it in a specific system that heats a thermal fluid. thermal generation system and electrical generation system. Overview of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies 100% 100% 100% 100% Annual Direct Solar Energy at the Input Aperture 82% 62% 58% 53% 48% 62% 42% 34% 22% Optical Thermal 16% 11% 18% Linear Fresnel Parabolic Trough Tower System Parabolic Dish Figure 5. located at its focal length. parabolic trough. This heat is then used to run a turbine and produce electricity. depending on the CSP technology analyzed. The dish / engine is unique among CSP systems in using mechanical energy rather than a working fluid in order to produce electricity. Source:36Cener.
logistics. plant development. Energy]. installation. distribution via ownership and operation of the CSP plant. marketing. similar to the structure used in [Emerging. and the roles and actors in the value chain vary significantly by technology and project. but then it was extended to industries and turned out to be useful for example to policy makers. the finished product including solar technology and plant development.0. Ivanpah Solar Power Complex is a good example of this vertical . sales and services constitutes a chain of activities that represents value on the client side. focusing on the activities that bring the greatest benefits for our client? The value chain analysis points out potential competitive advantages within the activities and processes of the firm.  [Gereffi. At the basic level. In addition. and end use of power by utility companies. 1985]. manufacturing. generic scheme In this document this analysis will be applied to the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) sector. there is significant vertical integration across the stages of the value chain. design. the value chain analysis helps to identify the sequence of activities required to make a product or provide a service. Therefore. local government agencies. components. This strategy tool was first designed to improve the competitive advantage of companies. In this document we will use the value chain defined in Figure 7. Much of the R&D.3. CSP is a new industry. Value chain analysis. successive phases of design. the value chain structure is still evolving. or business associations. Indeed from the detection of a demand. and costs on the supplier side. 2008] proposes five stages in the value chain: materials. Research and Development Centers ar m Project Owner Project Developer Technology Integrator CSP Plant gn gin ma r Material Supplier Technology Provider EPC Contractor gin Operator Materials CSP Components Plant Construction Plant Operation Figure 7. production. production. Firm Infrastructure Human Resource Management Technology Development Procurement Inbound Logistics Operations Outbound Logistics Marketing & Sales Service ar ar m m n gii ma ma r r giin n Materials Components Finished products Distribution End Use Figure 6. CSP Plant Value Chain Defined by Porter  [Porter. and operation are conducted by a single company or by closely related companies. which can be applied not only to companies but also to business segments. construction and operation stages of the value chain. CSP Value chain analysis Research and development is an integral part of the component and system design. Figure 6 shows a generic scheme of a value chain analysis. It allows companies to answer the following question: Are we taking advantage of our distinctive capacities and resources.
India-based ACME Group signed a 1 GW licensing agreement with eSolar for US$30 million to develop projects in India and thus received an equity stake in the US Company.1. copper. 0. of India for a 10 MW commercial plant in Rajasthan [Emerging Energy]. CSP Projects in India We will be presenting in this Section just a brief summary of the current situation in the country. heliostats. while the developer or the project integrators integrate these components into a complete functioning plant.000 MW by the year 2022. Given India‘s solar power potential of 5000 trillion KWh per year.. Some technology promoters are adding technology licensing to facilitate their technologies demonstration in the field. and vary depending on the type of CSP plant. These are for example Heat Collection Elements. In March 2009. Many project developers conduct their own R&D to create unique. and finally to the consumer. aluminium. and Electrotherm India Ltd. Receivers for towers are a variety of high-temperature heat exchanger. which industry has largely deployed throughout the world. Similarly. Solar Collector Assemblies. Suryachakra MSM Solar India Pvt Ltd is a joint venture company formed between Suryachakra Power and MAN Solar Millennium for transfer of CSP Technology to project developers in India. The CSP sector is unlikely to be impaired by a scarcity of raw materials. and management of the plant  [Gereffi. and concrete. and Luz II will manufacture the CSP technology while BrightSource leads the development. Other technology promoters. and many companies contract out the manufacturing of non-patented components. but their use as a storage medium requires a high degree of purity [CSP Technology RoadMap IEA. are seeking CSP solutions that circumvent grid instability. brass silica. patented concentrating solar technologies. 2010] A CSP plant can be divided into specific and conventional components: Specific components are components from the collector and thermal generation systems. Conventional components are mainly the components constituting the two other subsystems of a CSP plant: the power island and the Thermal Energy Storage. a favorable regulatory atmosphere and the supply demand gap it is only natural that solar power will be one of the thrust areas of future Indian governments. They are used in large quantities as fertilisers for agriculture. This joint venture aims to indigenize the technology components and minimize import of critical components of the solar field and achieve cost reductions.3. primarily for industrial supply. Ltd. Then ACME signed a 50 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with BSES Delhi in January 2010. This production would only account for a few percentage points of the global production of flat glasses.integration: BrightSource Energy owns Luz II. and another 10 MW CSP power plants has been proposed in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Large mirror areas will be required. Only molten salts for thermal storage may raise some production problems. This information will be further developed in Part II of this project. eSolar and Ausra have begun to license their technologies as a means to raise capital and demonstrate their systems [Emerging Energy]. particularly in today‗s economic climate. The mission envisages a capacity of 20. so timely investment in production capacity of mirrors will be necessary. The components are manufactured by the technology provider. For example. The end use consists of the sale of power to utility companies. operation. because of their inability to develop and finance projects themselves. Raw material needed for CSP component manufacturing are mainly steel. including Power Cube Pvt. however. one of the early CSP technology design and manufacturing companies. accelerated deployment of trough plants would require investment in production of heat collector elements. 2008]. which may exceed current global production by a factor of two to four. with commissioning planned for 2011. Control systems and civil works of the collector subsystem can also be considered as non specific components. but also synthetic oil and / or molten salts as heat transfer and storage fluids. or tower receivers. In 2008 India launched its Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India‘s energy security challenge. CSP plant construction requires commodity type materials (steel and concrete). The Italian consortium Solare XXI has announced a technology supply agreement with Entegra Ltd. The owners are either the developer or the customers for whom the technology integrators integrate the plant. This heralds the realization of a dream which goes back to early 1990s. .
Illustrative CSP Plant Value Chain Policy and Regulatory framework by CERC AND SERCs CSP collector system Manufacturer Power generation and control equipment manufacturer CSP Plant Operators Technical Design & Construction Partners Transmission and Distribution Companies End Users Research & Development Policy and Regulatory framework by JNNSM Indian CSP policy and regulatory framework. Receivers. Structures.0. In the following Tables we will describe for each value chain component: Major Players Indian Outlook Potential Indian Players Description of current and potential CSP industry in India CSP Collector System Manufacturer These are the manufacturers of systems such as: Mirrors/Reflector Films. CSP Industry in India The Indian CSP regulatory framework given below depicts the players involved from the design stage till the end users.3.2. Drives Major Players Indian Outlook Potential Indian Players . Currently the major chunk of activity in India is geared towards CSP plant operators who are collaborating with international CSP component manufacturers and Indian power generation equipment manufacturers to set up CSP plants in Rajasthan and Guajarat.
Currently there is no major Indian company which specifically caters to CSP technology. in Algeria.806 MW at present. Switchgear and Control gear Major Players Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. Plant Assembly and Installation. Technical Design and Construction Partners These include: Project Design. Rajkot Thermax Ltd. The Indian electrical machinery industry manufactures a wide range of turbines with a total capacity of more than 7000 MW per annum. Excluding the nonutilities. Potential Indian Players This is a mature industry sector in India and the current major players are expected to cater to the demands of CSP Plants as the products used would be mostly the same as in a conventional coal based power plant. However there are companies within the sectors mentioned below which have the potential of manufacturing CSP collector systems: Glass Manufacturing Auto and Auto Ancillary Polymer Steel Players in Solar PV technology Glass Manufacturing ASAHI India Glass Ltd Gujarat Borosil ltd. there are significant numbers of smaller units in the private sector. Saint Gobain India Auto and Auto Ancillary Mahindra & Mahindra TATA Motors Bharat Forge Polymer Manufacturer 3M India Signet Solar Moser Baer Steel SAIL TATA Steel Vizag Steel Solar PV Technology TATA-BP Solar India Ltd. Small players like Photon Energy systems Ltd.300 MW in 1950 has expanded to over 147. Power Generation and Control Equipment Manufacturer These are the manufacturers of systems such as: Steam Turbines. Boilers. Technology Integration Major Players Indian Outlook Potential Indian Players . While BHEL is the largest player. India‘s power generation capacity of 2. Thermax is already involved in CSP industry: indeed it has supplied two supplementary fired Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs) for the Hassi R‘Mel ISCC power plant.No major Indian players are present in this step of the value chain. Main worldwide players are identified in the next sections of this document. Indian Outlook The growth of the electrical machinery industry is directly related to the development of power generation and distribution. Larsen and Toubro Siemens India Crompton Greaves ABB India Adhunik Global Energy.
Nashik Square Engineering Pvt.. Pune has a tie up with the Wizard power Pty.Valsad Clique Developments Pvt. Limited M/s Purolator India Limited. Mumbai M/s Ultimate Technologies.. Ltd. For instance: Larsen & Toubro and Bharat Forge have a tie up with Areva Square Engineering Pvt... India has a significant amount of technological expertise in developing solutions for power and infrastructure projects. Singapore based Delta Power tied up with local engineering and construction group Punj Lloyd. Ltd. Local players are developing their CSP related capabilities by entering into tie ups with more experienced and established foreign players. The company has plans to install solar dish concentrators for power generation at many locations in India. Ltd. Larsen and Toubro Bharat Forge Maharishi Solar Technology Gadhia Solar Energy Systems Pvt Ltd.. Germany‘s Solar Millennium struck an agreement with Indian energy group Suryachakra Power. Pune Pradyna Consultants and Engineers Pvt. Australia. Gurgaon Though there exists a technology gap for designing and set up of CSP plants. Ltd. California-based group e-Solar signed an agreement with local construction group ACME for the development of 1GW of solar thermal capacity over the next 10 years Constructors Larsen and Toubro Bharat Forge Gammon India Punj Lloyd Other Regional players Engineering Consultants SMEC Engineers India Ltd Independent individual consultants .
4. In this document CSP specific manufacturing processes will be described for the considered four main technologies. advanced manufacturing processes could have a great impact on the capital cost reduction of CSP plants. Potential Indian Players 3M India Signet Solar Moser Baer TATA-BP Solar India Ltd. Besides. some components related directly to the solar field (solar collection system and thermal generation system) have specific characteristics which can only be achieved through ad hoc manufacturing processes. It has been decided that the work should be pursued in all the routes of solar power generation at National level. Indeed mass production processes from conventional industries such as automotive or fossil fuel power industry could be adapted to CSP technologies and help them to reach competitiveness. A variety of opinions have been presented on the merits of centralized and decentralized power generation schemes. Even if some subsystems. NTPC TIFAC 0. IIT Bombay is involved in the development of indigenous Stirling Engines and the initial capacity target is 1.R&D Capabilities These include: Technology Development. heliostats and central receivers for power tower plant).5 KWe. A few institutes and organizations are actively pursuing research activities in various aspects of solar thermal power generation. They have to be implemented not only by technology providers during the fabrication and mounting of components (e. Focus is on immediately starting the installation a solar thermal power plant in the country for obtaining necessary experience on its design. but also by EPC contractors during the plant construction (trough solar field mounting. Process and Plant Design. tower building). Bhavnagar are involved in the development of solar power generation system using heliostats. established in 1982. Manufacturing Processes Most of the components arranged in the solar field of a solar thermal power plant have been specifically designed. is a dedicated unit of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). Mumbai and the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute. installation.g. like power block and thermal energy storage. The Solar Energy Centre (SEC). The Department of Energy Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay has expressed the desire to take the lead role in the solar thermal power generation program through medium temperature route. receiver tubes for parabolic trough plants. Government of India for development of solar energy technologies and to promote its applications through product development. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. . operation and maintenance. are common to various solar thermal technologies and use classical manufacturing processes from other industries. Operations optimization Major Players BARC BHEL IIT Bombay IIT Delhi TERI MNRE MEDA Solar Energy Centre (SEC) Indian Outlook Significant discussions have taken place on merits and demerits of the different technologies.
There are currently two different Linear Fresnel solar field designs for electricity generation: Classical linear Fresnel reflector (LF) and compact linear Fresnel reflector (CLFR). LF systems are asserted by its developers and promoters to be lower-cost and less accident-sensitive than other alternatives by virtue of the off-the-shelf components chosen for its construction and the use of low curvature mirrors. Then we will name the projects (demonstration. avoiding the expensive mirror ―sagging‖ process required for trough collector manufacture. They lack. there is no technically developed storage system available. Views of Linear Fresnel reflector arrays. 1.1. flat or slightly curved tracking mirrors to focus the sun‘s radiation on a linear receiver pipe located above the array. However. According to their proponents. . [Bernhard.1 m 10 m 3m 77. 2006]. General Description Linear Fresnel (LF) collectors have a ground-mounted array of long. depending on the sun position throughout the day. [Morrison.1. LF systems work at low operating temperatures and low field efficiencies tending to be less efficient than other technologies like molten salt power tower. LINEAR FRESNEL REFLECTORS Technology In this section we will analyze linear Fresnel technology into detail. 1. however. Linear Fresnel systems are usually used to produce low temperature water/steam that is directly coupled to a steam turbine. Besides they make a better land use than other technologies like parabolic-trough or power tower for the same power output [Emerging Energy. Last. commercial and in the pipeline). the flat mirror tracking subsystem is crucial to ensure the low cost of the concept. This feature decreases shadowing and blockage effects. Furthermore. The main difference between both configurations is that the second one has the possibility to focus the solar radiation onto either of two receiver arrays. 2010] . Collectors are made up of flat mirrors that can be slightly curved to the metal substrate during bonding. After a first general description. narrow. making it possible to design more compact solar collector fields.2009]). we will include as well an analysis of the value chain (plant and components) and manufacturing processes. we will describe plant configurations and main components.5 m 31 m Figure 8. Current LF systems are reported to achieve temperatures between 250˚C to 300˚C (Fresdemo reached up to 450ºC during performance tests. the operational record proving they can achieve these temperatures consistently over long periods of time.
CLFR scheme with reflector rows oriented in order to minimize shadows and blockings. Source . The most common configuration of Linear Fresnel plants is Direct Steam Generation (DSG). and this process also causes the fluid stratification inside the horizontal tubes leading to non-homogeneous temperature distributions that generate thermal stress. Instabilities appear with the phase change. Main Plant Configurations Although the operation of CSP plants is very similar to fossil fuel thermal plants operation. solar preheating and Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Systems and other low temperature applications as Solar Air Conditioning Systems. It can be implemented in almost all kind of CSP plants. simplifying the layout of the plant. so its conductivity and pH level must be limited and controlled. resulting in higher solar field efficiencies. Improve pressure and temperature conditions of the thermal cycle. in particular in strongly hybridized systems. low temperatures systems also offer better opportunities to be implemented in innovative cycles like Organic Ranking Cycles. DSG systems absorber and insulated pipes should be more resistant and thus more expensive. However. W. Improve heat exchanges in solar collectors.. Avoid the use of synthetic oil.LF and CLFR systems have similarities regarding geometry and size of the collector field. solar fraction determined by the hybridization (if any). Platzer. show a higher technical and commercial maturity of CLFR but a 10% higher potential efficiency for technologies with only-tube receivers and secondary reflector [Morin. Comparisons of both technologies. to operate at such high temperatures and pressures. working fluid. This innovative concept consists in using water/steam not only as working fluid in the power block but also as heat transfer fluid in the solar field. depending on the choice of thermal cycle. G. Figure 9. many options can be considered to design a Linear Fresnel solar plant. Investment cost reductions and efficiency increases are expected. taking into account the impact caused by the lower operation temperatures of this technology in its efficiencies.2. CLFR systems use multiple receiver tubes without secondary reflectors. 1. classical LF and CLFR. reducing environmental risks (no more fire-protection and anti-freezing systems needed) and removing temperature restrictions. This system presents some difficulties arisen from its operation conditions. While LF systems use a single receiver tube with a secondary reflector. Decrease parasitic consumptions for pumping.… and on the strategic objective of the installation. Main possible plant configurations in LF technology are similar to parabolic trough configurations. because these systems allow to: Avoid the use of water-oil heat exchangers. . However. 2006] . They have significant differences in the design of their receiver or solar to thermal energy conversion system. High pressures and temperatures in water can be corrosive for materials. the most important problem is the one which emerges as a consequence of the coexistence of both phases: liquid and vapor. resulting in higher cycle efficiencies. However.
Although the power block efficiency is lower than for superheated cycles. and compare its performance to a parabolic trough.Up to now. Superheated Steam Superheated steam production in linear Fresnel collectors has been demonstrated at Fresdemo test loop at the PSA. 2009]. or molten salts. After having completed a feasibility study of the concept. For example SkyFuel is willing to develop a linear Fresnel collector optimized for direct molten salt. This design requires higher precision of the concentrator.1. 2009]  . 1. 2010].2.4. with temperatures up to 450 ºC [Bernhard. In this case a superheated Rankine cycle could be used. 1.2. 2008] [Bernhard. which usually results in higher investment costs.2. this conservative approach benefits from a reliable operation and stable performances. Figure 10. 2009]. some research centers and CSP companies considered the use of other fluids such as synthetic oil [Hoyer. Nevertheless this is a matter that has already attracted the attention of several researchers of the solar thermal industry [Pincemin.2. Saturated-steam solar only plant configuration (source: Novatec Biosol) 1. Mixed Linear Fresnel/Parabolic Trough System . Other Heat Transfer Fluids Although water / steam is the privileged heat transfer fluid for Linear Fresnel plants. with optional reheat and extractions to increase its efficiency.2.3. 1. they are developing a prototype to be tested in 2011 [SkyFuel. specific storage system for DSG facilities has not been yet developed. Saturated Steam Current commercial plants (Kimberlina and Puerto Errado I) use saturated steam turbines.
Figure 11. This design allows three operation modes (solar. Mixed system scheme proposed by Novatec Biosol [Novatec Biosol. in the USA it can reach up to 25%.000 m2 of parabolic trough field by 210.000 m2 linear Fresnel field.5. 1. as no mature TES solutions are commercially available for DSG. 2009] . maintaining 75. solar-only configurations like the ones mentioned above are the best configurations as only heat from the solar field is used to generate steam.2.A study carried out by Novatec Biosol shows the possibility of combining a 50 MW facility of parabolic trough with linear Fresnel reflector. However. . or hybrid) providing great levels of versatility and dispatchability. hybridization with a fossil fuel boiler placed in parallel to the solar field could be interesting to increase the capacity factor of the plant. making it possible to substitute 180. 2009] . Hybrid Systems From an environmental point of view.000 m2 of superheating and reheating parabolic trough field [Novatec Biosol. fossil. In Spain the range of hybridization is limited 12 to 15% (fraction of fossil fuel energy in the total thermal energy of the plant) by the legal framework. This option considers the use of LF for preheating and evaporation.
resulting in higher efficiencies. They can result very effective. They have been primarily considered for parabolic trough collectors. Australia. low temperature. Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Systems (ISCCS) These systems consist in integrating solar energy into a combined cycle power plant. . in particular if stable and continuous power production is needed. It has been demonstrated at Liddell coal power plant in New South Wales.Figure 12. The annual solar fraction (amount of solar energy in the total thermal energy of the plant) is usually lower than 5%. Saturated-steam hybrid plant configuration (source: Novatec Biosol) Aside from the configuration shown in Figure 12. No solar energy is lost during start-up and shut-down periods. as shown in Figure 13. Solar thermal energy is delivered to the Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) of the combined cycle. so it can be a relevant option to retrofit existing fossil fuel plant already in operation and introduce CSP technologies to the market. thus the steam turbine receives higher heat input than in classical combined cycles. solar energy is converted to power with high efficiencies [Lerchenmüller. However. other hybrid design can be considered for Linear Fresnel CSP plants: Conventional Rankine cycle with solar preheating This concept aims at adding a solar preheater to big fossil power plants in order to reduce their fuel consumption and gases emissions. but the characteristics of Linear Fresnel collectors (low cost. DSG) made them very relevant for ISCC systems. 2004] and the investment cost is low.
2005]. Source: ECOSTAR These systems benefit from the high efficiencies of combined cycles compared to Rankine cycles: some studies assess annual fuel-to-power efficiencies of about 60% [Dersch. ISCCS are more cost-effective than hybrid solar Rankine cycles. Besides. resulting in very low annual fraction (about 6% in favorable irradiation conditions. The design solar fraction is limited (lower than 15-20% [Dersch. [Asssessment of the World Bank. . 1996]. 2004] .Figure 13. Basic scheme of an ISCCS. [Status Report. 2004]. As in conventional Rankine cycle with solar preheating. as the investment cost for gas turbines is lower than for steam turbines. no solar energy is lost during start-up and shut-down periods. up to 12% a TES is included).   .There are two options for solar heat integration. from low pressure or high pressure solar steam.
Current systems designs seem to favor north-south collector fields with horizontal receiver tubes parallel to the reflectors. which are often scarce in the regions suitable for CSP plants. Besides these costs related to material suppliers or technology providers. 1. Figure 14. etc. In the next subsections we present the main components of Linear Fresnel Reflectors components.1. most LF technology promoters use cavity receivers without vacuum tubes. 2000] . Aspects such as the orientation and inclination of the LF reflector (north-south and east-west solar collector fields.3. Computer simulation predicted best results with horizontal receiver tubes with a secondary reflector. polar mounted mirrors. or the use of vacuum and secondary concentrators in the receiver tubes were analyzed. In a vacuum tube receiver rack. Heat Collection Elements From 1995 to 2000 several Linear Fresnel system concepts and configurations were explored. 2000] . Source  . The option to use flat receivers selectively coated with black chrome (up to 300ºC) to reduce infrared losses is also being explored [Burbidge. the importance of the main components of a LF solar plant is qualitatively evaluated considering economic issues (according to breakdown in Activity 1. The option to tilt the primary mirrors along the polar axis (Figure 15) minimizes de cosine effect [Mills and Morrison. although the durability of the selective coatings in direct contact with atmospheric air is not well known. Alternative receivers designs. which allows the replacement of the racks without having to open the high pressure circuit [Burbidge. Furthermore. the water enters and exits from the same side of the vacuum tube rack.). Main Components In the following table. 2000] . mainly by Australian researchers. valves and spare parts Thermal storage Electrical conversion Buffer tank Power block Balance of plant (BOP) Component Support structures Economic Importance High Low Low High Low Low Low High High Technological Issues Medium Medium Low Medium Medium Low Low High Medium Although the BOP does not represent any particular technical difficulty. 2000]  and allows the collection of larger amounts of solar energy throughout the year with a more homogeneous yearly distribution.2) and technological issues (design / manufacturing / assembling complexity. Subsystem Solar collection Mirrors Drive mechanisms Thermal conversion Receiver tubes Natural Gas Boilers Piping. it is assessed to have medium technological importance because of the issue of water resources. vertical tubes (left) and horizontal tubes (right.1. although decreases the land use efficiency and increases the size and cost of the collector structures. criticality and improvement potential).).3. which at least on paper are considered to have better optical and net efficiencies [Burbidge. some activities of the EPC contractor such as solar collector assembly and civil works have a medium economic importance.
3. Both of them can be easily assembled and without specialized work: The bench bar design used by SPG and Novatec Biosol. Current designs available in the market are: Open air multiple-pipe with no secondary reflector.6 m. as shown in Figure 8. The ring design developed by Ausra. and Ausra has considered several designs: 1. For instance the width of the primary Fresnel reflectors for the SolarmundoSPG design is 0. enabling one rotating motor to rotate . Mirror Assemblies Commercial LF systems use low cost glass-metal reflector (3 mm thickness and 88% reflectivity). Source  Various studies of the above mentioned designs showed that the best design consisted of a single or multiple horizontal absorber tubes oriented on the longitudinal axis of the concentrator.Figure 15. Mirrors are supported by only two contact points.5 m.3. Reflector Drive Mechanisms There are several studies suggesting the mechanical coupling of the primary Fresnel mirrors as a strategy to reduce the cost of the primary mirror field and simplify the tracking system. adopted by Novatec Biosol and Solar Power Group. 1. This light structure is made of standard steel profiles or cold rolled steel and allows the use of space below the structure. CLFR with inverted receiver and Fresnel mirrors tilted along the polar axis. placed at 18 m high. with a diameter of 70 mm and 114 mm of the receiver tube.3. 1. Once the primary Fresnel mirrors are properly positioned. Open air single-pipe with secondary reflector. 1. Support Structure There are two main designs of metallic support structure for Linear Fresnel reflectors. the rotational movement along their longitudinal axis can be coupled. which requires less raw materials (steel) but results in lower optical precision. These mirrors are slightly curved along their longitudinal axis by elastic deformation. The dimension of the mirror varies from one technology supplier/promoter to another. Ausra steel-backed mirrors rotate downward for protection.3. in which the reflector is supported by a metallic structure centric to the rings. in which the reflector is placed over a parallel bench bar structure.2.4. respectively.84 m and 2. for the Fresdemo design is 0. adopted by Ausra (Areva) with a carbon steel tube diameter of 50 mm.25 m.
this solar module generated one megawatt equivalent (MW) of solar generated steam.1.000 MW. The demonstration power plant. while others favor a tracking system per mirror due its improved tracking accuracy [Morin.5. the cost reduction that this technology can claim in relation to conventional parabolic trough technology can compensate its lower solar to electricity yearly conversion efficiencies. as they deliver their electricity generated to the grid and sell it. they are also considered commercial plants. located in Australia. John Marcheff Solar Project at Liddell Coal Power Station Liddell Power Station is located in New South Wales. Australia. Eck. In large-scale power plants. . It is located in the PSA. That is why there is only a few Fresnel experiences in the world. Fresdemo Fresdemo is the first LF demonstration power plant built in Spain. This approach is currently being used by part of the industry [Burbidge. Up to now every Fresnel plant currently in operation can be considered as a demonstration plant since the technology is still not wholly developed. which a power capacity of 3 MWe . It is unclear that. Almería.4.4. In 2004. In a first phase. which has a 100 m long collector. The pilot plant was built by Ferrostaal in collaboration with Solar Power Group and the aim of the plant is to produce evidence that electricity can be generated more competitively proving that Fresnel technology is commercially viable for large scale projects. several of these modules will be connected up in series.2. However. generates 1 MWth (peak) and is designed as a modular system. 2006] . [Bernhard. It was put into operation in July 2007 and the trial period lasted 2 years. 2000] . SolarPaces 2009] 1. 1. that explains their limited power capacities. AUSRA developed the world‘s first solar thermal power collector system for coal fired power augmentation. at this stage of development. This facility was expanded in 2008 with the construction of a second phase. The results of the operation and testing that took place at the PSA identified several key areas were substantial improvements must be achieved before the technology can be considered ready for commercial deployment. Demonstration Projects We present here John Marcheff Solar Project at Liddell Coal Power Station and Fredesmo Spain 1.4. Commercial Projects Fresnel technology is still at a first development level compared to other CSP technologies like parabolic trough. 1.several Fresnel mirrors at once. Figure 16. This power plant is coal powered. 1. with four 500 MW GEC (UK) steam driven turbo alternators for a combined capacity of 2. John Marcheff Solar Project at Lidell Coal Power Station.
5.4 MWe taking up 18. Novatec has developed its own collector technology (they have also patented it) which has been implemented for the first time in this power plant: the collector Fresnel NOVA-1. It has an installed power capacity of 1. This plant will generate an estimated annual electric energy of 2 GWh. Figure 17.5. Kimberlina LF power plant. which is the second phase of the already in operation Puerto Errado 1.000 m2 of mirrored area. Jordan and Portugal [Emerging Energy 2010] . located in Bakersville (California). . Kimberlina The 5 MW Kimberlina Solar Thermal Power Plant in Bakersfield. by using the DSG technology. Project Pipeline Novatec Biosol has a project pipeline including an additional linear Fresnel project included in the register of the Spanish Ministry of Industry.6. is the first commercial solar thermal power plant built by Ausra.2. The Puerto Errado 1 plant is. 1. which was connected to grid in 2009. Only Areva (Ausra) has announced a project pipeline which sums a total power capacity of 337 MW.1. will have a total installed power of 30 MW and will also be built in Murcia. Puerto Errado 2.1. is the most recent LF plant put into operation. promoted by Novatec Biosol. which was started up in 2008. Figure 18 shows this power plant. 1. This project. in several projects located in Australia. Puerto Errado 1 Puerto Errado 1. to our knowledge. the only commercial grid connected plant using dry cooling in Spain. California. Chile. The market activity in the rest the world is slim. Kimberlina uses Ausra's LF own technology.
allowing technology integrators to rely on the more than 65 flat glass suppliers worldwide. Germany) relies on its partner Ferrostaal for EPC. due to their simplicity. Chile Ambiente Prointec S. Linear Fresnel technologies have fewer customized requirements. Areva can be now considered as a leader in this technology. Nevada. the company does not have any new plant under construction. with the installation of a manufacturing facility in Spain to produce reflectors and receiver elements. They do not entail specific processes to take into account. Planned production capacity at the plant will total 220000 m2 (17 MW) of reflector surface per year.7. but does not specify the specific component manufacturer for its plants. The company is focused on the manufacturing and development of linear Fresnel technology systems and is looking to serve the Spanish market. 1. and the countries in which they are active. Solar Power Group (Essen. CA. Regarding mirror assemblies. . Having added Ausra´s technology to its package of thermal system offerings to provide turnkey solutions. such as Ausra (bought by Areva in 2010) and Novatec Biosol develop and manufacture their own specific components with proprietary designs: Ausra (Mountain View. However. Manufacturing Processes Manufacturing processes implied in linear Fresnel reflector technology components have not been considered. Novatec Biosol Country Australia Chile Jordan Spain USA MENA Cleantech AG Novatec Biosol Areva 1.A. Novatec Biosol (Karlsruhe. Germany) is a relatively new entrant into the CSP sector. Main actors of the linear Fresnel solar plants value chain [Emerging Energy. Components Value Chain Major Linear Fresnel technology promoters. 2010] Technology Technology Project Project provider integrator development EPC Operation Ownership Solar Heat & Areva Macquarie Generation Power Areva Areva Areva. whereas Novatec Biosol is now building its 30 MWe Puerto Errado II solar plant. Plant Value Chain The Table below shows the main actors of the linear Fresnel plants value chain. USA) has its own reflector production line at its first North American manufacturing/distribution center in Las Vegas.9.1.8.
Indeed commercial parabolic trough plants have been operating satisfactorily for more than 20 years. the steam is pressurized inside the turbine that drives the generator. Parabolic Mirror and Receiver. Last. Figure 18.2. The basic scheme of a parabolic trough power plant can be observed in Figure 19. Figure 19. improving operation and maintenance. Solar radiation heats up the synthetic-oil that flows through the receiver to a temperature up to 400 ºC. which enables the steam generation in a downstream heat exchanger. we will include as well an analysis of the value chain (plant and components) and manufacturing processes. but in this case. Source: ECOSTAR. The orientation of this field can be either North-South. and the piping and heat exchangers (in red). Then we will name the projects (demonstration. commercial and in the pipeline). Basic scheme of a Parabolic Trough power plant. PARABOLIC TROUGH Technology In this section we will analyze parabolic trough technology into detail. General Description Parabolic Trough technology is the most advanced CSP technology nowadays. with a North-South tracking. 2. The system can be divided into the following three parts: the solar field (in yellow). The design of a parabolic trough solar thermal plant is similar to a conventional steam engine thermal power plant. and thus reaching the leadership in power generation from CSP plants. the power block (in blue. all oriented by a sun tracking system in a single axis. which concentrates the solar radiation onto a linear receiver located at its focal line (see Figure 18). Currently the most common configuration is the North-South orientation. As in a conventional power plant.1. so increasing their maturity. . giving valuable information. with an East-West sun tracking. or East-West. we will describe plant configurations and main components. the boiler is replaced by a solar field formed by a large quantity of parabolic trough solar collectors. with optional reheater). After a first general description.
Moreover it improves the use and amortization of the power block. there are 250 MWe of troughs operating in Spain. Even so.17 €/kWh in Spain and down to 0. 2. Storage capacities of up to fifteen hours can be reached with such systems.A. All of them are expected to be connected on the grid within the current year.2. Main Plant Configurations Although the operation of CSP plants is very similar to fossil fuel thermal plants operation. Rankine cycle with hybridization. TES can also be included. with the 354 MWe SEGS plants in the Mojave Desert. depending on the choice of the thermal cycle. Figure 20.2. Integrated Solar Combined Cycle Systems (ISCCS). Parabolic trough solar fields are modular. Outside the U. which provides a great versatility. and stable electrical energy to the grid. having operated for about 20 years. The parabolic trough technology is currently one of the cheapest ways to produce power from a renewable source (about 0. the optimal capacity for current technology is estimated to be about 150-200 MWe. When the thermal power delivered by the solar field is higher than the thermal power needed to operate the power block at full load.S. and its profitability is expected to compete with conventional the one of conventional thermal power plants at mid term. They all include a 20 MW parabolic trough solar thermal field which generates electricity combined with a natural gas boiler. working fluid. Parabolic trough is the most commercially advanced of the CSP technologies. Ain Beni Mathar (Morocco) and Kuraymat (Egypt). Currently there is three ISCC solar projects in advanced construction: Hassi R‘Mel (Algeria). and sometimes to fit to a demand curve.In this scheme two optional elements of a CSP plant are also represented: the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) and the Back-Up Boiler (BUB). Nevada. . dispatchable. many options can be considered to design a parabolic trough solar plant. These plants often include TES to make up for the strong variations of solar radiation and to increase the operation hours at full load.10 €/kWh in sites with higher direct radiation). connected to the Heat Transfer Fluid by a heat exchanger. usually working with natural gas. but investments cost would be highly increased. The installed power capacity in the U.A. they can be implemented at any capacity. of this document: Rankine cycle without hybridization. and the 64 MWe Nevada Solar One system near Boulder City. Aerial view of SEGS III-VII power stations. a hot one and a cold one. that is to say that they allow the plant to operate even when there is not enough direct solar radiation. Most of them have already been described in Section 1.… and on the strategic objective of the installation. The most mature TES is the two-tank molten salts storage. Introducing one of these systems made solar thermal power plants able to generate reliable. exceeds 400 MWe. Conventional Rankine cycle with solar preheating. with more than 4000 MWe under construction. This type of TES consists in two-tanks of molten salts. Both of them increase the capacity factor of the system. already used in commercial plants.S. the excess power is used to charge the TES. solar fraction determined by the hybridization (if any).
2. Scheme of a parabolic trough plant with an Organic Rankine Cycle [Price. They are parabolic trough systems with Rankine cycles whose transfer fluid is an organic fluid adapted to its temperature range (see Figure 21). Figure 21. which has been successfully tested in different experimental facilities around the world. Main Components In the following table. what make them adapted for distributed generation. Low operating temperatures allow to use simplified collectors and to reduce the solar field aperture. H. allowing simple dry cooling systems. Not much maintenance is needed for small installations.3. 2002] In spite of their low efficiency induced by low temperatures. these cycles have the following advantages: Organic fluid condenses at pressure levels higher than atmospheric pressure. Main studies have been carried out during more than 6000 hours of operation in the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) by consecutive DISS projects. Direct Steam Generation (DSG).2) and technological issues (design / manufacturing / assembling complexity. Low operating pressures allow to simplify the installation and to decrease parasitic consumptions. for example in geothermal energy or waste heat recovery. criticality and improvement potential). Water consumption is reduced. the importance of the main components of a PT solar plant is qualitatively evaluated considering economic issues (according to breakdown in Activity 1. Other thermal cycles that could be of interest for parabolic trough plants are Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC). These cycles have been used for years in low temperature applications.. Subsystem Solar collection Component Support structures Mirrors Drive mechanisms Thermal conversion Receiver tubes Oil forwarding skid Ball joints Natural Gas Boilers Thermal oil Economic importance High Medium Low High Medium Low Low Low Technological issues High High Low High Low Medium Medium Low .
thermally insulated from the outside environment by a vacuum inside a surrounding glass tube. Figure 22.3. Source  A vacuum tube receiver is essentially a tube. Main providers are Schott and Siemens (Solel Solar Systems). Currently. The outer envelope has to be highly transparent and have low reflectivity in order to allow as much radiation as possible through.Oil purification system Fire protection system Inertization systen Piping. It is a critical component for the performance of the solar power plant because it is where thermal losses are produced. . Both tubes have certain characteristics that optimize their functioning. but also new manufacturers like Archimede Solar (from Angelatoni Group) are being lately emerging. solar field foundations. Figure 22 shows a scheme of a receiver tube and its main components. valves and spare parts Thermal storage Storage medium (molten salts) Molten salts forwarding skid Heat exchangers Initial filling system Electrical conversion Power block Oil/steam heat exchanger Balance of plant (BOP) Low Low Low Low Medium Medium Low Low High Medium Medium Low Low Low Low Low Low Medium Low High Medium Medium It is worth mentioning that many activities of the EPC contractor such as solar collector assembly. correspond to a high share investment costs and thus have a high economic importance. The glass tube which surrounds the inner metal tube has the double mission of protecting the selective coating from weathering and reducing thermal convection loss in the receiver tube. Scheme of a receiver tube. only one type of receiver is available for parabolic trough power plants: vacuum tube receiver. through which a heat transfer fluid circulates. usually stainless steel. This makes it probably the most important component in the solar system. and therefore usually has an antireflective treatment on both sides to increase transmissivity and collector optical performance. civil works or land leveling. 2. In the following sections the main components of this technology are described.1. Heat Collection Elements The receiver is the component where solar energy is converted to thermal energy in the form of sensible or latent heat of the fluid which circulates through it.
The thermal stability of the coatings over time is also very important. 2008]. thermal emissivity is the chief source of thermal loss. For CSP applications it has been proved that the ideal selective surface must fulfill some requirements. they are spectrally characterized by a low reflectance (ρ ≈ 0) at wavelengths of λ ≤ 3 μm and a high reflectance (ρ ≈ 1) at wavelengths of λ ≥ 3 μm.15 at 400ºC. the ends of the glass tube are joined to a metal bellow or dilator by a glass/metal seal. Among the most relevant causes of degradation of the absorber surfaces are oxidation. and ideally. α ≥ 0. getters are installed to absorb the few molecules of substances which. in addition to keeping the space between the tubes airtight. shown below: Good spectral response. high humidity and air pollution.. Schott Glass is changing the steel tube composition and using additional hydrogen barrier coatings for reducing permeability ratios in vacuum conditions. The glass/metal seal is subjected to enormous thermal stress. may penetrate in the annular space between the metal tube and the glass and that would degrade the original vacuum if they were not eliminated. Barium getters have a silvery appearance when the absorber tube vacuum is good. [Moens L. which in turn is sealed on the other end to the inner metal tube. Figure 23. for CSP applications. thermal emissivity is the chief source of thermal losses and the requirement for low emissivity often leads to complicated designs susceptible to degradation at working temperatures. Figure 23 shows a list of properties of conventional getters. thus increasing the life span of the receiver tubes. metals or alloys with low thermal expansion coefficients near to those of borosilicate glass are used. [Allen N and Edge. Ease of manufacturing. and so to avoid this stress as much as possible. This makes the glass/metal seal which maintains the vacuum without losses the critical point in the receiver tube design. As mentioned above. a thermal emissivity of less than 0. be thermally stable in air over 400ºC. over time. . Between the glass tube and the inner steel tube. Properties of conventional getters Design of new receiver tubes increases the getter‘s capability of capturing hydrogen.A selective coating is also applied to the steel tube to achieve efficient photo-thermal conversion. In fact. Nevertheless. but turn white from exposure to air if the absorber tube loses the vacuum. Blake D. When the vacuum is formed.05 at temperatures between 400 and 500ºC. compensates for the difference in their thermal expansion at the working temperature.98 and ε ≤ 0. It should be kept in mind that the vacuum that originally exists between the metal tube and the glass is 10-4Pa (deep vacuum). 1992]. At high temperatures.95. Low cost. The selective surfaces of the receivers must be highly absorbent and have low thermal emissivity at the operating temperature. it is enough for the spectrally selective surface to have a solar absorptance over 0. This bellow. Besides. there is a vacuum between the glass and steel tubes which is essential to keep the collector‘s thermal performance from falling. Chemical and thermal stability in air at high temperatures (T ≥ 400-500ºC) and at long term.
Schott getters strategy. produced since 2005. Main specifications of the SIEMENS (Solel) UVAC 2008 receiver tube are the following: Absorptance ≤96% and emittance ≤10% at 400ºC Absorber coating with better properties without Mo Durable AR coating with transmittance >96. transmittance >96% New bellow patented design (active aperture area of 96%) Getters integrated in the bellow Figure 26.schottsolar. SCHOTT and SIEMENS. Main properties of the SCHOTT PTR 70 receiver tube are listed below [SCHOTT PTR 70 receiver. including H2 elimination . use their own selective coatings. Source: SOLEL. Receiver tube Schott PTR 70. The Next Generation.Figure 24. Source: SCHOTT. Source: SCHOTT. www. Figure 25. Siemens (Solel) getters strategy.5% Protected glass to metal seal Patented ―Getter Bridge‖ New bellow design Long durability of more than 20 years. Both main receiver tubes providers.com]: Solar absorptance of ≤95% and emittance ≤10% at 400ºC Borosilicate glass of a higher transmisivity and higher coefficient of thermal expansion Durable glass-metal seal Durable AR coating.
The reflective material is usually deposited on glass and is protected by a layer of copper and another of paint to protect it from outside agents. and also a number of rows are connected in parallel according to the solar field design. several collectors are connected to each other in a row. plastic supports are usually used to in the form of thin sheets on which the reflective film is deposited and must be attached to another rigid support. these mirrors have very poor outdoor durability due to degradation of the optical characteristics of metal. Normally they have three or four anchor points by which they are fastened to the corresponding structural supports to make up the complete collector.Figure 27.5%. Hose Connections between Trough Sections In a typical parabolic trough field. while the reflective material is usually silver or aluminum. The glass can be either thick glass hot bent to give its parabolic shape or thin glass which is bent cold into the parabolic shape by attaching it to the collector structure. However. In general. The low-iron glass support option on which a reflective film is deposited is the one most widely used to date because it has none of the above problems. Receiver tube UVAC2008. they are not usually used industrially. Their main advantage is their low cost. Curved Mirror Assemblies The purpose of the concentrator mirror is to concentrate the solar radiation incident on the receiver located in the line of focus. To date. the support structure that provides the rigidity to the parabolic-trough mirror is a metal. These connections need to be flexible and they also have to allow linear thermal expansion of the receiver tubes when their temperature increases from ambient to nominal temperature during system start-up. either the support itself is rigid or the mirror is flexible and takes on the shape given it by the structure it is attached to. There are thus two different possibilities to shape the mirror. So the mirrors usually have a support structure to give them the rigidity they require and on which a film of a highly reflective material is deposited. Metal plate supports are usually made of polished aluminum and have no added reflective material. Source: SOLEL. but as they are not durable. Its parabolic geometry and optical reflectivity are extremely important because they are the basic properties that make it possible to concentrate the solar energy efficiently. The material most commonly used to date for collector reflector mirrors is the glass substrate mirror with silver deposition which reaches maximum reflectivities of around 93. to headers.3. 2.3. .3. On the other hand.2. In every row of collectors. glass or plastic plate. receiver tubes have to be connected in a way that enables independent rotation of both collectors while tracking the sun during the day. this type of mirrors are not very durable to weather and get dirty faster than in other cases because this type of plastic is electrostatically charged by wind and attracts dust. The facets comprising the reflective part of the concentrator can be different shapes and sizes. 2.
because the connected pipes can freely rotate (360º) [Romero. There are many varied metal structure concepts.3. The main benefit of this option is a significantly lower pressure drop. In addition. Zarza. but it also has reduced heat losses and lower cost [Cohen. protected by a thermally insulated outer metal braid shield. reduced pressure losses [Ortiz Vives. E. stainless steel bellows are usually used. . 2009]. whereas ball joints only require the graphite sealing to be refilled after many thousands of hours of operation. These trusses are fastened to an axis (cylindrical or quadrangular) which is joined to the drive system that moves the concentrator by a reduction mechanism. and causes a significant pressure drop in the circuit because of its high friction coefficient. Final report 1999]..4. shared compensation of the two movements of longitudinal expansion and rotation. has been tested at the PSA. Today‘s parabolic trough power plants working at temperatures above 300ºC are connected by ball joints instead of flexible hoses. M. Later plants used an improved design with a substantially increased life that significantly reduced failures. Image of a collector module with flexible hoses (left) and a collector module with ball joints (right). Trough Support Structure The concentrator mirrors are installed on a rigid metal structure which gives them the parabolic shape necessary to be able to concentrate the radiation in their linear focus. A new kind of flexible pipe connection for parabolic trough collectors. It demonstrated a maintenance-free operation in a EuroTrough collector. This type of hose is not as flexible. One of the most common is that the concentrator structure is shaped by a bridge-truss system supporting the facets. Flexible hoses have experienced high failure rates at the early SEGS plants. ―Handbook of energy efficiency and renewable energy]. called ROTATIONFLEX.There are two main types of flexible connections available: Flexible hoses are composed of an inner hose that withstands temperatures below 300 º C. 2. Its developers claim that it presents the following advantages compared with a graphite ball sealing: elimination of torque forces. Another advantage of ball joints is the connected pipes can move with two degrees of freedom. Final report 1999] Furthermore. For higher operation temperatures. although other materials such as fiberglass and some plastics still not used commercially have been studied. a new design that replaces the flexible hoses with a hard piped assembly with ball joints is being used at the SEGS III-VII plants located at Kramer Junction [Cohen. To date. the material used in the structures has always been metal. flexible hoses are likely to suffer from fatigue failures resulting in a leak. Ball joints are the second option for flexible connection between adjacent receiver tubes and tubes to headers. Figure 28 shows two images of both types of flexible connections Figure 28. higher lifetime. which are screwed on.
and SkyTrough.76 m aperture. has better structural properties than earlier designs such as the LS-2 and LS-3.5. there are other designs like Senertrough. developed by a consortium of European companies and laboratories.3. so optical accuracy needed was achieved by making mechanical adjustments during collector assembly. avoiding their breakage to a large extent even in high wind loads. there have historically been two main techniques: Torque tube structure: this kind of structure was used in LS-1 and LS-2 collectors. also developed by Luz International Ltd for SEGS III-IX power plants. Schemes of LS-2 and LS-3 structures. . developed by Sener. Albiasa Solar. Furthermore. resistance to corrosion. Collectors can be either oriented in a North-South direction. of torque tube structure and space-frame structure respectively. Figure 29 shows schemes of LS-2 and LS-3 structures. This collector. such as its weight. Space-frame structure: this structure was first used with LS-3 collector. Tolerances for components used in this kind of structures were wide. Trough Drive Mechanisms Collectors are placed along parallel rows and track the sun by rotating around its own longitudinal axe. mainly in hard wind conditions.76 m aperture except for the SGX-1 collector which is aluminum and has a 5 m aperture. the first commercial plant in operation since SEGS IX was built in 1991. the helicoidal tube in the LS-2 and LS-3 has been replaced in the ET by a longitudinal torque box that has mirror support ―arms‖. tracking the sun according to its elevation (height of the sun relating to the horizon) at every instant. The structure‘s stiffness makes it possible to work with collector lengths of up to 150 m and 5. This type of structure drastically reduces the torsion the mirrors have to support. which uses an aluminum space structure. the SGX-1 used in Nevada Solar One. The commercial collector. Its structural principle consists of an axial tube which supports the profiles where mirrors are connected to. which has been evaluated by NREL. This frame is used as a guide pattern for the rest of the structure and it guarantees a more precise operation. is the first collector installed in a modern commercial plant. manufacturing simplicity. Most of these structures are galvanized steel and have a 5. developed by SkyFuel. tracking the sun from East to West. Figure 29. developed by Luz International Ltd for SEGS I and SEGS II power plants. Besides these collectors. structural deformation from wind loads and its own weight during operation are lower. developed by Albiasa.To configure the structure that gives the concentrator mirror its parabolic shape. of torque tube structure and space-frame structure One of the most relevant collectors recently developed was designed by Solargenix Energy. in its different versions. This structure consists of a central frame adjusted with accuracy before installation. Another of the collectors recently developed is the Eurotrough. 2. cost and easy installation. Although it is based on the central torque-tube structure. or in an East-West direction. so optical performance is considerably increased.
Figure 30. current oils have responded very well up to now to the needs of commercial plants. so pressures required in the system are much lower. Its mission is to absorb the energy provided by the absorber tube in the form of enthalpic gain. it has a limited maximum working temperature at below 400ºC. Experience over the years has shown that by increasing the solar field outlet temperature. thermal losses increase and the selective coatings also are degraded. Tracking accuracy achieved by both of them is very high. But for electricity generation. These are electric (LS-2 type) and hydraulic (LS-3. Heat Transfer Fluid The heat transfer fluid that circulates through the solar field is one of the most important components in the whole plant.6. The hot HTF goes to a heat exchanger to heat water and generate steam at a certain pressure and temperature.3. Figure 30 shows an example of both trough drive mechanisms currently available. in addition to the above mentioned drawback of price. 2. Furthermore.Solar tracking can be carried out with two different types of mechanisms. the performance of the power block and thereby the whole plant also increases significantly. Different trough drive mechanisms At present. Eurotrough and Solargenix type). which can be maintained in liquid phase with working pressures that are not very high. by increasing in temperature as it goes through the loops in the solar field. Nevertheless. which is the case at hand. This simplifies the facility and safety measures required. and this means that the fluids that can perform these functions are also limited. as their maximum temperature coincides with the optimum collector operating temperature. after which. Synthetic oil has a much lower vapor pressure than water at the same given temperature. there are several lines of R&D today directed at studying both working fluids and the rest of the components. in addition to degrading the fluid. Therefore. The commercially proven technology is limited to a temperature of around 400ºC. Molten salt . The solar field outlet temperature is restricted by the HTF properties. although it is relatively expensive. Some parabolic-trough plant applications with maximum desirable temperatures that do not surpass 175ºC can use demineralized water as the heat transfer fluid. these temperatures have to be much higher to increase plant performance. hydraulic mechanisms are the ones with a major application in existing solar thermal power plants. which enable the collector rotation around its axe. Synthetic oil The fluid currently in use in commercial plants has a wide advantage over water and other fluids. which limits the power cycle temperature and therefore its electrical conversion efficiency.
its availability and low cost. the low cost of the fluid used (water) is evident. thereby generating the steam used to move the turbine in the power cycle. another very attractive option has been under study for several years. and several different techniques are necessary to maintain the fluid above a certain temperature: constant circulation of salt. must be near 220ºC to mix the salt currently used in pre-commercial projects. this fluid is not polluting or dangerous. Direct Steam Generation (DSG) In addition to the study of the alternatives described above. since its advantages are well known. there is wide experience in tested prototypes and experimental plants. DSG has a series of obvious advantages over the HTF technology.26 1. The use of molten salt as the HTF has several advantages over synthetic oil. the disadvantages of using this fluid should also be taken into consideration (see section 2. In the first place. although it should be recalled that its commercial use has not yet been proven. the heat exchanger is eliminated. In the second place. Furthermore. Their basic properties are shown. the Direct Steam Generation technology (DSG). mainly molten salt and water/steam. such as fire extinguishing system and sump tank.. purging system for noncondensable. these advantages could be reflected in very significant electricity production cost reductions (30%). Even though there are no commercial plants in operation with these innovative working fluids. In a commercial DSG application.16 1. Main characteristics of molten salts used in solar applications PROPERTY Solar Salt Hitec Composition (%) NaNO3 KNO3 NaNO2 Ca(NO3)2 Freezing point (ºC) Maximum operating temperature (ºC) Density at 300 ºC (kg/m3) Viscosity at 300 ºC (mPa*s) Specific heat at 300 ºC (kJ/kg-K) 60 40 220 600 1899 3.3. low steam pressure making it possible to operate at relatively low pressures in its liquid state and also. and so forth. which although it may oscillate from 120º to 200ºC depending on the type used. This technology involves the use of water directly in the absorber tubes. Hitec and Hitec XL. the most common of which are Solar Salt. et al.The search for higher electricity production efficiency in solar thermal power plants based on parabolic-trough technology has led to research in new fluids with higher working temperatures.7. D. which allows some devices essential to solar fields with salt and oil to be eliminated. However.) . avoiding thermal loss due to its performance and simplifying the installation.. and it is not degraded like the rest of the high-temperature fluids.56 7 45 48 120 500 1992 6. The salt most commonly used in solar applications is nitrate salt.37 1.3. Several institutions are studying the use of molten salt. This is a major problem for installation and investment costs. antifreeze protection.447 Hitec XL 2.495 7 53 40 142 535 1640 3. The freeze-protection strategy is very important in this case. allowing its evaporation and superheating. high thermal stability at high temperatures. The specific advantages are low corrosion by salt of materials used for solar field piping. auxiliary heating and heat tracing throughout the piping [Kearney. In opposition to these advantages are mainly the high freezing point of salt. 2004].
The Small Solar Power System SSPS-DCS plant was the first parabolic trough system to be installed at the PSA.4.. It began its operation in 1977. as observed in Figure 31. and a desalination plant able to produce 3 m3/h distillated water. Figure 31.4. It can be operated under once-through. valves. under high pressure and temperature conditions (100 bar/400 ºC).4. Among all PSA facilities. etc. failure management) [Macari. and Albiasa collectors. Medioambientales y Tecnológicas) is the world major CSP experimental and demonstration complex. Eurotrough. 2008] .1. Source: PSA. It is formed by a 1. or injection mode and it is very well instrumented so as to monitor many operation parameters. It is now formed by LS-3. and from then on all kinds of CSP technologies have been designed and tested. located in the desert of Tabernas (Almería. Some of them are described below. Spain). Scheme of the PSA test installations. Demonstration Projects Besides commercial projects mentioned in next section.) under realistic operation conditions. Research on DSG was later completed in the frame of INDITEP and Almeria GDV projects. F.2. and uses Syltherm 800 thermal oil working up to 400 ºC and 16 bar. . mirrors. a 5 MWhth thermocline oil TES with solar desalination system. working between 270ºC and 550ºC The test loop started operation in April 2004 and is composed by a 540 m2 solar loop.2 MWth solar field of 40 ACUREX solar collectors working with Santotherm fluid at 290 ºC. Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) This platform operated by the CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energética. there are numerous experimental projects to develop and test off-the-shelf and new components and systems. tracking systems. heat exchangers. a 500 kWe Rankine cycle. This implies modifications of most of the components (pumps. sensors…) and operation procedures (TES charges and discharges. 2007] . the following ones are related to parabolic trough technology: The DISS test loop was designed to test Direct Steam Generation (DSG) in parabolic trough collectors. 2. recirculation.2. Molten salts used are 40% KNO3 and 60% NaNO3. Its final goal is to introduce this molten salts technology to the market through the Archimede commercial project consisting in integrating a solar field into a combined cycle in Sicilia. The LS-3 test loop is used to test solar collector assemblies and components (absorber tubes. 2. ENEA’s Solar Collectors Testing Facilities This 500 kW experimental installation called MOSE (Molten Salts Experiments) is aimed at developing parabolic trough technology with molten salts as working fluid [Fabrizi. It is formed by two Eurotrough and eleven LS3 solar collectors.
USA) has been selling electricity to the grid since 2006. The solar plant has 10.2. Mineral II 1986 30 33 190338 Boiler Synth. with a total installed capacity of 354 MWe. Main characteristics of SEGS plants SEGS First year of operation Net Power (MWe) Gross Power (MWe) Solar field aperture (m2) TES capacity (MWh) Hybridization Oil type (HTF) I 1985 13.3. Commercial Projects Experiments using concentrated solar radiation to produce heat or power raised during the nineteenth century. In 2008 it produced more than the expected 130 GWh.2. USA. this 72 MWe plant has a 357000 m2 solar field occupying 121 ha (see Figure 32). SEGS Power Plants It consists of 9 solar thermal parabolic plants built by Luz International Ltd. VI 1989 30 33 188000 Boiler Synth. between 1981 and 1991 in the Mojave Desert in southern California. VIII 1990 80 88 464340 HTF heater Synth.5.8 14.2325 kg/m3. V 1988 30 33 250560 Boiler Synth.7 82960 110 Super heat.5.1.4. 2.5. IV 1987 30 33 230300 Boiler Synth. .568 bar (T = 20ºC). as well as Xceltherm 60 as heat transfer fluid. In the following paragraphs. USA. a refrigerant whose boiling point ranges around 36ºC and its vapor pressure gets to 0. Main characteristics of these plants are gathered in the following Table. 2. It has demonstrated the viability of Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC) powered by parabolic trough collectors. Its vapor density is 3. Nevada Solar One This plant was the first commercial parabolic trough plant built after the SEGS plants. more than 15 years later. commercial parabolic trough plants connected to the grid before December 2009 are described. but modern parabolic trough plants are a relatively recent technology starting with experimental tests at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (500 kW) and the first commercial plants for power generation called SEGS (Solar Electric Generating Systems) in California in 1981. They are still in operation today and provide peak load electricity with a capacity factor of about 30%. This organic fluid is amyl hydride (n-pentane). IX 1991 80 88 483960 HTF heater Synth. III 1987 30 33 230300 Boiler Synth.340 m2 of parabolic trough solar field and uses Solargenix collectors. VII 1989 30 33 194280 Boiler Synth. 2. Saguaro Demonstration Plant This 1 MWe demonstration facility built by Acciona-Solargenix in Saguaro (Arizona. Built by Acciona Energy in 2007 in Nevada.
View of the solar field of Nevada Solar One.000 m2. The power block is a superheated regenerative Rankine cycle provided by Siemens. Solar collectors are north-south oriented SKALET-150 from Flagsol (subsidiary of Solar Millenium) (Figure 33). as stated in Real Decreto 661/2007. the Heat transfer Fluid is Dowtherm A and the power block is a superheated regenerative Rankine cycle provided by Siemens. its design net power is 50 MW for a solar field aperture of 510. Andasol 2 in 2010. As in Nevada Solar One. This plant has an auxiliary gas boiler on the oil loop to improve its operation preventing oil freezing and decreasing the number of start-ups and shut-downs during cloud transients. Andasol Plants Located in Guadix (Granada. but its use must stay within the limits of 12% of the annual power production. Figure 33. The solar field is composed by SGX-2 collectors from Solargenix with Flabeg mirrors. Heat transfer Fluid is Dowtherm A.3. . 61% of the field is equipped with Schott tubes and 39% with Solel tubes. working between 293ºC and 391 ºC.Figure 32. View of Andasol 1 plant. part of an extended project of up to 7 plants promoted by ACS-Cobra and Milenio Solar (Spanish subsidiary of Solar Millenium AG) groups. Spain). Andasol 1 occupies 195 ha. Legal framework limits the auxiliary power from fossil fuel burning to 2% of design power. A 30 MWth back-up boiler allows increasing production and improving power dispatchability.5. The three first Andasol plants have the same characteristics: Andasol 1 was connected to the grid in June 2009. Andasol 1 is the first CSP commercial plant to be built in Europe. 2. composed by Schott and Solel tubes. and Flabeg mirrors. and Andasol 3 is under development.
Morocco.5. 2. powered by the solar field and a gas-fired backup HTF heater.000 m2 solar field and the rest. It corresponds to 7. The power installed comes to 470 MW. The Heat transfer Fluid from Dow Chemical‘s is operated between 304°C and 391°C. there are three ISCC power plants in advanced construction. Spain). A two-tanks molten salts TES (shown in Figure 34) is implemented for the first time in a commercial CSP plant. The hybridization is also implemented with natural gas. Iberdrola Renovables began works on the first 50 MW field in Puertollano (Castilla-La Mancha. on the eastern side of the river Nile. Puertollano In 2007. Abengoa is the promoter of the first ISCC power plant being built with parabolic trough technology.000 m2 solar field. The power block is a Siemens Rankine cycle.5.Figure 34. Source: ECOSTAR.5 hours of full load operation.4. The ISCC power plant located in Ain Beni Mathar. with 20 MW coming from a 120. The global power capacity of the plant is 150 MW.5. which was connected to the grid in 2009. . and the hybridization is carried out with natural gas burning. Algeria. Basic scheme of Andasol I solar plant. Egypt. 2.000 m2 of solar field. The ISCC Kuraymat is located about 87 km South of Cairo. Its 287760 m² solar field is composed by Iberdrola Collector with Flabeg / Rioglass mirror and Schott tubes. from natural gas burning. This power plant is the biggest ISCC power plant in the world with parabolic trough technology. The installed power reaches 20 MW with 120. The plant is owned by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) of the Ministry of Energy of Egypt. is also promoted by Abengoa. ISCCS in Northern Africa At the moment. The global power installed comes to 125 MW with 20 MW coming from the 130. This power plant is located in Hassi R’Mel.
2.6. Project Pipeline
In Spain, the feed-in tariffs guaranteed by the Real Decreto 661/2007 caused a major boost for CSP technologies, with 2,300 MW to be connected to the grid before 2013. Some of these plants are already built and now under commissioning process and guarantee tests (before the starting up, every solar power plant has to pass three test phases: 1) support the commissioning of the whole plant, 2) perform the corresponding guarantee tests, 3) demonstrate the dispatchability of the plant): Acciona‘s Alvarado 1, ACS Cobra‘s Extresol 1 and Andasol 2, SAMCA‘s La Florida, Abengoa‘s Solnova 1&3…. Because of the legal framework, most of the Spanish projected plants are quite similar, whereas in other countries other incentives lead to different plant configurations and technologies, such as in the USA or in the MENA region (Morocco, Algeria, Iran, UAE…). The USA project pipeline includes several parabolic trough power plants concentrated mainly in the state of California. Some of these projects are the following: Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, 75 MW, Florida, under construction. Ridgecrest Solar Power Project, 250 MW, California, still under development. Palen Solar Power Project, 250 MW, California, still under development. Genesis Solar Energy Project, 250 MW, California, still under development. Blythe Solar Power Project, 250 MW, California, still under development. Abengoa Mojave Solar Project, 250 MW, California, still under development. Solana, 280 MW, Arizona, still under development.
2.7. Plant Value Chain
The Table below shows the main actors of the parabolic trough plants value chain, and the countries in which they are active. After its investment in Solel (100%) and Archimede Solar Energy (28%), the turbine specialist Siemens has a unique position in the parabolic trough plants sector, being vertically integrated over as much as 70% of a delivered CSP plant from the component supply (receiver tubes, mirrors, control systems, steam turbines) to the plant operation. It should get a leading position as a turnkey provider for independent power producers (IPPs) and utilities lacking their own technology (e.g., E.ON, NextEra Energy Resources, Cogentrix, NextLight, and Starwood) [Emerging Energy, 2010]. Abengoa Solar and Acciona are also vertically integrated, offering EPC through their respective subsidiaries Abener and Acciona Infraestructuras, but have to rely on turbines from other companies for the power island of its plants. It is worth mentioning that Abengoa Solar is the only CSP player to be active in three of the four main CSP technologies (parabolic trough, power tower, and dish engine). In many cases, various companies are forming consortiums to share the investment and risks related to the ownership of a parabolic trough plant, as for example ACS Cobra, with the German firms Solanda Gmbh, Stadtwerke München, RWE Innogy, and RheinEnergie, or Dioxipe Solar with Elecnor and ABN Amro. Many project developers such as NextLight, Mohave Sun Power, Starwood Group, Bethel Energy, Inland Energy (USA) and Albiasa Solar (Spain) are not included in this table because they have not found yet partners to complete their value chain. Italy occupies a special position in the CSP sector: a group of Italian companies formed a consortium called Solare XXI to benefit from one another‗s core competencies to provide a full turnkey trough package with TES using molten salts as heat transfer fluid, with the help of the national research center (ENEA): Rondo Reflex provides the mirrors, Techint and Xeliox design the collector structure, Archimede Solar Energy develops the receiver tubes, Duplomatic provides the control system and Techint is the EPC contractor. A key part of the group‗s strategy is to develop technology for export into Middle East/North Africa and Asia Pacific regions [Emerging Energy, 2010]. Solare XXI has signed a 10 MW technology supply agreement with Indian project developer Entegra.
Solar Millenium ERM Power
Leighton Contractors Pty
Flagsol (Solar Millenium) Siemens CSP Ltd.
ERM Power Inner Mongolia Luneng New Energy Suryachakra Power Entegra Ltd. Enel Techint
Flagsol (Solar Millenium) Flagsol (Solar Millenium) Solare XXI
Inner Mongolia Luneng New Energy Suryachakra Power Entegra Ltd. Enel
ENEA Solare XXI Abengoa Solar Xeliox srl
Italgest SpA FERA srl Sorgenia
Algeria Egypt UAE Spain
Abengoa Solar Solar Millenium Abengoa Solar Abengoa Solar Aries Solar Termoeléctrica Ingemetal / SAMCA Flagsol (Solar Millenium) Flagsol , Sener Acciona Energía Solel (Siemens)
NEAL, World Bank NREA Abengoa, Total Abengoa Solar / Hyperion Dioxipe Solar SAMCA Solar Millenium Flagsol, Sener, ACS Cobra
Abener Orascom, Ferrostaal Abener, Teyma Abener Aries / Elecnor GEA21, TSK Energía Ferrostaal, ACS Cobra, Duro Felguera S.A ACS Cobra Acciona Infraestructuras
Sonatrach. Cofides, ONE Egyptian Electric Authority (EEA) Abengoa, Total Abengoa Solar Dioxipe Solar Grupo SAMCA Solar Millenium SolarMillenium, Sener ACS Cobra ACS Cobra Abengoa, Total, Masdar Abengoa, EON, Hyperion Dioxipe
Acciona Energía Fotowatio Fotowatio, OHL
Fotowatio NextEra Energy
NextEra Energy Iberinco Iberdrola Ibereólica FCC Ibereólica, Inveravante
Iberdrola Flagsol (Solar Millenium) Ibereólica
Técnicas Reunidas Magtel
Abengoa Solar Siemens Solar Millenium MAN Ferrostaal Solar Trust America, Chevron Energy Solutions
Cogentrix Energy Iberdrola Renovables NextEra FPL Acciona Solar Power Worley Parsons Lauren Lauren Worley Parsons, NextEra Lauren, FPL Acciona Energía NextEra FPL
2.8. Components Value Chain
In this section we present the main components value chain of this technology.
2.8.1. Heat Transfer Fluids
The main providers of thermal oil for parabolic trough plants are the 3 US companies Dow Chemical (Dowtherm, Syltherm), Solutia (Therminol VP-1), and Radco (Xceltherm). With more than 80% of market share, Dowtherm is the most used HTF. However, most of developers are willing to try various products and also test Solutia‘s Therminol in some of their projects. Both synthetic oils have very similar thermal properties and freeze at 12ºC. Xceltherm from Radco has been used in Saguaro ORC parabolic trough solar plant, which is operating at lower temperatures (300 ºC).
2.8.2. Heat Collection Element
The absorber tube of the Heat Collection element is made of stainless steel. Steel top producing countries are the USA, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan. Glass envelope of the HCE is made of borosilicate glass. Silica top producing countries are the USA, Slovenia, Austria, and Spain. The major manufacturer of borosilicate glass in India is Borosil. This is the single largest manufacturer of borosilicate components in the country, whose main customers are pharmaceutical sector and high school and colleges. Other providers are Glassco, Vensil and Glaseq. Up to now there are only two absorber tube manufacturers at commercial scale: SOLEL (bought by Siemens in 2009) and Schott. Their tube have very similar designs (same dimensions, comparable thermal properties), but differs for example in bellows, as it can be seen in Figure 35.
Figure 35. Differences between Siemens’ (Solel’s) (left) and Schott’s (right) tubes. Source: Solel. Supplier of the SEGS plants, Solel (Israel) is the historic tube manufacturer for CSP industry for the past 20 years. It will now benefit from Siemens investments and project pipeline (703 MW of projects in the US and Spain) to increase its manufacturing capacity (up to 600 MW by 2012) and decrease its production costs. Schott AG (Germany) main activities are glass, household appliances, optics, electronics, automotive, and since 2003, concentrated solar energy, taking on the market‗s leadership position in recent years. The company is very active in the R&D field, in particular on: New selective coating to decrease emissivity at high temperatures (up to 550 ºC). Increased tube‘s dimensions to augment solar absorbance to 95%. Direct Steam Generation receiver tubes, with a steam HCE derived from its PTR 70 receiver as part of the DIVA Project. Molten salts receiver tubes, in collaboration with Italy‗s ENEA, expected to be commercialized within three to five years.
Along with their dedicated receiver supply. Its strategy is to develop and manufacture an advanced molten salt tube receiver able to reach higher temperatures than oil tubes (above 550 ºC). which has no announced projects to date. Archimede has been working with Italian research agency ENEA and is part of the consortium Solare XXI to deliver tubes for the 5 MW Priolo Gargallo project in Sicily. Like Flabeg. Benefiting from a partnership with Abengoa. thinner. depending on manufacturing process of the provider (DuPont. . the option of plastic reflectors. environmental testing. which adopt the shape given by its back structure. Guardian. It utilizes a proprietary sheet molding compound with adhesive polymers to fasten its thin glass mirrors to the trough‗s metal structure. and capable of a competitive 95% reflectance. Rioglass has started the manufacturing of tempered glass that is stronger. Alcoa.8. Like 3M. Hoechst…). Other options are thin glass mirrors (also called flexible mirrors). ReflecTech‘s polymer multilayer film with a layer of pure silver has been specially developed to provide a good durability of the reflective surface. and refrigeration. The glass is curved to adopt the desired rigid parabolic shape.4. Paul. which are cost-competitive. Mirror Assembly The most common option for the parabolic trough mirror assembly is thick glass-silver mirrors. Italy) is a mirror composite specialist designed the parabolic mirrors for ENEA‗s and Enel‗s 5 MW CSP plant at Priolo Gargallo. following a mirror curving technique specific to each company. such as the Spanish groups Alucoil and Zytech which included CSP components in its R&D activities. Archimede Solar (subsidiary of Angelantoni Industrie. 2. is a multisector technology company focusing on solar energy (PV and CSP). and polymer films that can be stuck to smooth curved surfaces. The industrial and consumer goods company 3M (based in St. Each plastic or polymer has its own properties. Its strategy is to lead R&D and manufacture a parabolic trough receiver tube based on experience gained from Luz. and the USA. Abengoa is also working with NREL on advanced front surface polymeric reflectors. Cardinal Glass. others developers have invested in research on mirror assemblies for CSP systems. 2. Support Structure Support structures of the parabolic trough collectors are made essentially of aluminum and galvanized steel. with manufacturing facilities in Europe and in the US. USA) developed a protective front surface for polymeric mirrors and is working with Gossamer to deliver an integrated solution. two other European companies are trying to get market shares in evacuated solar tube receivers: Enertol Santana (Spain) is a component-development group formed by the association of the CSP developer Enertol and the auto manufacturer Santana.8. having provided mirrors for Andasol and Nevada Solar One plants. and their manufacturing requires not only material providers but also component assemblers. has been considered. Saint-Gobain. Siemens has a joint venture agreement with Glaston (Finland) for 50 MW per year of parabolic mirrors. which has dedicated strong R&D efforts on minimizing glass weight and thickness without decreasing reflectivity. It is commercialized as ultra light weight low cost self adhesive rolls and can be applied on an aluminum substrate. and its first commercial application will likely be with partner CSP developer SkyFuel. Aluminum top producing countries are China. Guardian Industries is supplying Sener in Spain and working on R&D projects with NREL. Italy. Minnesota. Russia. the German group Alanod is working with the DLR on high performance anodized aluminum mirrors. Alcoa and Alcan are capable of potentially undercutting the current market leaders by developing polymer and aluminum solutions to reduce mirror costs by as much as 30% to 40% [EE]. in Portugal for SaintGobain and in Spain and Arizona (USA) for Rioglass. Canada. PPG Industries.Aside these two major technology promoters. Now it has to compete with newcomers in solar industry such as Rioglass. Aside from these companies. but also AGC Flat Glass. they are all coming from the automotive sector and all uses thick-glass mirrors. life sciences. Technical glass specialist Flabeg (Nürnberg. In the last years. Saint-Gobain (France) and RioGlass (Spain) have built facilities to manufacture parabolic mirror. Germany) is the main parabolic trough mirror supplier. and projects totaling 900 MW signed.3. The company has been testing its product at the SEGS plants. Ronda Reflex (Treviso. and 3M which are all working with NREL to test products in the laboratory and in the field.
in particular for its Solnova plants. called Skal-ET. resistant to oxidation and easy to mount. The turnkey solar developer Albiasa Solar (Bilbao. and is now directing the marketing of its technology to larger-scale systems. industry. Schott receiver tubes. now Acciona Power (Sarriguren. Solel also has its own parabolic trough design for its vertically integrated CSP plants concept. Sweden) used the properties of extruded aluminum to offer a space frame for parabolic trough collectors that can be assembled quickly without welding. has designed a proprietary parabolic trough (SAMCA-trough). Heat Collection Elements . 2. and lightweight structures (30% less than other utility-scale troughs) with 40% reduction in structural components to reduce mounting costs . USA) has won the contract to supply aluminum fasteners (C50L30 Huck) to the Kuraymat ISCC plant in Egypt. For each project. support beams. It has a light spatial aluminum structure. The engineering and aerospace group Sener (Bilbao. Solar Millennium‘s subsidiary Flagsol (Cologne. developed thanks to the experience gained with previous models. in collaboration with Ingemetal. Norway and Phoenix.9. Its SopoNova system is a parabolic trough technology that uses aluminum backing instead of mirrors in the collector. operating in transportation. 5. Solel) and national laboratories (Ciemat. the main early technology promoters have their own design. clips. and other parts at its Phoenix. Iberdrola. manufacturing facility [EE]. Germany) designed a commercial version of the Eurotrough collector. packaging.9. which will be deployed in SAMCA‘s pipeline. SGX-series collectors were developed by Solargenix. Spain) also designed a parabolic trough collector tested at the PSA. USA) entered the CSP market as a micro-CSP technology provider. Colorado and at one of Cogentrix‘s SEGS plants.1. Pennsylvania. CRES). Pittsburgh. Each frame is about 26 feet long and 12 feet high. commercial transportation. Aside these CSP historic promoters. Sapa (Stockholm. building and construction. Spain) developed a parabolic trough collector called Senertrough. connectors. which is an upgrade to the current Skal-ET design. Eurotrough collector has been developed by a European consortium formed by private companies (Inabensa. DLR. and industrial markets is now investing on R&D to develop its own aluminum-based parabolic trough collector with a grant from US DOE. SBP. what results in lower installation costs.9 m wide) at its experimental facilities for the Italian companies Solare XXI y Heliox. Arizona. and energy. Abengoa Solar (Seville. extensively tested at SEGS V and used in Andasol projects. based on a central torque box. SkyFuel (Albuquerque. The company has been demonstrating its technology in two test-loops at its research facility in Arvada. Hydro is manufacturing the frame components. Its structure is a pre-galvanized steel frame work. Flabeg Solar. The Gossamer Space Frame connectors design used in Nevada Solar One‘s SGX-2 collectors reduced fasteners by as much as 80%. USA) is developing an innovative collector called SkyTrough. relative newcomers are designing their own support structure design: The Spanish company Samca. automotive. used in Extresol and Manchasol power plants. Alcoa (107000 employees. Fichtner Solar. Regarding structure assemblies.One important metal provider having a long history of producing trough frames for the CSP industry is Hydro Aluminum (36000 employees. Oslo. There is currently no indication that SAMCA and Ingemetal will provide their trough design to other CSP developers. is the supplier of Acciona‘s CSP plants in Spain and in the USA (for example its partnership with Gossamer to provide aluminum tubing and components for Nevada Solar One). Flagsol is now testing its Heliotrough. NM. This extruded aluminum specialist. which have low weight and reduced torsion and bending of the structure during operation resulting in increased optical performance and wind resistance. Spain) designed a proprietary parabolic trough called Astro for its own pipeline. The Italian national research centre ENEA is now developing and testing a new collector named –ITE 01 (100 m long. Manufacturing Processes In this section we describe the manufacturing processes of the main relevant elements of this technology. using ReflechTech mirrors. Spain). Sopogy (Honolulu. This aluminum provider specialized in engineered space frames for aerospace. the frames will be sent to Hydro‘s plant in Mexico for fabrication and then to Spain for final assembly. USA). It claims to reduce mounting time by about 30%. Hawaii. 2.
an airtight annular space is achieved between the inner metal tube and the outer glass. Figure 36 shows the influence of the properties of the selective coating on the cost of the produced electricity. in its design and/or manufacture is how the glass/metal or glass/glass joint is solved to avoid loss of vacuum. (DOE parabolic trough 2005 reference power plant configuration. So the selective surface is not degraded when the vacuum between the metal tube and the glass tube is formed. at the same time the metal bellow compensates the difference in thermal expansion of the glass and metal tubes when they reach the working temperature. The glass metal seal is one of the most sensitive elements in the system. Schott and Siemens (Solel). Selective coating Schott and Solel are currently developing new selective coatings to increase the yield of their receiver tubes. 100 MWe solar-only SEGS. 2003] . and dip-coating processes [Carreras. The critical point. Currently. The entire vacuum or evacuated tube used in solar thermal collectors must ensure the vacuum during the useful lifetime of the collector to keep the thermal performance of the collector from falling. since it is subjected to strong thermal stress. metals or alloys with low thermal expansion coefficients (CTE) near to those of borosilicate glass are used (Figure 37). how they are applied. allowing to coat simultaneously the inside and the outside of the tube) is usually employed for the anti-reflexive coating of the glass envelope [Bautista. the main HCE manufacturers. so they require a deep vacuum in the annulus between the inner metal tube and the glass envelope. the ends of the glass tube are joined by a glass-to-metal seal to a bellow which is sealed at the other end to the inner metal tube. Influence of receiver technology on cost of electricity . or sputtering). Figure 36. All these techniques can be used to obtain anti-reflexive. PECVD (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition). then. Vacuum methods The main problem with selective coatings is they degrade in contact with air when they are hot. and which process is used to ensure vacuum conditions under the glass envelope. and so to avoid this stress as much as possible. whereas a sol-gel technique (dip-coating. In this chapter we will discuss which types of absorptive and anti-reflexive coatings can be used. use the sputtering technique (PVD) for their absorber tubes. This way. and reflexive materials. selective. 6-hours TES) Amongst the numerous coating techniques.Heat Collection elements are evacuated tubes formed by a stainless steel absorber with a selective coating and a glass envelope with an anti-reflexive coating. . CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). 2003]. the ones that have been most successfully implemented to the CSP industry are PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition.
and high benefits from a long on-field experience. Other options are thin glass mirrors (also called flexible mirrors). This process is carried out by companies such as Flabeg. the silver/glass interface can become unattached. each of which has its own bending techniques. Saint Gobain valued 3 mm copper-free glass and lead-free painting on a steel substrate for Gemasolar heliostats. based on 4 mm soda-lime glass. Curved Mirror Assemblies The curving processes take an important part in the manufacturing cost of a parabolic trough collector. following a mirror curving technique specific to each company. The reflexive element is usually silver or aluminum. 2. Thick glass mirrors (3-5mm) The most widely used configuration to date consists of thick low-iron glass.2. Source: SCHOTT.Figure 37. Thick glass mirror structure. [Cheryl Kennedy. halides can form in the metal layers and the silver layer can become lumpy. Low-iron glass is normally used to minimize absorption that impacts directly on decreased transmittance and reflectance of the mirrors. which adopt the shape given by its back self-supporting structure. 2003]  AGC Flat Glass and Flabeg have developed and patented lead and copper-free processes for thick mirror production. which have reflectivities close to 95% and 90% respectively. New design of Schott for glass-metal welding. which does not require self-supporting substrate. . and Saint Gobain.9. Riolass. This type of reflector can be degraded in three main ways. is available on the market and has the confidence of the solar industry. Figure 38. These mirrors are manufactured by applying a reflective layer of silver and a top coating to promote adhesion (generally copper) on a thick glass (>1 mm) by wet chemistry processes followed by a layer of protective paint on the back. The glass is curved to adopt the desired rigid parabolic shape. although it is heavy. The most common option for the parabolic trough mirror assembly is thick glass-silver mirrors. fragile and its bending is difficult. It has excellent durability to corrosion of the protective layer. front surface aluminized reflectors. hot bent to the rigid parabolic shape that gives the mirror its shape. and polymer films that can be stuck to smooth curved surfaces.
Rioglass Solar has introduced the solar reflectors manufactured out of tempered glass mirrors. Flabeg‗s approach has been to supply a more robust mirror for a plant‗s outer rows. . glass mechanical resistance is largely increased up to five fold: mirrors made of tempered glass can withstand stresses in excess of 120 MPa. this is to say with fast-cooling. Using a semi-conservative approach. It allows a dramatical glass breakage reduction and safer handling [Ubach. This is the production system used by Flabeg for its reflectors: heating the glass. while the inner rows are equipped with 3 mm mirrors. This product is the mixture for two proven technologies. By tempering. The difference between Flabeg and Rioglass methods can be seen in Figure 39. 2009] . bending it. the same reflector manufactured out of annealed glass will fail when stresses rise above 35 MPa. and annealing by slow cooling.The most common method to give the desired curving to the parabolic trough mirrors is using annealed bent glass. three-layer copper-based mirror performance and durability and glass increased mechanical resistance of tempered glass widely used in automotive and architecture.
Guardian has a fully integrated process to manufacture the entire product from the float glass to the finished parabolic assembly. but are usually designed for indoor conditions. mirroring. Bending methods for parabolic trough collector facets: annealed glass (Flabeg – left) and tempered glass (Rioglass Solar. A laminated parabolic mirror (Figure 40) whose durability is ensured by a laminated glass assembly similar to an automobile windshield. A copper-free process has been developed that eliminates the copper layer used to inhibit corrosion of the silver in manufacture of the mirrors. Additional recommendations may be: add a protective coating of dense impermeable paint. Acceptable durability under outdoor conditions of these new formulas is still pending demonstration by testing. lamination. Raw glass. silver-coated by chemical reduction and painted on the back by different techniques finished off with a heat treatment. cover the paint with some highly impermeable metal or inorganic coating. which achieves equivalent durability in outdoor exposure. FLABEG converted its 4-5-mm mirror manufacturing line to a new low-lead coating process.Figure 39. Guardian’s laminated mirror (source: Guardian) The back coatings on the mirrors are done by wet chemistry processes where the clean glass is sensitivized with SnCl2. manufacture of mounts and assembly are done within Guardian facilities. forming. Figure 40. . where the mirror is encapsulated between two layers of glass and held together by a polyvinyl butyral interlayer. Thus manufacture of the mirrors does not generate polluting copper effluents. The back-coating manufacturers have developed new lead-free coatings that resist durability tests well. and edge-sealing strategies to keep humidity from getting in.right) Guardian has developed two types of mirrors for parabolic trough applications: A monolithic parabolic mirror whose durability is ensured by a multi-layer backing paint system specifically designed for the challenges of the solar industry.
To avoid these effects. light. although the properties can vary quite a lot from one type of plastic to another. Several laboratories and manufacturers have tried to mitigate this effect through the use of additives of different types. the cost of the material for support and durability must be added to the cost of the reflective material. Furthermore. easily mirrored with either silver or aluminum. On the other hand. in general. lose transmissivity. yellow. and therefore their use may be of interest for solar thermal power plants.85 mm. 2003]  Transparent plastics are cheap. 2009] . Italy) designed the parabolic mirrors for ENEA‗s 5 MW CSP plant at Priolo Gargallo. In 1999 the first samples were tested in outdoor exposure tests and accelerated aging in weather chambers (WOM) at the NREL with less durability than expected. They are supposed to have a great durability. which is inorganic (and therefore in principle more stable). acquired by FLABEG). manufacturers put additives or stabilizers in their composition [Allen. The aluminized or silvered film must be placed on a support or substrate to provide it with sufficient rigidity to support wind loads without significant deformation. [Cheryl Kennedy. which have a nominal thickness of 0. Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is a good candidate for solar applications due to its excellent optical and physical properties and economics. there has been a boom in solar energy applications for photocatalytic processes. On the other hand. and lose their optical and mechanical properties more quickly than glass. which absorb part of the UV radiation and avoid or delay polymer degradation. 2010]. Ronda Reflex utilizes a proprietary sheet molding compound with adhesive polymers to fasten the mirrors to the trough‗s metal structure [Carmichael]  Figure 41. they degrade over time. . Even though reflective polymers. while polymers may be antireflective in themselves due to their composition. this filmsupport is attached using polymer adhesives. but their properties and current costs compared to glass/metal mirrors make their future difficult to predict. they also have very low resistance to abrasion. which involves solar rectors having to make better use of the UV band of the solar spectrum. but the challenge facing these lighter-weight mirrors is their ability to withstand high desert winds and sandstorms [Global Concentrated Solar Power. Ronda Reflex (Treviso. Finally. However. see Figure 41). The durability of these materials has been their main obstacle. Usually. are highly reflective. using a lime soda composite as the foundation for its float glass parabolic mirrors. The potential of reflective polymers is very high. which are curved mechanically without heating (flexible mirrors).Under development processes for reflective surface After the early developments by Acurex in the 80s. while glass/metal mirrors today are reasonably priced and the glass itself acts as the mirror support structure. usually derived from acrylate. This makes reflective materials other than aluminum useless for such applications. emphasize that glass materials require an antireflective coating to reduce reflection losses in solar applications. and Ronda Relfex have been experimenting with thinner mirror prototypes (closer to 1 mm. Thin glass mirror structure. it degrades considerably when exposed to UV light or abrasion. AGC. In 1998 a new polymer solar reflector was developed based on cooperation between NREL who joined their experience with ReflecTech This product has uniquely desirable properties for solar reflectors and incorporates UV protection that provides strong outdoor durability (Figure 42). including Naugatuck (USA. and are degraded by UV rays. in recent years. several glass manufacturers.
Structure of the Advanced Solar Reflective Mirrors (ASRM) from Solel. [Cheryl Kennedy. Figure 44. They are formed by a PET or steel substrate covered by a silver layer and protected by a microscopic alumina layer (Al2O3). [Cheryl Kennedy. USA).Figure 42. applied under high-vacuum conditions by Ion beam Assisted Deposition (IBAD). 2003] . Structure of an Advanced Solar Reflective Mirrors (ASRM). The copper layer is needed to block UV radiation that could degrade the substrate (Figure 43). Figure 43. . Solel developed an ASRM material with a polymeric substrate (PET). [Cheryl Kennedy. Structure of ReflecTech polymeric film. Another low-cost option for the reflector material is the Advanced Solar Reflective Mirrors (ASRM). 2003] . USA) and at the SEGS VI solar field (California. a silver reflective layer and a patented protective overcoat (Figure 44) that showed low degradation rates compared to previous experiments with PET substrates. and tested it at the ACUVEX test loop (Arizona. which could be available after 2015. Meanwhile 3M is investigating on all-polymeric reflectors. ReflecTech built in 2001 a small manufacturing pilot plant for its polymeric film with an improved UV protection (Figure 42). 2003] . a metal or dielectric adhesion layer.
In this kind of solar collector assembly. consisted of similar assemblies. uses the torque-tube concept from LS-2 support structure. This hightorsional-stiffness cylindrical tube is made of steel sheet. the components are designed with high tolerances and the required precision is reached thanks to a precise canting process during the collector mounting. including the solar tracking system on its longitudinal axis. A big advantage is their low cost. developed by Sener. concrete and some plastics that could replace these metals in the future have been studied. other materials such as fiberglass. which allow the collector to track the Sun by rotating on its axis. the most important is to maintain the parabolic shape of the concentrator mirror when it is mounted on its support frame. The next generation. which supports the steel profiles to which the parabolic mirrors are attached  (Figure 45). as well as wind loads. electric and hydraulic. The collector structure is built on a reinforced concrete foundation which anchors the collector structure to the ground. mounted on a structure of similar length.9. Receiver Tube Mirrors Mirrors support Helicoidal pipe Support Figure 45. Even though there is still no commercial application. The structure is based on a rigid structural support tube. SenerTrough-2. made using metal-sheet stamping techniques. LS-1 and LS-2. This is why they are not usually used industrially. There are two main arrangements for this as described below. which provides the rigidity necessary for the set of components that make up the complete collector. has a wider aperture and absorber tube diameter  and is made by direct stamping using a technique from the automotive industry . Cantilever arms. although their outdoor durability is very poor because of degradation of the optical characteristics of the metal. The structure has to be designed to be able to support the intrinsic load of the components attached to it.2.3. called the torque tube. connect the mirrors to the central torque tube. being designed in collaboration with key component suppliers (Flabeg Solar International and Schott). The material used up to now for its construction is metal. but the aperture width of the LS-2 collector was twice that of the LS-1 collector. thus reducing both manufacturing and erecting costs and total mass (about 30%) . Among the functions of the structure. Only Solargenix collectors have a different on-site mounting technique. Trough Support Structure Trough support structures are mounted on-site by using specific jigs. according to the aluminum structure design which makes it possible to mount mirrors directly to the structure requiring no alignment in the field. Scheme of the LS-2 collector structure SenerTrough-I collector. . and varies in thickness and quality depending on wind load requirements. Torque tube structure The first two generations of collectors. There are two types of tracking system. Plate metal supports are usually made of polished aluminum and do not include reflective material.
but in this case the cylindrical torque tube is made of four 908-arc pieces (made of cold rolled galvanized-steel profiles) with half-T flaps assembled with screws. called Albiasa Trough. based on the LS-3 dimensions. and lowers manufacturing time and costs . and at the same time a high optical accuracy is achieved. Siemens CSP (formerly Solel Solar Systems) is also working on an advanced design. The design concept is similar to the SenerTrough. 2009]. This special torque tube concept provides a very robust closed section with improved torsional and flexural stiffness.Figure 46. but with the torque tube structural approach . . tested at the PSA and now commercially available. the Solel-6. Albiasa Solar collector structure. 2006]  Albiasa Solar (Spain) has also developed a new collector. with a three-dimensional clearance compensation. Source: Albiasa The improved assembly procedure of the HelioTrough implements a new patent-registered method to connect the parabolic mirrors to the steel structure. Collector aperture width and overall length were increased (one HelioTrough collector is more than 50% larger than a SKALET collector) to reduce the aperture area specific number of expensive single components like drive units and swivel joints [Riffelmann. Figure 47. SenerTrough stamped structure. Steel structure tolerances can be loosened. [Castañeda. The arms are hot-formed galvanized steel .
Space frame structure In the LS-3. Its design combines the LS-2 torque tube design benefits of torsional stiffness and alignment with the reduced cost of an LS-3-like truss design . Source: NREL. . 2000. CRES). the torque tube is replaced by a metal lattice framework. LS-3 collector design makes use not only of previous Luz power plant experience (SEGS-I to SEGS-VI). which have low weight and reduced torsion and bending of the structure during operation resulting in increased optical performance and wind resistance. Iberdrola. Scheme of the LS-3 collector structure Figure 49. Fichtner Solar. Solel) and national laboratories (Ciemat. Flabeg Solar. [Lüpfert. but also mass production. cost and performance requirements . Solargenix’s SGX collector structure. Eurotrough collector structure. SBP. Changes were made in the pedestal and reflector supports. Eurotrough collector has been developed by a European consortium formed by private companies (Inabensa. Receiver tube Support structure (tube) Mirrors Reductor wire Pedestal Main support structure Figure 48. based on a central torque box.] Other parabolic trough collectors with space frame structures are the SGX collectors from Solargenix (Acciona). DLR. and the collectors are positioned by a hydraulic control system instead of the mechanical gear and cable system used in the LS-2. the aperture width is 14% wider than the LS-2 and collector length is doubled. Its structure is a pregalvanized steel frame work. Figure 50.
The reflective film is laminated onto curved aluminum panels which are assembled on site on an aluminum space frame with low manpower requirements (no welding is needed) .The SGX1 and SGX2 collector are derived from the LS-2 collector. This design approach speeds field installation and enables compact transportation from the factory to the site. which is made entirely of aluminum (whereas structures from other manufacturers are generally made of steel with galvanized layer) and is superior in terms of shipping. 2006]. solar electricity to thousands of homes in the southwest‖. handling during manufacturing. field installation and corrosion resistance . thereby reducing installation times considerably [Gretchen Menand. pylons. The aluminum structure provides better corrosion resistance and has been designed so that the mirrors are mounted directly to the structure and do not require any alignment in the field. Instead. which differs mainly in the reflector. Installing the mirror sheets is rapid: A single panel providing 9 m2 aperture areas may be inserted and stiffeners attached in a few minutes [Brost. The main effort was invested in the lightweight space frame structure. ―NREL research helps delivery clean. etc. may be transported to the site using only two standard truck trailers. and mirrors do not require alignment during assembly. The primary structure is a space frame. drive units. they are flat reflector sheets which are assembled onto shape-forming ribs attached to the underlying space frame. SkyTrough is a new 6 m-wide collector manufactured by SkyFuel (USA) with dimensions similar to the LS-3. The system requires one-third less time to construct. an efficient truss structure made from aluminum tubing with joints enabling rapid assembly. The innovative new aluminum hubbing design uses 50% fewer pieces and 80% fewer fasteners and is 30% lighter than the previous standard. receivers. The lightweight SkyTrough mirrors do not come from the factory with a pre-defined contour. Indeed three complete SCA‘s (over 2000 m2 aperture area) including mirrors. 2009]. except they are twice as long. space frames. Gossamer Space Frames designed a space frame for Nevada Solar One that led to several major improvements over the previous design used in the 1 MW Saguaro facilities. the ReflecTech silver-metalized polymer film. .
R. Then we will name the projects (demonstration. so piping is not required throughout the solar field. molten salts. (See Figure 51). The receiver absorbs the concentrated radiation and transforms it into thermal energy of a working fluid. where heliostats are located in the north of the tower.3. Schramek. Figure 51. either steam is generated directly (commonly referred to as a water/steam or direct steam generation receiver). 3. In the receiver. Layout of a North field (left) and surround field (right) [Mills D. 2002] An advantage of central power towers over most other concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies is that the solar collection occurs at one receiver atop a central tower. or air. POWER TOWER Technology In this section we will analyze power tower technology into detail. Figure 52. we will include as well an analysis of the value chain (plant and components) and manufacturing processes. CRS plants can have different solar field layouts. Last. or a heat transfer medium (typically molten salt) is heated. but the most common are: the “North field” systems (for a power plant located in the north hemisphere). where heliostats surround the tower. Scheme of a Molten Salt Power Tower . Three main technical designs can be distinguished depending on the working fluid used: water/steam. and the “surround field”. we will describe plant configurations and main components. commercial and in the pipe-line). After a first general description. General Description A power tower system or central receiver system (CRS) uses mirrors called heliostats with two-axis sun-tracking to focus concentrated solar radiation on a receiver at the top of a tower.1.
it is easy to integrate hybrid operation in these power plants. The steam is produced (and sometimes superheated. a storage system can be included. but it is still at laboratory scale. Main Plant Configurations Many heat transfer and storage fluids have been investigated for more than 30 years. it is possible to work at very high temperatures without significant thermal losses. not being necessary to level it in cases with little inclination terrains. Parabolic trough technology enables to aspire to get high efficiencies in electricity generation. In order to reduce the impact on cloudy moments. getting higher efficiencies) at the receiver and directly sent to the turbine. 3. Figure 53. Process flow diagram of water/steam SCR plant with oil/rocks tank storage system.1. the field slope admits angles up to around 3-4º. what makes it possible to integrate this module in more efficient thermodynamic cycles. Thank to these high operation temperatures. at a lower cost. Figure 53 shows a process flow diagram of this scheme. which was one of the first configurations tested along the years (in Solar One solar thermal power plant). 3.2. . A very promising option is to use air as heat transfer fluid to power a gas turbine. even higher than 25% from solar radiation to electricity. including an oil/rock tank as a storage system. Requirements to install power tower plants are very similar to those necessary for a parabolic trough solar thermal plant. In the following paragraphs we will detail the two main technologies which are currently used in commercial projects: DSG and molten salts power towers.2. inherent to the receiver and the superheated steam. Water/Steam Working Fluid The most used CRS system throughout the years is the configuration that uses water/steam as heat transfer fluid (see Figure 53). in this case. However. whose deficient thermal properties lead to regulation problems. Some complications can be experienced. as well as thermal storage.Due to high radiation fluxes reached in the receiver.
3. Molten Salts as Working Fluid Power tower systems would use molten salt primarily because of its superior heat-transfer and energy-storage capabilities. The molten salt. A molten salt system schematic is illustrated in Figure 52. In the receiver. The size of the heliostat area depends on the facility power requirements and is usually several square kilometers.3. and tower) correspond to a high share investment costs and thus have a high economic importance. Main Components In the following table. reaching very high temperatures. However. Solar field assembly activities have a medium economic importance. Sodium as Working Fluid The design of a power tower solar plant with sodium as a working fluid is similar to the molten salts. Air as Working Fluid New designs bet for schemes including air as a working fluid using a volumetric receiver. Subsystem Solar collection Component Support structures Drive mechanisms Mirrors Thermal conversion Solar receiver Natural Gas Boilers Mechanical system ( piping. Cold salt is pumped from the cold salt storage tank through the receiver. Only demonstration facilities have been built with this plant configuration (SSPS in the PSA). these configurations have been only implemented in demonstration power plants and have not been yet commercially tested. the hot salt is pumped to the steam generator to produce superheated steam which is directed to a turbine. criticality and improvement potential).2. allowing thermal storage to be built integrally into the system. The CRS collector system reflects concentrated low-density solar energy from the heliostat field onto the receiver. salts pumps) Heat exchange fluid (molten salts) Fire protection system Inertization system Thermal storage Electrical conversion Molten salts forwarding skid Initial filling system Power block Salt/steam heat exchanger Balance of plant (BOP) Economic importance High High Low High Low Low Low Low Low Low Low High Medium Medium Technological issues Medium Medium Low High Medium Medium Low Low Low Low Low High Medium Medium Civil works activities of the EPC contractor (solar field foundations. From the hot salt storage tank.4. 3.2) and technological issues (design / manufacturing / assembling complexity. A further advantage of the molten salt systems is that the working fluid (molten salt) is an excellent storage medium. These designs can apply either atmospheric air or pressurized air. Sunlight is redirected onto a receiver atop a tower by two-axis tracking mirrors called heliostats. the salt is heated and then pumped to the hot salt storage tank. cooled again. land leveling.2. 22.214.171.124. is routed back to the cold tank for storage until it is heated again in the receiver. the importance of the main components of a CR solar plant is qualitatively evaluated considering economic issues (according to breakdown in Activity 1.2. .
this description concentrates on traditional heliostats. SENER (EU). The stretched-membrane technology. however.6 m2. the foundation and a control system. c). This efficiency will depend largely on the quality of the solar field components. A B C D E F Figure 54. a).9 m2. which have been developed throughout the years.Figure 54 shows some of the most important heliostat designs and their sizes. 115. The front of the membrane is covered by a reflective film. the quotient of the power intercepted by the solar receiver surface and the direct solar energy incident on the mirror surface. a support structure. e). A present-generation heliostat consists basically of a reflective surface. 16 m2. 140 m2. d). Martín-Marietta (USA). ASM-150 (EU) The performance of a heliostat field is given by its optical efficiency. There is two main types of heliostats: the traditional heliostat made of facets the stretched-membrane heliostat (heliostats with a very thin metal surface stretched over a ring which is in turn the support for the membrane itself). 40 m2. usually based on deposited silver coating. f). . has been abandoned in recent years due to its high cost. Sanlúcar-140 (EU). ATS (USA) 146. Therefore. a pedestal. Heliostat different designs throughout the years. that is. an azimuth and elevation drive mechanism. SIREC (EU). b).
the purpose of which is to reflect and concentrate the incident solar radiation onto the receiver. which is in charge of every basic task that guarantees the correct daily operation of the heliostat. where local controller arrangement is emphasized. now managed by each heliostat (Figure 55). Facets are usually made of glass on which a reflective silver or aluminum coating is deposited with paint on the back to protect it. Mirrors The reflective surface is the main component of the heliostat.3. With a distributed control system. downloading then to the central computer most of the tasks. Source: CIEMAT.3. shape and facet focus. Heliostat local control. Figure 55. Each facet is in itself able to reflect and concentrate the solar radiation. It is classically composed of a set of small-area facets (a few m2).3. size.2. held by a metal frame to which they are fastened and directed by the heliostat support structure.1. 3. They usually have three or four anchor points by which they are fastened to the corresponding supports. shape and focus of the heliostat derived from the arrangement and alignment of its facets. This procedure is called heliostat alignment (or canting) and can be done according to different optical criteria depending on the distribution of irradiance desired. The alignment provides the heliostat‘s final focus. This control can be done in two different ways: With a centralized system. Heliostat Local Control Heliostat operability is entrusted to the control system. In both cases there is a procedure to follow: Sun position calculation Calculation of heliostat position Measurement of heliostat current position Heliostat position correction Communication management with each heliostat Heliostat operation modes Detection of errors and breakdowns Emergency actions and signaling . The heliostat optics thus admits a wide combination of parameters that combine to form its reflective surface: size. so the set of facets that make up the heliostat must be geometrically organized for their combined reflection and the heliostat behaves as a single optical system. based in a central computer and a communications‘ topology which enables the management of every task.
This structure is usually made up of a latticework to hold the facets.3. the drive motors receive the corresponding order to adjust the position.]. Metallic Structure The heliostat structure is the mechanical support for the reflective surface. For example. Main elements of en heliostat local control. This heliostat includes a photovoltaic system for the electrical supply. this time fluctuates between 5 and 15 seconds. Up to know. and this is moved by two drive motors which are later described. wind switch. To find the position of the heliostat. Figure 56. The other option is to use a central computer that controls the position of all of the heliostats in the field. where it is compared to the signal it should have according to calculations. at its highest level. Figure 57 and Figure 58 show these designs. The lattices are fastened in turn to a horizontal cylindrical axis which. which are screwed onto it. known as local control. is connected to the heliostat drive system. . This. a radio modem to communicate with the control room and an anemometer.The position of all of the heliostats has to be corrected from time to time depending on the distance of each heliostat from the target it is aiming at to maintain a precision on the order of 1-2 mrad. and the spatial structure. it has encoders. is the stand-alone heliostat. in the PSA. azimuth and elevation. Source: CIEMAT. Egea A. 3. two different support structures have been used: T type structure. A current trend is to attempt to increase heliostat intelligence more and more to increase its autonomy from the central control and eliminate wiring. by a reduction mechanism. and selfprotection routines for adverse external conditions. one per axis. The local control has to solve all of the heliostat actions described above and communications with the central computer by the corresponding protocols. that send a signal to the corresponding control. design currently under testing at the PSA [García G. One possible configuration in a field control system is to use independent heliostats that calculate their own positions. Depending on the result of the comparison. developed fundamentally for big sized heliostat with stretched membrane design. in the case of CESA-1. Tracking movement is on two axes. light and temperature sensors.3. which has been the most used design since the 80s decade.
. [Kolb. usually fitting the concrete pile into the foundation (Figure 61).4. T type support structure (GM-100) (left) and Spatial support structure (ASM-150) (right). Opened T structure with complete turn down position (left) and Closed T structure without complete turn down position (right). This first case protects the heliostat better against soiling. and configurations without this option (Figure 59 and Figure 60). but the mirror surface is penalized with a reduction of mirror area. 2007]. which is a drawback. and heliostat leveling if out of line is complicated. [Kolb. T type structure allows two variations: configurations that make it possible to turn down the heliostat completely. so the correction must be made by algorithms implemented in the aiming control system 3. have very demanding manufacturing tolerances. steel).Figure 57-58. The spatial structure does not have a pedestal and rests on a circular concrete foundation on which the heliostat rotates on the horizon plane. 2007].3. and bolting it down (Figure 62). These T-shaped structures are made up of galvanized steel trusses and/or profiles. Figure 59-60. These foundations. usually screwed to a large center tube. that usually condition the fastening procedure. unlike T-shaped heliostats. The fitted pedestal does not allow the heliostat to be leveled from the base of the pedestal if out of line. Pedestal The pedestals also admit different configurations that go from different materials used (concrete.
Horizontal mount condition: centralized and decentralized. Sizmann. There is usually two drive motors for this which rotate the surface on two axes. 2007]. so the direction of the reflected beam verifies a certain vector equation [Winter C-J.3. absolute). Sensor type used for register orientation of mount axes: encoders (incremental. This has caused the re-adaptation and constant redesign of these mechanisms. A B . Concrete pile fitted into foundations (left) and Metallic pedestal with crews (right) 3. some of which can be seen in Figure 66. one zenith and the other azimuth. This fact has forced manufacturers to also evolve in the same direction. hydraulic. Hydraulic drive mechanism (Sanlúcar heliostat) (centre). DC. [Kolb. Drive Mechanism The purpose of the drive mechanisms is to keep the sun‘s image reflected by the heliostat stationary in a certain place. classically the aperture of a solar receiver. Technical differences between drive mechanisms developed. Motors (AC. 1991].Figure 61-62. Figure 65 shows a system based in linear hydraulic drive mechanisms. steps) Sizes Figure 63 and Figure 64 show two different types of drive mechanism (mechanic. 63 64 65 Figure 63-64-65. Mechanic drive mechanisms (Sanlúcar heliostat) (left). are basically the following: Type of drive mechanism: mechanic. Hall Effect sensors. Heliostat evolution has lead to bigger heliostat size designs. hydraulic) for a same Sanlucar heliostat prototype. implemented in the HELLAS heliostat. and Hydraulic drive mechanism (HELLAS heliostat) (right).5.
Drive mechanisms evolution. 2005 (140 m2) This mechanism is the most expensive heliostat component. B) GM-100. heliostats have to correct their position continuously. the operator changes the azimuth and elevation angles manually (in collector bits) to make the heliostat reflection coincide with the center of the target or auxiliary target . 2005 (115 m2).1980 (40 m2). The calculated error between the set point and the real position in each heliostat axis is called the offset or stationary error. Pujol. respectively. This line of action is being adopted by companies like eSolar and Brightsource. 3. C) SENER.C D Figure 66. using very small size heliostats so a much simpler and thereby cheaper tracking drive mechanism can be used. a new trend has opened to the contrary. Depending on the image. Nevertheless. That is why there has been a trend in heliostat technology development to larger-area designs that lower the specific price per heliostat. the offset correction of heliostats is a task that is done periodically by a specialized operator aiming at an auxiliary target. D) GM-140. At present in solar plants. Winsmith. A) CASA. Field Control As it was already explained. Ralpe. 1997 (105 m2).6. PUJOL-SENER. with 1 m2 and 7 m2 heliostat mirrors.3.
flat receiver) that conditions the power plant optical configuration. Receivers‘ technology has various challenges that condition the global design of a power tower plant: Selection of the heat transfer fluid inside the receiver (it also conditions the selection of the receiver typology and absorber materials.3. 3. in order to achieve a life span estimated around 20-30 years. The receiver is usually located at the top of a tower the purpose of which is to support its weight and keep it in the focus of the optical system it forms with the heliostat field. and the electrical supply for the motors to work. which have to withstand high level of thermal stress and fatigue in a durable way. identification of development niche of economically feasible equipment. Field Wiring The installation has to have a wiring system for communications between the central control and each of the local heliostat control systems. The process of transferring the concentrated solar flux incident on the working fluid or material usually involves working at high temperatures (300 to 1200 ºC) and high incident fluxes (200 to 1200 kW/m2).7. the heat exchanger design and the thermodynamic cycle exergy). Most receivers have a solid black surface (high absorptivity) or some other mechanism that strengthens absorptivity in the solar range (for example. Image capture system for offsets correction. the cavity effect) as the absorber. etc. depending on the heat transfer fluid selected. Receiver The receiver is the component that receives the concentrated solar radiation and transforms it into thermal energy to be used in later processes (usually in the power block). total electricity production. Selection of nominal working temperature and pressure in the receiver (it conditions the receiver performance.). as they are supplied by photovoltaic cells and communicated by radio modem. exposed panel.3. perception of current technological risk. which makes it an essential plant component. makes the receiver design for fatigue a crucial subject. Stand-alone heliostats have the advantage that. These operating conditions usually generate high material stress. 3. as a consequence of its influence in the layout of the solar field and the tower height. which added to the cyclic nature of the solar energy and keeping in mind that solar thermal plants must be designed for a lifetime of 20-30 years.8. . installation wiring is a priori unnecessary.Figure 67. Selection of the receiver’s configuration (cavity. as well as some limitations in operation nominal temperature and pressure) Selection of receiver materials. This means laying many kilometers of cable all over the field. The selection criterion and pre-design of the receiver requires an overall analysis of the resulting plant to optimize the involvement of other associated components for each receiver selection and therefore must obey the same decision criteria as the overall plant (cost of electricity produced.
C) External cylindrical receiver. carry the energy through their walls and transmit it to the thermal fluid that circulates inside them. Particle receiver. above 1. B) Particle receiver. In general. Basic concepts of solar receivers used in power tower power plants. In the case of volumetric receivers.000 ºC in cavity receivers. but with a limited pressure of 30 bar. [Winter. with directional receivers that only accept radiation from a certain direction and circular receivers that accept radiation from any angle of origin around it. The thermal energy is transferred by convection to an air stream that goes through the free volume of a metal or ceramic absorber matrix. Main basic configurations of solar receivers can be seen in Figure 68. This type of receiver operates like a direct heat exchanger. tubular receivers enable high pressure operations (up to 125 bar) with temperatures up to 500 ºC. Thermal Energy can be absorbed by the heat transfer fluid through different basic processes. Volumetric receiver. The thermal exchange is performed by the use of fluids or flows of particles that receive the direct and immediately in their volume or surface. There are different construction configurations. . the cavity receiver and the external receiver. A B Solid particles Optional window C D Volumetric matrix Input air Optional window Figure 68. A) Cavity receive. The exchange is produced in tubes that receive the radiation on the outside. 1991] Figure 69 shows estimated ranges of operation for different type of receivers. If working pressure is reduced below 30 bar.300 ºC. The volumetric receiver operates like a convective heat exchanger. Within this type there are two different receivers. The tube receiver works like an indirect heat recovery exchanger. higher temperatures can be reached. temperatures up to 650 ºC can be reached in external receivers and up to 1. D) Volumetric receiver.Receiver type Receivers may be classified by different criteria. according to the receiver heat transfer design: Tube receivers.
On the other hand. In addition to the type of receiver. The maximum working flux of the receivers is marked by the properties of the materials to be used and by the cooling capacity (mainly the liquid film coefficient) of the heat transfer fluid. Pressure and temperature operation ranges for different solar receiver configurations. molten salt and air. the volumetric receivers have always used air as the working fluid. the influence of the type of plant and the thermodynamic cycle on the type of receiver used and receiver operating conditions have to be considered. The tube receivers have been used with all the common working fluids: water-steam. . sodium.Future developments Volumetric Temperature (ºC) External tubular Cavity tubular Pressure (bar) Figure 69.
in relationship with the heat transfer fluid used. Its main function is to house the receiver and keep it at the height required by the plant characteristics. exchangers. 3. Solar receiver characteristics Overheated Liquid Molten steam sodium salts 500 2.9. Tower Civil Works The power tower is a characteristic component of a central receiver plant. d) Volumetric receiver. it houses mechanical equipment. the wind and earthquakes.K. Towers used in circular fields are lower than those in north (or south) fields. The height of the tower mainly depends on the plant power rating and also the configuration of the receiver and the heat transfer fluid [Falcone P. A B C D Figure 70. pumps.In the following table peak fluxes achieved in each receiver type are indicated.200 Heat transfer fluid Peak flux (kW/m2) Saturated steam 650 Air (tubes) <200 Air (Volumetric) 1. affects the optical and thermal losses of the solar thermal energy conversion. The power tower is the structure that supports the receiver loads. piping and all of the associated electrical system inside it.. a) External cylindrical tubular receiver. The tower transfers to the foundations the loads from the weight of the system.000 Figure 70 shows some pictures of different receiver prototypes used and tested throughout the years.3.500 1. b) Cavity tubular receiver. c) Flat tubular receiver. 1986]. Moreover. and its design. However. a larger number of heliostats and larger area of land are necessary for circular fields than for the north . along with the receiver and the heliostat field.
its properties as a heat transfer fluid (thermal conductivity. Commercial power towers made of reinforced concrete (PS 10. The high pressures that the receiver tubes undergo due to the change of phase of the fluid make designs complicated.) make it a poor choice compared to the other fluids. bolted. the use of a pump in a water-steam facility is not the same as with salt. Even though the thermodynamic cycle with superheated steam is more efficient. Valves and Spare Parts All of the piping.J. Its low steam pressure at high temperatures and inert behavior with water facilitate the design of its components. as they avoid construction of many km of piping. riveted or welded together.5 MW/m². Although both materials are suitable for use in the construction of the power tower.5-0. since the weight that will have to be supported by it will be different in each case."Thermal Solar Power Plants Experience". Winter C. depending on the design of the installation. The use of water-steam as a heat transfer fluid is the option that has acquired the most experience as direct steam generation in the receiver (CESA-1. In the case of water-steam. as well as its acquisition for free directly from the environment.11. boiler. the final decision depends only on price. liquid sodium. etc. The high thermal conductivity of sodium. in turn allows receivers to operate at solar fluxes of up to 2. its high heat capacity. in the various demonstration projects carried out to date have mainly used four systems: water-steam (superheated or saturated). molten salt and air. their thermal losses are lower. it is a highly reactive material and the costs associated with the safety system.. This is a big advantage compared to the PTC and Fresnel technologies. it is even possible to eliminate the pumps by making use of natural convection. since the operating pressures and temperatures are very different. since the density of each of these fluids is different and the force necessary to pump it to the top of the tower is different. ISBN 3540-18897-5]. Berlin. For example.P. towers may be built of two different materials: steel or reinforced concrete. and as these components are inside the tower.65 MW/m² for water/steam and 1. However. (1991). and therefore.. The characteristics of many of these elements depend on the fluid.configuration. the greater control problems derived from its use have led to use of saturated steam in the plants PS10 and PS20. Similarly. Today.10. However. 3.3. Piping.. pp 215-282. This is because of the greater optical efficiency of the north field. much higher than other fluids (0. which grows exponentially with its height. Metal towers used for power towers are very similar to communications towers. valves.3. are very high [Grasse W. . their thickness will vary. All these decisions affect the tower design. 3. Its high thermal conductivity. piping is not designed the same for a water-steam tower as for a molten salt tower. liquid film coefficient. makes it a good compromise as receiver working fluid and storage fluid. mainly because of the better cosine effect. Molten salt used in power tower applications is nontoxic and very stable. pumps (pumping the fluid to the top of the tower.2 MW/m² for molten salt). Solar One…). and if not natural circulation for steam) and other additional facility components are housed in the tower. PS 20 and Gemasolar) have used sliding formwork. and at the same time. mainly in the sodium/steam generator. Hertlein H. usually called self-supported towers and are made of steel profiles and angles screwed. The use of air is an option that offers good expectations given the high temperatures and fluxes that can be reached. Heat Transfer Fluid The working fluid that circulates through the central receiver.
5 Steam Steam Steam Molten salts Molten salts Steam Air Molten salts Air Air Water-steam Project EURELIOS SUNSHINE Solar One CESA-1 MSEE/Cat B THEMIS SPP-5 TSA Solar Two Weizmann Jülich CSIRO NSEC Dahan Start of Operation 1981 1981 1982 1982 1983 1984 1986 1993 1996 2001 2009 2010 2011 Most of these experimental power tower projects were completed in the last decade and some of the demonstration plants were completely dismantled. 3.3. thermal storage.0 1. the top of the tower. This concept. Today. Experimental and demonstration power tower projects.4.0 1. Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) The CESA-I project.5 MWth 1. a water/steam receiver working at 520ºC and 100 bar and a molten salts thermal storage system. is located the 2. Weizmann Weizmann Institute has been recently used as test platform for saturated steam receivers and pressure air receivers for gas turbine. a cavity with a calorimetry test bed for pressurized volumetric receivers. The main ones are gathered in the next table. etc. At 60 m.0 1.4. It is also used for other applications that require high photon concentrations on relatively large surfaces.2. The power tower concept used was implemented with 300 heliostat.5 5. At 80 m. The tower measures 80 m high and is made up in reinforced concrete. Recently. At this moment. surface treatment of materials or astrophysics experiments. One of the most remarkable projects developed in this facility is the test of the DIAPR (Directly Irradiated Annular Pressurized Receiver) volumetric receiver.0 10. a 75 m2 secondary reflector has been incorporated to the installation. a cavity has been adapted for use as a solar furnace for materials testing.0 10. CESA-1 is used for development and testing of subsystems and components such as heliostats. known as ―beam down‖ will be here evaluated for the first time. such as in chemical or high-temperature processes. Today only some demonstration plants (PSA and Themis) that began their operation in the eighties keep on developing experimental projects. was promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Energy to demonstrate the feasibility of central receiver solar plants and enable the development of the necessary technology. they benefit from 30 years of experimental and demonstration projects. It has three different levels: At 45 m height.5-MW TSA volumetric receiver test facility.0 Steam Japan United States Spain United States France Russia Europe United States Israel Germany Australia China 1. Demonstration Projects Although power towers are a recent technology at commercial level.5 0. 3.4. Sponsoring Power Output Heat transfer fluid Country (MWe) Italy 1.5 1.0 0. solar receivers. .0 2.1. this cavity houses the SOLGATE project infrastructure.
and heliostat technology. eSolar and Brightsource.3.2. 3.5. an undeveloped technology. with the concept that mass production will overcome the economy of scale advantages of larger heliostats. in collaboration with Australian and international research centres. Furthermore. The technology used is saturated steam technology.4. It is being promoted by Torresol in Spain. currently under construction. promoted and built by Abengoa. Commercial Projects We present here Abengoa Solar Towers. 3. The eSolar concept is being tested at their 5 MWe facility called Sierra Sun Power near Lancaster. This concept departs radically from conventional wisdom in CRS design. California. which simplifies the receiver design and operation and allows the use of a 30 minute steam accumulator for thermal storage. No public information is available about the successes of that demonstration. eSolar An innovative design is the rectangular field distributed CR system. Gemasolar. This facility aims to research and develop innovative applications in concentrating solar energy. This plant operates according to the scheme followed in the PHOEBUS project. and the achievement of satisfactory system efficiency are key challenges. connected to the grid in 2009).5 MW). Gemasolar Gemasolar. Before them. a Spanish company. these systems would likely require phase-change thermal storage. molten salt thermal storage.3. CSIRO-NSEC The National Solar Energy Centre (NSEC). The cost effectiveness of the small heliostats.4.5. is a part of the CSIRO Energy Centre. 3. will be the first CRS commercial plant with molten salts technology. located in South Australia.4 m2 mirror area) heliostats. with 46 MWe modules consisting of 16 towers and subfields for each module.3. 3. at a small scale (1. only demonstration projects had been executed.4. The plant will have 15 hours of thermal storage. connected to the grid in 2007) and PS-20 (20 MWe. is the EPC contractor and the provider of the receiver.5. Jülich The main objective of this experimental power plant is to prove the high temperature air receiver technology (HiTRec) within a complete facility. carried out in the PSA. . They make use of very small (1. as proposed by eSolar.1. ability to control a large number of steam sources which may be several thousand feet away from the turbine. and Sener. The consortium has accurate knowledge of this project. 3. Abengoa Solar Towers PS-10 (11 MWe. having participated in some stages of it.5. This plant will have a power of 17 MWe and the heliostats used will have an area of 115 m2 each. are the first commercial CRS plants in operation the world.
a pre-commercial demonstration facility located in the Negev desert (Israel). Figure 72. (See Figure 72) The tower is 60 m height and the receiver is capable of producing overheated steam at 530 ºC and 130 bar [Elon Silberstein et al]. Sierra Sun Power solar thermal power plant in Lancaster.. The Energy Development Center (SEDC). Satellite image of the SEDC demonstration solar power plant.640 small heliostats. capable of generating a thermal power between 4 and 6 MW. California. has been used since 2008 by Brightsource in order to test components.5.4. developer of utility-scale solar thermal power plants has bet on overheated steam CRS technology. This demonstration power plant reproduces a small scale commercial CRS with water-steam technology. The solar field consists of 1. Brightsource BrightSource Energy. Source: eSolar. . 3. making up a portion from a real surround field of a bigger size. materials and operation strategies. equipment.Figure 71. [Elon Silberstein et al]. Inc.
California. 2010]. where Torresol Energy will promote plants with central receiver tower system based on the experience from the projects in Spain and Abu Dhabi. a specialist in equipment and services for power generation. Alstom. California. but eSolar is the most active worldwide. still under construction. and operate) to demonstrate their technologies. Project Pipeline The current project pipeline of Spain does not include new power tower solar plants in the register of the Spanish Ministry of Industry. Abengoa is leader in Spain with its commercial plants PS10 and PS20. with an equity stake that positions Alstom as one of the main shareholders in the company. Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project. but has already reach agreements as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) through technology licensing with many companies worldwide such as NRG in the US. 3. the company is focused on its computer algorithms used to control and operate the heliostats. 2010]. Rice Solar Energy Project. Babcock & Wilcox. and the countries in which they are active. 92 MW. in May 2010. . still under development. Nevada. still under development. eSolar wants to become cost-competitive by using off-the-shelf components and outsourcing their fabrication to a variety of experienced thermal power players (like ABB. New Mexico Sun Power. but for further commercial projects outside investors and owners may step in [Emerging Energy. BrightSource and SolarReserve have so far used a vertically integrated strategy (design. invested $55 million in BrightSource Energy Inc. still under development. 440 MW. New Mexico. The most remarkable are the following stated below: Alpine Sun Tower. still under development. California. 150 MW. 100 MW. new power tower plants projects are considered in USA. still under development. However. Penglai Electric in China and ACME in India [Emerging Energy. and the south east of the USA. 92 MW. The Spanish company Sener has made an alliance with Masdar from Abu Dhabi to form Torresol for the design. construction and commissioning of CSP plants will be in Southern Europe. Plant Value Chain The following Table shows the main actors of the power tower plants value chain. build. For example.. Ivanpah.3. apart from Gemasolar.6. Internally. the Middle East. Northern Africa. Victory Energy) and local supplier in emerging markets rather than to vertically integrate. and patents on prefabricated structural design for heliostats and receiver.7. eSolar still has to demonstrate its technology over an extended period.
China) and prefabricated pedestals molds manufactured by China Mfg (China).2. Amsa Bechtel Fluor Abengoa Solar Torresol Energy Bechtel. supplier of the 1-square-meter flat mirrors for eSolar‗s 5 MW Lancaster plant.1. Central receiver technology promoters can rely on prefabricated flat glass producers. Heliostat Metallic Structure To minimize capital costs eSolar is using prefabricated stamped frames supplied by Art Precision (Hong Kong. Heliostat Mirror Assembly Amongst all structural options. the more common is the metallic structure with glass-silver mirrors. NRG SolarReserve Sener. The more involved in heliostat mirror production are Guardian. .8.Country Australia Technology provider Technology integrator Project development EPC SMEC Operation Project Ownership Lloyd Energy Storage Worley Parsons China Chinese Academy of Sciences / National High-Tech research eSolar Penglai Electric Acme Energy Solutions Millenium Energy Industries Aora eSolar SolarReserve Eskom Eskom Abener Torresol Energy BrightSource eSolar. 3. Components Value Chain In this section we describe the value chain for the most relevant components of this technology.8. Sanlúcar 120 heliostats of PS10 and PS20 plants are made of hot galvanized steel structure from assembled by Abengoa‘s subsidiary Inabensa. Sanlúcar 120 heliostats of PS10 and PS20 plants are Abengoa‘s proprietary technology with mirrors from Cristalería Española (Saint Gobain). BrightSource Abengoa Solar. used in all CSP technologies.8. which are abundant and have excess capacity. 3. EON Sener / Masdar BrightSource Energy NRG US Renewables Clean Energy Systems China Huadian Engineering China Shaanxi Yulin Huayang New Energy Acme Energy Solutions India Jordan Israel South Africa eSolar eSolar Spain Abengoa Solar Sener USA BrightSource Industries Israel eSolar United Technologies Lockheed Martin 3. and FLABEG. which is supplying the 15 MW Gemasolar project in Spain.
Some of the preliminary proposal from ALTAC for PS10 tower design. 3. Handling and installation are limited by wind speeds and require large equipment such as cranes and large forklifts. like Abengoa Solar NT for PS10 and PS20 (in partnership with Aalborg Industries and Técnicas Reunidas).8. USA) is supplying BrightSource‘s 392 MW Ivanpah project.3. and SolarReserve for its own projects. Victory Energy (Collinsville. promoters use to outsource the manufacturing of the receiver to traditional power players with boiler manufacturing experience: Pratt & Whitney will supply the SolarReserve systems in California and Nevada. as CSP central receiver technology overlaps well with boiler technology design. 3. “Tower of Power”] 3. the pedestal is set in position using a crane. USA) and Babcock & Wilcox (Lynchburg. Heliostats Current heliostat designs use precision molds and mandrels over which the mirrors are formed. with a heavy rigid structure.8. [García Sobrinos. and after the heliostat structure is assembled it is lifted onto the pedestal using another crane [Davenport. MA.9. re-engaged with the CSP sector through a supply agreement with eSolar after having initially participated in the Barstow. Babcock & Wilcox is a thermal coal boiler technologies specialist. California. VA. Once the foundation is placed. Figure 73.4. 2009]. Handling and shipping of large mirror structures is difficult and inefficient.1. The system is bolted together from shippable components on-site and a large crane is needed for installation of both the pedestal and the heliostat structure. Current state-of-the-art heliostats are composed of large components that are assembled in the field. Tower Civil Works The design and construction of PS10 tower was subcontracted to ALTAC (Madrid. [Davenport. 2009].3. much lighter-weight. glass second surface and reflective areas of around 40 m2 [Mavis. to provide focusing of the beam. The development of heliostats shows clear evolution from the first prototypes. Solar One demonstration project during the early 1980s [EE]. However. These foundations contain tons of concrete and reinforcing steel. Brigthsource Energy for Ivanpah. Grupo Sener for Gemasolar. 2009].9. which is a company specialized in design and construction of high concrete structure. to the more recent. Tower Receiver Most technology promoters design their receiver. Conventional heliostats require a large foundation. [Davenport. approximately as deep as the pedestal is high above the ground. Babcock Power (Danvers. OK. Manufacturing Processes In this section we describe the manufacturing processes for the most relevant components of this technology. larger-area and lower-cost heliostats with a wide variety of reflective materials based on low-iron mirrors or polymers with front-silvered . 1989]. USA) are supplying eSolar with receivers for its California project. Spain).
The structure is made of hot dipped galvanized steel. with glass mirrors which are described below. A detailed description of the first generation of heliostats is made in . Figure 74. ASM150 single-facet heliostat of SBP and the 170m2 multi-faceted heliostat of SAIC could be mentioned as representative examples. Using a small fan or pump. A flat mirror is placed on a curving table whose curvature can be adjusted to the specifications of the heliostat. the mirrors are attached using a simple flat tool that provides accurate mirror placement. the stretched-membrane heliostat was conceived. 1991]. two perfectly defined lines in the development of heliostats have been defined. as Ghersa for its the Heplas heliostat (38. Curving table for heliostat facets. the larger the heliostat. Experience accumulated to date is limited to what may be called conventional heliostats. low-precision tooling using automated equipment. the greater the optical problems are and difficulty in washing. usually based on deposited silver coatings. Figure 75. similar to the stretched-membrane dish. After the GRC casting is cured and any shrinkage or curing deformation has occurred. No focusing of the mirrors is . in which thin metal membranes are stretched on drums to achieve the desired reflectivity. a slight vacuum is maintained in the concentrator plenum. The second are heliostats made of new reflective materials such as stretched membranes (heliostats with a very thin metal surface stretched over a ring which in turn supports the membrane itself). Historically. Other facet and component structures and designs have applied fiberglass technology. with the corresponding reduction in price per sq. In the SAIC design. mechanisms. wiring and foundations. Single-facet and multi-faceted stretched-membrane heliostats have been developed by different companies and consortia. the Glass-Reinforced Concrete (GRC) casting is made on low-cost.surface [Romero. The first line is directed at heliostat configurations based on facets and large areas of over 100 m2. always directed at lowering the cost without reducing performance. Inabensa assembled its Sanlucar 90 heliostat by fixing the mirror to a steel frame with steel nails on a facets jig table. To avoid the high costs of construction and assembly associated with the facet designs and also achieve better optical quality. HEPLAS heliostat from Ghersa The most common method to curve the facets of a heliostat was developed by CIEMAT during the 90s. The front of the membrane is covered by reflective films. meter of structure. and then the required bending is given by a vacuum system applied on the front side of the mirrors and finally the back sides of the facets are stuck to the metallic structure with silicon. On the other hand.5m2).
boiler) and meteorological conditions (temperatures higher than 35 ‖C) made that 9 months were necessary to build the tower. The steel bars that go through the concrete give it enough resistance to traction to become a very suitable material for large civil construction work. The concrete azimuth track for our heliostat is also cast in a factory. Design issues (receiver. The PS10 tower has a constant thickness. there is one property in concrete that can make it more suitable depending on the location of the plant: its resistance to corrosion. but the lessons learned allowed the PS 20 tower (with a design very similar to PS 10) to be built in only 45 days. molded-in ―gear teeth‖). Latest designs are usually assisted by a hydraulic jacking system . which made it relatively easy to erect using sliding formwork techniques. Concrete tower Concrete top producing countries are Germany. One of the methods used to build these towers. the most commonly used method in recent years for construction of concrete towers is sliding formwork. .needed since the heliostats themselves are small relative to the receiver. 2009]. bolted. in a mold that causes it to be round and flat and which incorporates components of the azimuth drive mechanism (e. The main design factor is the weight of the receiver system and its configuration.. PSº20 (160 m) and Gemasolar (140 m) towers. This property makes concrete very important in remote areas near coastal environments . However. 3. The methods used for construction of a concrete tower lead to different options. which are delivered to the plant and assembled by crane .g. This technique is frequently used for construction of vertical or horizontal structures with constant or very similar section. riveted or welded together. although other factors such as wind speed must also be taken into consideration. it is mainly going to support compression generated by the weight of the components it has to house. reinforced concrete is used for construction. The formwork is made in a certain shape on top of the foundations. used for example in some air turbine towers. it is too weak to support traction force.9. Traditionally. thus preparing the shape desired for the structure to be built. where the profiles and braces vary in size and thickness depending on the height of the tower and where it is going to be built. Italy. The election between both materials is mainly due to the tower height: steel is usually employed for tower smaller than 120 m. Metallic tower The metal towers used for power towers plants are very similar to those used for communications.2. They are called selfsupported towers and are usually made of steel profiles and trusses screwed. Although the properties of steel and of reinforced concrete are both perfectly suitable for use in the construction of the central receiver tower. allowing the same formwork to be reused as the building grows in height or length. There has been long experience with this technique. The models may be optimized for proper functioning of the structure. is to divide the tower in levels of precast concrete. The peculiarity of this method is that the formwork is moved without having to disassemble it as the tower is built upward from the base. [Davenport. whereas concrete is used for taller structures . One of the examples is the Toronto communications tower (CN Tower). A scaffold structure ensures that this profile is maintained at all times as the formwork is moved . which has been used in PSº10 (120 m). cranes or jacks. the USA. the rebars are moved using hoists. Although in the case of a power tower CSP plant. Concrete is a material with excellent compressive strength. Tower Civil Works and Materials The tower of a central receiver system can be made either of steel or of reinforced concrete. and Canada. however. Japan. which is 553 m high and was erected at a speed of 6 m a day  and the Barclays Bank building in the large Canary Wharf Business Center in London . The formwork forms a mold where steel reinforcement bars are placed and then the concrete is poured in. the effect of wind or earthquakes can be drastic. Therefore.
View of the towers of PS 10 and PS 20 solar plants. Left. same tower. as it can be seen in Figure 77. Sliding formwork was also used to build the Gemasolar tower. [Burgaleta. Figure 77. 2009] .Figure 76. evolution of the erection of the Gemasolar tower with the sliding casing technique. 2 days after. Right.
. eSolar towers are very similar to wind turbines masts. Figure 78.Brightsouce and eSolar (47 m) went for for steel structures (Figure 78).. Construction of the towers of BrightSource Energy (left) and eSolar (right) demonstration plants.
they benefit from the next features: Central or decentralized operation Operation range between 5 kW and several 100 MW High energy density. a high efficiency Stirling engine is used. An inherent issue with dish Stirling systems is that they shut down operation immediately upon loss of sun. Last. DISH-ENGINE Technology In this section we will analyze dish-engine technology into detail. However. lack of existing storage and hybridization solutions. Figure 79. with no cooling water requirement. 4. After a first general description. low land use Short construction time . SES SunCatcher dish Stirling design. dish-engine systems suffers from higher investment costs. Individual units range in size from 10 to 25 kW and are self-contained. we will describe plant configurations and main components. Up to now. commercial and in the pipe-line). General Description The dish/engine is unique among CSP systems in using mechanical energy rather than a working fluid in order to produce electricity. we will include as well an analysis of the value chain (plant and components) and manufacturing processes. In that respect. Dish engine systems consist of a mirrored dish that collects and concentrates sunlight onto a receiver mounted at the focal point of the dish. Typically. Compared to the other CSP technology. Solar parabolic dish engine systems comprise two main parts: a large parabolic dish and a power conversion unit (PCU).1. Then we will name the projects (demonstration. The PCU is held at the focal point of the concentrator dish and includes a receiver as well as a heat engine and generator assembly for converting the collected thermal energy to electricity.4. no concept for thermal storage has been implemented for dish engine systems. they are similar to solar photovoltaic plants. The receiver is integrated into a high-efficiency engine (the Stirling engine is the most common type of heat engine used due to its high efficiency).
8 m 94% 5. from several megawatts to hundreds of megawatts. mirror washing).7 m2 4.2. for particular use.5 m 91% 7.19 m V161 Solo H2/He 650 ºC Abengoa 2007 11 kW 23% PowerDish Parabola 14..5 m 12700 0. This makes it possible to configure its operation with hybridization too. This technology features a modular arrangement: up to now Stirling motors currently used for solar applications do not exceed 25 kW power in best cases.5 m 94% 4. 2008] Type Aperture Diameter Reflectivity Focal length Concentration ratio Max Receiver diameter Engine Working fluid Working temperature Promoter Year Design power Max. biomass or fuel burn. Contrary to the other CSP technologies.38 m STM 4-120 H2 720 ºC SAIC 1999 22 kW 23% SunCatcher Parabola with facet 88 m2 10. it has attained efficiencies as high as 30% at Sandia Laboratories.3.2 m Infinia Infinia 2007 3 kW 24% Sunmachine Parabola 15-17 m2 4-5 m Sunmachine Nitrogen Sunmachine 2007 3 kW 20-25% 4. efficiency Sundish Stretched membrane 113 m2 15 m 95% 12 m 2500 0.19 m V161 Solo H2/He 650 ºC SBP 2001 11 kW 23% AZ-TH Parabola with facet 56 m2 94% 5m 0.45 m 11000 0. as well as in big centralized power farms. F. dish–engines do not need water availability for cooling and proximity of grid connection. 4.The Stirling engine technology offers three major advantages over other thermal steam technologies: water usage is limited to operation and maintenance activities (e. Thermal energy is absorbed by the receiver. and finally into electricity through a generator. This characteristic makes it possible to implement the technology in decentralized or off-grid power generation. Main Components Dish Stirling technology consists of a parabolic shaped concentrator and a Stirling engine located at the concentrator‘s focal point. and its modularity allows for a range of system sizes. Main Plant Configurations Dish Stirling Systems can be installed either individually or in little/big clusters. . dish Stirling technology still faces the overarching challenge of delivering a commercially viable installation for financial and utility verification. Stirling is an external combustion engine that makes it possible to incorporate different external heat sources like solar energy. However.2 m 4-95 Kockums H2 720 ºC SES 1998 25 kW 29% WGA Parabola 41 m2 8. This concentrator dish has a two axis tracking system and concentrates the solar radiation in a heat exchanger (receiver). The receiver acts as a connection between concentrator and power unit. converted into mechanical energy by the Stirling engine.g.45 m 7500 0.19 m V161 Solo H2/He 650 ºC WGA 1999 11/8 kW 24% Eurodish Parabola 57 m2 8. Main pre-commercial dish-Stirling systems [Nepveu.
and lightning conductor Receiver-engine Balance of plant (BOP) Economic importance High Medium Low Medium Low High High Technological issues High Low Medium Low Low High Low In addition to component manufacturing.In the following table. Subsystem Solar collection Component Support structures Drive mechanisms Mirrors Plant infrastructure Thermal and electrical conversion Electric infrastructure Lighting. . safety. In the following sections the main components of this technology are described. [Winter. Historic evolution of parabolic dish prototypes. Dish Many different dish Stirling designs have been developed in the latest 20 years. Figure 80. some assembly activities (mechanical and electrical equipment) that are not mentioned in the able above have a medium economic importance. the importance of the main components of a PD solar plant is qualitatively evaluated considering economic issues (according to breakdown in Activity 1.2) and technological issues (design / manufacturing / assembling complexity. 4.1. 1991]. but other designs with lower performance were used in farms as a centralized power unit. The evolution experienced by dish engine systems is remarkable. Figure 80 shows some of these examples: some dishes were designed with the only purpose of being used in dish Stirling systems. criticality and improvement potential).3.
adapted to different heat transfer fluids. there are some emerging concepts which can be highlighted. Many different configurations of receivers have been proposed. One of these concepts is the heat pipe.3. It is then really important to minimize every possible loss. Indirect interchange receivers: there is an additional element which transforms solar radiation into heat and then delivers it to the heat transfer fluid through convection. Directly iluminated tubes receiver. Working temperatures and solar radiation fluxes are so high that materials suffer from high thermal gradients and stress. A. In a heat pipe a liquid metal is vaporized (normally sodium) by the heat taken from the absorber and later it condensates on the surface of the tubes where the working fluid is flowing through. with a small aperture and its own isolation system. while crossing the volume of a metallic absorber or a porous ceramic. This fact can be dangerous for the reliability and durability of these systems.2. This thermal interchange can be carried out through any of the basic processes explained next: Directly illuminated tubes: radiation reaches the outside of the tube panels and goes through its walls transferring the heat through conduction. The receiver is the most critical element of the system. to take in mind possible repercussions of the power block control and the optical/geometrical design.4. In order to carry out this energy transformation. it is necessary to reach a high temperature and high levels of incident radiation fluxes [Gener. Figure 81. It is necessary to design the system receiver-engine together with the system concentrator-receiver. This group includes a new technology called ―heat pipe‖ which has offered new expectations in the solar receivers. Receiver The receiver is the element that absorbs concentrated solar energy and converts it to thermal energy that heats the working fluid (gas) inside the engine. ―Tesis doctoral‖]. These configurations can be gathered in two main groups: Direct Interchange Receiver (DIR): fluid absorbs the radiation being directly exposed to it. These receivers usually adopt the cavity geometric configuration. This configuration can be implemented either with cavity or external geometry. which is the most current design used for dish Stirling today. Figure 81 shows a directly illuminated tubes receiver. flowing once again to the absorber. Reflux: these kinds of fluids receive the radiation directly on their volume or surface and use an intermediate heat transfer fluid. . Volumetric: radiation is converted into heat and transferred to the air trough convection. Then it is once more transferred to the heat transfer fluid through convection (Figure 82). Apart from the current options.
The second is an innovation in the design of the concentrator introduced in the 90s which consists of the use of a stretched-membrane over a supporting ring. An innovative trend towards a new concept that would avoid better optical efficiencies was introduced in the 90s: the stretched membrane mirror. the most common. wiring and foundations. it can reach mean concentrating ratios higher than 2000. with the corresponding reductions in price per sq.1).3. In the first case. Even if most of current designs have a mirrored surface smaller than 100 m2 (See table in Section 4. which covers a mirror surface of 500 m2 [K. [K. and which can be of different shapes. mechanisms. the concave surface is covered by facets that form the reflective part of the concentrator. The first line. and on the other hand designs like Abengoa Solar which use curved mirrors (Figure 84). Curved Mirror Assemblies The concentrator dish is made up of a parabolic shape reflector. Because of the parabolic shape and the low ratio focal length-diameter (f/D=0. They normally have three or four anchor points where they are fastened to the corresponding supports. The ideal shape of the concentrator is a paraboloid of revolution. the larger the size of the dishes.4. meter of structure. On the other hand. there are also some prototypes with much bigger sizes. The size of the parabolic dish is mainly determined by two factors: Thermal power demand of the power block (Stirling engine) in nominal conditions. recently built by the Australian National University (ANU). always directed at achieving the lowest cost without reducing performance.6). The dish can be made up either of individual reflector surfaces or of a continuous surface. in designs such as the MDAC/SES (Figure 84) and WGA ADD in which the mirrors are flat and acquire their curvature by being glued to a mold which is part of the support (Figure 84). ANU dish Stirling prototype.3. the greater is the optical problems and washing problems. implemented in the SBP design. what is needed for keeping the optimal concentrator within a limit angle of 45º. These facets have two construction variations: On one hand. even if some designs approach this shape by using multiple spherical mirrors. Lovegroove. However silvered polymer solar reflectors (thin mirror) are finding increasing use in dish concentrator applications [John Harrison. Reflectors used in concentrators consist of a glass or plastic substrate with a thin aluminum or silver layer deposited over it. commonly made of glass on which a reflective layer of silver or aluminum is deposited and a layer of paint on the back to protect it. . This avoids operation temperatures up to 800ºC. is directed at configurations based on facets and large surfaces of over 100 m2. Wind loads: they restrict the economical viability of big size installations. 2010]. which concentrates the incident solar irradiation into a receiver located at the dish focal point. Historically. with a mirror surface of 500m2. leading to efficiencies up to 40% of the Stirling engine. Lovegroove. Figure 82. and sizes. 2010]. which reaches reflectivity values around 91-94% [Solar Dish Engine]. 2001]. two perfectly defined lines of development of dish/Stirling concentrators have been developed. An example of this is the new design of the Big Dish. such as triangular wedge or spherical. The most durable material known up to know is the current silver/glass thick mirror.
based on MDAC design [Morrison. 2006]. the Stirling Energy Systems design being the best known. SES dish Stirling design. WGA ADD design (left) and Abengoa Solar design( right). . This design is based on the McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corp. and Stone. 1993] [Gener. and Stone. that makes the reflector membrane adopt a parabolic shape. C. [Lopez.. Another model developed for dish Stirling systems is the stretched membrane design. a very thin metallic surface is stretched from a ring that withstands at the same time the own membrane. ―Tesis doctoral]. (MDAC) design patented in the eighties [Lopez. Among them.Different dish/Stirling system designs have been studied and tested. A. The front side of the membrane is covered by reflector films. 1993]. normally deposited silver. Other designs have been manufactured with metallic structures and glass-metal reflector. WGA ADD and Abengoa Solar designs can be remarked (Figure 84). In this system. C. Figure 83. The space in the back side is closed by another membrane. Figure 84. and a partial vacuum is made inside this space..
which are screwed onto it. since the structure itself ―deforms‖ the optical concentrator in such a way that it ―copies‖ structural errors. SBP Stretched membrane dish Stirling design. the higher the concentration is. the structure has to have a survival position where it is able to protect itself and keep the collector qualities in tact at high wind speeds (120-160 km/h).Figure 85. at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA).4. 2001]. This quality has to be maintained during operating conditions. 4. Eurodish design. It should be kept in mind that solar concentrators are optical components and that the higher the optical quality.3.. Keck. . [T. for which metal is the most used. These lattices are fastened to an axis (cylindrical or quadrangular) which is attached by a reduction mechanism to the system that moves the concentrator. Dish Support Structure There are many varied structure concepts. Of all the structural options. the most common is the metal structure with glass/silver mirrors. so the collector can be used normally again after having survived adverse weather conditions. et al. (Maximum wind conditions for operation depend on the design but they are in the 36-65 km/h range). Figure 86. although some dish/Stirling prototypes have a fiberglass structure (Figure 86). One of the most common is that the concentrator structure is made of different lattices that serve as a support for the facets. It is important to remark the influence of the structure on the final optical quality of the concentrator. Furthermore. regardless of wind and the position the collector is in at the moment.
Due to expansion when heated and contraction when cooled. helium has the advantages of being an inert gas and having fewer leaks due to its higher viscosity [Gener. 2002]  4. It was invented by the Scottish Rev.3.5. Stirling Engine The Stirling cycle is the most efficient thermodynamic cycle to transform heat into mechanical or electrical energy. Due to the flexibility of the heat source. Both the horizontal and the vertical orientation of the concentrator are done by a small servomotor. Heat Transfer Fluid The working fluid that this system uses is a compressible fluid. Drive mechanism of the Eurodish design. 2001]. the required heat can also be generated with fossil fuels (Bio-gas etc.u Partner. This is because hydrogen has a higher specific heat and its pressure losses from friction are minimized by its lower viscosity. Stirling engine efficiency can be over 40%. ―Tesis doctoral‖]. Hydrogen has better cycle efficiency. only the following models have been included in a parabolic dish system: Kinematic engine SOLO 161 of 10 kW. Free piston engine Infinia of 3 kW. Figure 87. Since the efficiency of the Stirling engine increases with increasing upper process temperature.3. it is mounted on a two-axial tracking system. In the Stirling engine a constant amount of working gas (helium or hydrogen) is constantly heated and cooled.). Robert and in the 19th century already thousands of engines of this type had already been in use. design [ S. which both are connected to a crankshaft. Kinematic engine Stirling Termal Motors STM 4-120 of 25 kW. and annual efficiency of parabolic dish – Stirling engine has been proved to be around 24-25%.7. This means that with an additionally installed burner. Therefore a movable construction standing on several wheels is developed making it possible to carry out the sun tracking. the working gas sets two pistons in motion. Dish Drive Mechanisms Since the concentrator always needs to be perfectly oriented towards the sun. and thus delivers energy. The orientation towards the sun is either determined by a sun tracking sensor. 4.3.Thus the system is also available during cloudy periods and during night-time [Schlaig Bergermann und Partner.4. On the other hand. In the World. However it is rather more dangerous to handle. a Stirling engine can also be operated with a hybrid receiver. usually helium or hydrogen which works in a closed loop. Nowadays there are only some Stirling engine designs applied to parabolic dish in the market.. and therefore does not emit any pollution at all.B. The working principle of this engine is easy to understand.6. A. this engine is the ideal combination to produce energy with a solar collector. . Kinematic engine Kockums 4-95 of 25 kW (formerly United Stirling). or by a special computer program which predicts the position of the sun.
Volume 5.These engines were already being manufactured for different purposes before entering the market of solar applications. Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit. unlike the rest of the Stirling engines. 2000 Page(s):719 . Issue . Energy Conversion Engineering Conference. V. this company is no longer developing one of its models. This company has long experience in free-piston technology and in cryocoolers. (IECEC) 35th Intersociety.1. but in July 2007 reappeared under the name Stirling Biopower. Sunpower. STM Power Inc. In spite of the technology‘s many years of development. also closed at the beginning of 2007. the SOLO 9-kW engine.. Limited lubrication: it is impossible to lubricate the piston. they are bounced forward and backward by means of compress gas springs (the same as the working fluid) and its power is extracted by means of a linear alternator or a pump. Infinia. Another company. Recently. Examples of their previous commercial applications are the Swedish submarines that use Stirling engines for propulsion [Brett. bought it along with all of its rights and patents.95 Stirling Engine For Underwater Application‖. SOLO STIRLING GmbH went bankrupt due to lack of liquidity. whose power is extracted kinetically by a crankshaft. has developed an engine which. 12-17 Aug 1990. Unfortunately. the pistons are not connected by crankshafts or any similar mechanism. Lucentini. the STM 4-120. In order to be capable of controlling the engine power. 1990. ―The 4 . in June 2008. 2000. as well as a picture of the whole Stirling power block Receiver Regenerator Expansion cylinder Gas cooling Compressor cylinder Crankcase Gas storage Figure 88. also manufactures engines from 42 W to 1000 W. Issue . M. The Swiss company. one 1-kW engine of its own and the one it acquired that has already disappeared. ―The potential market analysis of a small cogeneration system based on Stirling cycle‖. Nasp. Proceedings of the 25th Intersociety. getting to problems inside absorber tubes.. an alpha-type Stirling engine able to vary the outlet power. IECEC-90. the Stirling motor industry is unstable and still fighting to become commercially feasible. Stirling SOLO 161 engine scheme (left) SES Stirling power block (right). Stirling Systems AG. so this company now has two models. Figure 88 shows the inner structure of a SOLO 161 Stirling motor with each of its components. Page(s):530 – 533]. Volume 1. The control of these valves has been problematic. There is an oil pump that injects oil directly to the crankshaft. because the oil would be mixed with the gas. there is a need of a complex valve system which regulates it in function of the injected gas. In this case.722 vol.]. It recently presented an ingenious configuration combining a four-cylinder free-piston alpha engine with a gas turbine in the final stage. and cogeneration machines [Wei Dong. Another company. . C. Conventional Stirling engines present some problems: Hydrogen losses due to high pressures and to difficulty of getting a perfectly sealed system inside the machine. usual fails makes them stay opened or closed and they ware out. Inc.
Many different dish engine configurations have been developed and tested throughout the years (see Figure 89). consisting of another three 10-kWe units manufactured by the German Steinmüller company. both in the number of dishes and accumulated operating hours. as they deliver their electricity generated to the grid and sell it. Commercial Projects Nowadays this technology is still in its early development phase. With the experience acquired in the DISTAL I Project. SunCatcher design incorporated in Maricopa power plant(left) . the DISTAL II Project was begun. The Plataforma Solar de Almería has the most complete facility for testing and evaluation of dish/Stirling systems. The Spanish-german project EUROdish is the latest attempt of dish Stiling technology to be tested in the PSA. Figure 90.4. Figure 89. in 1997. From 1991 to 1995 durability of three SBP dishes was tested under the DISTAL I Project.4. The two existing commercial plants have been erected recently. with solar-only operation. and no big capacity dish-engine plants are in operation or under construction. Currently the EnviroDish project is under way with the objective to prepare for market introduction of the EuroDish system. Both the Distal I and Distal II facilities are based on the stretched membrane concept and have a round-table-type structure similar to the ASM-150 heliostat described before. every experience was carried out in individual or small clusters prototype units. developed between 1998 and 2001. These six units configure the most important dish/Stirling facility. SBP Distall I and Distall II dish designs. 4. that explains their limited power capacities. Demonstration Projects Up to now every dish Stirling plant currently in operation could be considered as a demonstration plant since the technology is still not wholly developed. The EuroDish is an innovative 10 kW dish/Stirling system for decentralized power generation.5. they are considered commercial plants. which were an improvement over the previous ones as their operation was completely automatic.000 hours (world record). However. However plant projects with big capacity are announced. and their small size is a sign of the high technological risk associated to this technology. However. These dishes accumulated over 30.
Calico-Solar One. Plant Value Chain The Table below shows the three main players of the dish engine plants value chain. This solar thermal power plant. Two more projects are considered in the register of the Spanish Ministry of Industry apart from the already in operation 1. The Project pipeline in USA expects also 2 projects to be developed. which uses a 38-foot mirrored parabolic dish combined with an automatic tracking system to collect and focus solar energy onto a Stirling engine to convert the solar thermal energy into grid-quality electricity. 4. USA. and they will incorporate de dish Stirling unit designed by SES. aside from project development issues.5 MW Villarobledo power plant. Villarobledo The first commercial experience in Spain involving dish Stirling technology is located in Villarobledo (Albacete). 4. Tessera Solar. of 750 MW are both located in California and still under development. Project Pipeline The Project pipeline of dish Stirling power plants in Spain is also modest. Maricopa Solar power plant in Arizona (EEUU). Stirling intends to . located in Peoria (Arizona).7. with CPS Energy) and turn on its own manufacturing supply chain. (Kennewick. More than 300 dish units including a 3 kW Infinia free piston engine generate electricity in the first phase of a project that aims to reach 150 MW installed. which has been following a similar strategy to SES‗s in building out manufacturing capacity. 2010]: Stirling Energy Systems (SES) is positioned to supply product and must soon deliver a proven technology. A 70 MW power plant is planned in Ciudad Real. Renovalia Energy and Infinia have promoted together this technology in this first 1 MWe solar thermal power plant.and Infinia dish Stirling design (right). SES and its project development sister company Tessera Solar want to develop a long-term project pipeline (beginning with a 29 MW plant in Texas. Washington.6. Infinia Corp. Figure 91.5.2. Tessera has planned the construction of 400 MW installed power within different projects during to be built in 2011. USA) is also positioned as a technology provider and integrator. 4.1. Up to now they are only active in Spain and the USA [Emerging Energy. Source: SunCatcher & Infinia. Maricopa Solar (SES/Tessera) Maricopa Solar power plant has been recently put into operation. of 850 MW and Imperial Solar Valley.5. has an installed capacity of 1. They have a common promoter. and a small 1 MW installation is also expected to be built in Albacete. 4. developed by Arizona Stirling Energy Systems (SES). Tessera Solar has promoted this project constituted with 60 SunCatcher units.5 MW implemented with dish Stirling technology. Each unit includes a 25 kW Stirling engine.
8.8. Components Value Chain In this section we detail the value chain of the main components in this technology. 4. NTR Stirling Energy Systems Infinia Tessera Solar RMT. and proved is ability to act over the whole value chain with other technology.3. maybe due to the shortage of Stirling engine manufacturer. Stirling Engine Currently there are a very few Stirling Engine manufacturers in the world. with the help of various national technology centers. which may be better suited for distributed systems. . Dish Mirror Assembly After having subcontracted Paneltec for its demonstration systems at Sandia. Main actors of the dish engine solar plants value chain [Emerging Energy. Name Promoter Design power Engine Sundish SAIC 22 kW STM 4-120 SunCatcher SES 25 kW 4-95 Kockums WGA WGA 11/8 kW V161 Solo Eurodish SBP 11 kW V161 Solo AZ-TH Abengoa 11 kW V161 Solo PowerDish Infinia 3 kW Infinia Sunmachine Sunmachine 3 kW Sunmachine Infinia developed its own 3 kW free-piston Stirling engine. Abengoa Solar developed and tested its own dish concentrator. Dish Structure Stirling Energy Systems (SES) has chosen Schuff Steel as its frame supplier. This could be a bottleneck for the technology. Stirling Energy Systems (SES) chose Tower Automotive as its facet provider for its new commercial projects. Infinia opened an office in India in 2008 and plans to begin manufacturing its 3 kW machines in 2010. Morteneson 4.2. but no commercial project is announced so far. the company is now developing its own 25 kW engine for new advanced dish-Stirling systems. 2010] Country Spain USA Technology provider Technology integrator Abengoa Solar Project development EPC Abener (Abengoa) Operation Project Ownership Abengoa Solar Stirling Energy Systems Stirling Energy Systems. Stirling Energy Systems (SES) has chosen Linamar to assembly their Stirling engine.8. and its subsidiary McLaren to perform engine design testing.8. Although Abengoa Solar used Solo 10 kW V161 engines for its demonstration plant AZ-TH. 4. 4.1. Actually Abengoa is now developing its own 25 kW Stirling engine. after originally targeting the smaller-scale distributed generation segment. enter the utility-scale power sector with its 3 kW free piston system design.
9. S. a thin mirror (0. [Partner.B. Curved Mirror Assemblies Concerning dish engine systems. 50 x 30-cm facets of 0. The front membrane is shaped by hydropneumatic molding.. or parables designed by the SAIC company (Figure 93). In operation. Mounting of the Eurodish system. 2002]  Stretched membrane Instead of using a polymer or film as the reflective material. without the need of a negative mold to achieve the parabolic shape (Figure 93).u. A B C D Figure 92. Composite Materials / Mirror Structures One of the preferred options was the use of compound materials made of fiberglass and polymers resins. The Eurodish concentrator is a parabolic dish composed by 12 triangular facets made of 0.9-mm thin glass are glued to the surface. Manufacturing Processes In this section we describe the manufacturing processes for the most relevant components of this technology. Once shaped.9.1. 4. . as for example in the concentrator DISTAL II constructed by welding strips of 1 m. the membrane is stabilized by a slight negative pressure of 20 to 50 mbar.4.8 mm mirrors stuck on fiberglass (Figure 92). thin mirrors were applied on compound materials by the German company SBP and on stretched membranes by Steinmüller and SAIC.8 mm) is glued on and its curvature is formed by adapting it to the stainless steel stretched membrane.
SAIC parabolic dish design. At the current stage of development. Each section of the horizontal arm is an integral part of the vertical triangulated structures. . stretched membrane systems require very precise mounting processes made by skilled workers.Figure 93. Each mirror is attached to the structure at three points.9. Other designs have been based on metal structures with glass metal concentrator mirrors. The mirrors are glued directly to a mold which is what gives the curvature to the whole. The later designs differ one from other in the curving method: Abengoa uses pre-curved mirrors while MDAC/SES mirrors get their curvature when being stuck to the support structure. 4. Among them. whereas MDAC/SES and Abengoa Solar facets have different curvature depending on their place in the parabola. Source: Internet. with the following structural details: The Stirling engine support structure is part of the dish support structure. The dish structure is made of five triangulated vertical structures. It is worth noting that WGA ADD and Eurodish designs employ identical triangular facets. it can be selected the ADD WGA and Abengoa Solar designs. which made them very expensive.2. Dish Support Structure Stirling Energy Systems concentrator dish is based on a design from MDAC patented in the 80s. Stretched membrane manufacturing Figure 94.
what implies elements operating at high pressures and temperatures. LP) Steam generator (heat exchanger) Pumps Deaerator and supply tank Other additional elements needed like pipes. Main Components The components that make up the power block in a solar thermal power plant are equivalent to the components of conventional thermal power plants. but even so. especially for plants that do not include storage. Another important factor. That is the reason why a suitable design of a steam turbine adapted to solar applications should fulfill the following conditions: Since the plant is not going to be operating 24 hours a day.5. depending on the quality of steam with which it is going to operate. daily stoppage is the way they usually work due to the physical and legislative limitations on gas consumption. This could improve the efficiency and reduce problems of erosion. 5. An attempt is made to minimize transients through the use of thermal storage (see section 6) and the external support of a boiler. One important characteristic of the turbine is the mass of its components. Optimizing the mass of machine rotors and cladding can shorten start-up time. the primary fluid of which is oil instead of combustion smoke gases as in the conventional boilers. is the turbine technical minimum. POWER ISLAND We present in this section the main components of a Power Island and their value chain. In a first group. both in the design of the equipment and during operation of the plant for its proper operation. The power block is common to the first three solar thermal technologies explained in this document (linear Fresnel. it is important for the turbine used to be high-speed and high-pressure to allow a certain power output and a reduction in the size of the solar field. However. In this group. By optimizing the technical minimum as low as possible power generation hours can be gained. especially. Both the daily cyclicity and the variations in temperature require special attention. every auxiliary additional element necessary to the correct operation of the power block has been included. Components in the power island have been divided into two main groups. In a second group. This will also determine to a certain extent the number of plant operating hours. Power Block As explained. the power block has been considered. valves and isolation to close this subsystem would also be included. condenser and generator Low and high pressure preheaters (HP. . This condition is essentially imposed on the steam turbine used in the process. In this section the components are listed and those components that derive basically from the cyclical operation of solar power plants are described in detail. the balance of plant (BOP) has been considered. according to their functional characteristics. demanded by the cycle. Therefore. parabolic-trough. due to the cyclical nature of the solar radiation.1. Except for the steam generator. the power block is composed by the elements listed below: Steam turbine.1. which translates into a reduction in investment costs and therefore of the power generated. This category includes every component which closes the thermodynamic cycle.1. 5. it is necessary to reach high efficiencies for returns to be sufficient to make it economically feasible. corrosion and humidity. and power tower). Therefore. it is important to keep in mind a series of additional considerations. The thermodynamic cycle could also include a reheat stage. except the heat exchangers and fire protection system specific to thermal oil are not included in the DSG technology. the systems included in the power block of solar thermal power plants are no different from those of a conventional thermal power plant. the incorporation of a Rankine cycle in a solar thermal power plant has a series of difficulties as a consequence of the cyclic nature of solar energy. The annual plant production is also going to be affected by turbine startup time. although it is penalized by reduced efficiency of the turbine at part loads.
With experience acquired throughout the years in installation and operation of solar thermal power plants, more and more manufacturers are adapting their equipments to the operational exigent conditions of these facilities, achieving better efficiencies and reducing O&M costs. Maintenance labors deserve a special attention as well. Some of these maintenance labors considered during operation of solar thermal power plants are critical, like the ones listed below: Vibration in both steam turbine casing and bearings are also critical, since successive start-ups generate thermal expansion in the turbine components, with possibility of fissures that are detected by this instrumentation. Checking the main components, such as turbine and main feed pumps, should be done keeping in mind the total number of operating hours, and equivalent operating hours each time it is stopped. This factor in turbine behavior is equally important to degradation. The water-steam cycle valves will be continuously subjected to high differential pressures. Their maintenance is important, since it can lead to other phenomena such as malfunctioning of control. Check heat exchangers, since they are also subjected to cyclical loads. One solution adapted to these technical inconveniences is the SST-700 DRH of Siemens, capable of generating up to 175 MW, or the 19 MW SST-600 model, also Siemens‘. In order to create these turbines, Siemens cooperated with some EPC companies specialized in solar thermal plants projects [Siemens, 2008]. The first model mentioned has been used in many solar thermal power plants of parabolic trough technology, and the second one is going to be soon implemented in the power block of Gemasolar, of power tower technology.
5.1.2. Balance of Plant (BoP)
The balance of plant includes every other additional element not integrated in the power block. This group involves each component not directly needed to close the cycle itself, but also necessary for the correct operation of the power island. These elements have no specific operation conditions compared to conventional thermal power plants, since they are not exposed to high pressure and temperature cycles. Elements included in BOP are the following: Cooling towers Pumps of the cooling system Atmospheric and pressurized tanks Pressurized air Utility systems (water treatment, effluent treatment, nitrogen skid, chemical sampling equipment…) Fire protection system (Fire protection system is directly related to the use of synthetic oil as heat transfer fluid, so this system could also be considered as a part of the fluid handling system instead of the balance of plant) Instrumentation and control equipments And other additional elements needed like piping, valves and isolation would also be included. As told before, there are no specific requirements for this equipment included in the BOP. However, there are some aspects to remark related to the water treatment, demineralization and chemical sampling equipment. These components must be also designed considering daily stops. Osmosis processes are not designed, in principle, for operation with continuous stops. The main problem derived from this fact is that, during stops, air enters and contaminates the steam blocked in the circuit, raising its conductivity at values higher than permitted. This leads to two main consequences: it is necessary to control the water/steam quality and it is also important that the turbine can withstand higher conductivity values at precise moments (start-up).
5.2. Components Value Chain
Power island suppliers are receiving much less attention for their contributions to the solar CSP industry, because much of their components are off-the-shelf technologies.
Multinational steam turbine and BOP players used to be cautious with solar concentrated technologies, considered of high technological risk. However, since the re-birth of CSP plants in Spain, many of them have been adding CSP to their business development strategies. As a result, competition for contracts has accelerated dramatically, with new steam turbine, cooling tower, and control systems suppliers stepping in to meet the growing demand. The first multinational power block player to enter the CSP market was Siemens (Munich, Germany), which has now a nearly monopolistic position on steam turbine supply for CSP plant. Indeed the company secured as many as 45 orders for steam turbines in Spain, the US, and North Africa [EE]. Since acquiring Alstom‗s industrial turbine portfolio (3 MW to 100 MW in size) in 2003, Siemens has been aggressive in capturing business. Its SST turbines are manufactured in Sweden: SST-600 is used at Gemasolar 19 MW power tower. SST-700RH is used at Andasol 1, Nevada Solar One, and other small- to mid-sized plants. Siemens has finetuned the ST-700RH for solar steam cycles, and it is capable of generating up to 175 MW. A SST-900 turbine has been ordered by BrightSource for its Ivanpah 123 MW central receiver plant, to be delivered in 2011. Hassi R‘Mel ISCC power block is formed by Siemens turbines: two 40 MW SGT-800 gas turbines and one 80 MW SST900 steam turbine. In the meantime, other suppliers such as MAN Turbo, Ormat, Alstom and GE are looking to get in CSP technologies: Full-service compressor and turbine supplier MAN Turbo (Augsburg, Germany) was selected to supply steam turbines for Solar Millennium‗s Andasol 3 project. MAN Turbo has also reportedly been selected as the turbine supplier to the Shams 1 plant in United Arab Emirates, although developer selection is pending. Geothermal and recovered heat specialist Ormat Technologies (Reno, Nevada, USA, and Israel) supplied the power island (steam turbine and generator, heat exchangers, cooling towers, instrumentation and control equipments) for 1 MW Saguaro plant, in 2007. Unlike its turbine competitors, Ormat has joined French company Orsol as a minority partner in bidding for the currently outstanding Israeli CSP tender for the Negev Desert. While this strategy matches its geothermal activities, this represents a first for a steam turbine supplier in the CSP sector [EE]. In October 2007, power generation player Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) was awarded by Abengoa a US$234 million contract on behalf of Morocco‗s Office National de l‗Electricité (ONE) to supply two GT13E2 gas turbine generators, one steam turbine generator, and three air-cooled turbo generators to the 470 MW ISCC Aïn Beni Mathar power project. General Electric Oil & Gas (Florence, Italy) has to date refrained from the CSP sector because its turbine models do not match up to CSP‗s demand. However, GE‗s affiliate Thermodyn (France) has delivered two steam turbines to Abengoa Solar for Abengoa‗s central receiver plants PS10 and PS 20. Moreover, gas turbine for Solar Millenium‘s Kuraymat ISCC plant is expected to be from GE, and further moves of GE are expected in the sector. The steam turbine manufacturers mentioned above are gathered in the following table.
Power island steam turbine and generator components
Power Island Company component Name Steam turbine and Alstom generator General Electric Co. Ormat Technologies MAN Turbo WEB www.alstom.com Country France City Levallois-Perret Primary Business Power generation
Power technology and solutions
USA and Israel Reno, Nevada
Geothermal and recovered heat
Full-service compressor and turbine technology
Regarding the others components of the power island (pumps, filters, heat exchangers, tanks, pressurized equipments, utility systems, boilers, pressurized air, fire protection system, electrical equipments, instrumentation and control equipments, piping, valves, insulations and supports), a lot of traditional suppliers for conventional thermal power plants are involved in CSP industry, as it can be seen in the following tables. Amongst them, the Swiss company ABB signed
corporate agreements with many CSP promoters, and for example was contracted to design, supply, transport, assembly and commission the Balance Of Plant (BOP) of Hassi R‘Mel ISCC facility. The main provider of components for the BOP of CSP plants are shown in the following tables.
soljet.com Spain San Sebastián de Chillers and heat pumps los Reyes. manufacture and installation of thermal and mechanical systems Heat exchangers www. and renewables) Design.Power island heat exchangers suppliers Power Island component Heat exchangers Company Name Foster Wheeler GEA Group WEB www.fwc. cogeneration.net Spain Energy improvments in power plants Sedical www. (MOVISAF) Soljet (Thermax) Hamon (Esindus) Alfa Laval www.es Spain .com USA www. New Jersey Bilbao www.com Germany Stork www.spxcooling.com Sweden Lund Graver www.mecet.com Country Spain City Primary Business Las Rozas. Madrid Pinto.com Belgium Heat exchangers www. Industrial water treatment Power generation solutions Holtec International Mecet www.com Spain Miranda de Ebro.holtecinternational.com USA Marlton.viessmann.alfalaval.es Spain Bilbao Design and supply of process plants .talleresmac.es Spain Madrid Consulting and Basic Engiennering services Talleres MAC www. North Carolina Heist-op-denBerg Madrid Power generation solutions SPX Cooling Technologies B.es Spain Madrid www.fastech.spig-int. Madrid Efficient systems for all fuel types and applications Viessmann www.atepisa.com Spain Power generation applications (traditional.graver.com Spain Malaga Power technology and solutions SPIG www. energy equipment Bochum Power technology and solutions www.baltimoreaircoil.com Italy Arona Air Cooled Condenser manufacturer Atepisa www.geagroup.esindus.A. Madrid Engineering design and construction services.C.sedical. Industrial boilers Burgos Charlotte.
koncar.com USA Peoria. train control and signalling systems and services Integrated solutions for energy management Energy management.circutor.ansaldo-sts.polycomp.hr Croatia Zagreb Circutor www. diesel and natural gas engines.landisgyr.teyvi.es Spain Madrid .aalborg-industries. Engineering Aalborg Industries Electrical equipments Caterpillar www. planning.com Italy Landis & Gyr www.cz Czech Republic Poděbrady VIII Standard Sky N/A Canada Calgary.com Denmark www.Power island boilers and electrical equipments suppliers Power Island component Boilers Company Name GTS Energy WEB www. hot water and superheated. with solutions for power and control Ansaldo www.es Spain Zaragoza Design and production of industrial boilers Teyvi www. Alberta Cerney www. Illinois Construction and mining equipment.com Spain Seville Schneider Electric www. Valencia Steam boilers. and auxiliary equipment. Aalborg Steam boilers.es Spain Viladecavalls.es Spain Paterna.cat. thermal fluid.schneiderelectric.net Country USA City Atlanta Primary Business Thermal fluid heater systems including gas and oil thermal fluid heating Products for operating steam-boiler plants Boilers PolyComp www. industrial gas turbines Energy and transportation Koncar www.gtenergy.cerney. Barcelona Milan Design and manufacture of electrical energy efficiency equipment Traffic management.
net Spain Comin www. fire protection systems and pressurized air suppliers Power Island component Instrumentation and control equipments Company Name Honeywell WEB www.endress.com USA Chanhassen.Power island instrumentation and control equipments and mounting.krohne.compair.campbellsci. Data acquisition and control products Campbell Scientific Spain WIKA www.meisa-e.emerson.atc-control.com Germany Emerson Electric Meisa www. Rhode Island Huelva Air Quality.wika. Minnesota Control systems www.oinse. Madrid Control systems Spain www.comin.com Country Spain City Madrid Primary Business Manufacturer of civil and military avionics and other aerospace products.es Spain Seville Compair www. Ciudadl assembly and maintenance Real Madrid Systems and instruments for measurement and control ATC-Control www.com er Crespo y Blasco Sirsa N/A Spain Sant Just Desvern Process control systems for industrial measurement and automation technology. Temperature level measurement Process instrumentation Krohne www.sirsa.com Spain Endress+Haus www. integrator and also service provider.es USA Newport. Madrid Duisburg Pressure.honeywell.es Spain Alcalá de Henares.com Spain Barcelona www. Instrumentation and Engineering Electrical and instrumentation mounting Fire protection facilities Instrumentation and control mounting Fire protection system Pressurized air Oinse www.com Spain Argamasilla de Electrical and instrumentation Calatrava.com Spain Pinto. Madrid Compressors .
com Country Germany City Mannheim Primary Business Pumps and valves Emica www. Madrid Filters .es Spain Algete.ksb. gas.com France Château d´Eau Engineered Pumping Solutions Weir www.friatec.sterlingsihi.grundfos. electric motors and electronics Liquid.spppumps.hidrafilter.com France Vendin LeVieil Minerals.com USA Monroe Varisco www.com Spain Las Rozas.com Spain Madrid Industrial machinery and equipment Grundfos www.com Germany Frankenthal Pumps and valves PFS Pumps www. Oil & Gas and Power KSB www.com Spain Madrid SPP Pumps www.pfspumps.weir.sulzer.com France Buchelay Pumps and valves Hidrafilter www.es Spain Gallarta.imo-pump.com Germany Witten Process services in petrochemical industrie and power plants Pumps and valves www. Vizcaya Pumps and valves Ruhrpumpen GmbH Imo Pump www.emicabombas.ruhrpumpen. and vapour handling Sterling www.it Italy Padova Pumps and valves Sulzer www.varisco.Power island pumps and filters suppliers Power Island component Pumps and filters Company Name Friatec WEB www. Madrid Pumps and pumping systems.
Tarragona Barcelona Pastech www. Madrid Praxair www.spiraxsarco.prominent.talleresvaca. tanks.es Spain Barcelona Water treatment systems KEU www.com Spain Regasa N/A Spain Coslada. process and specialty gases.wedeco.idagua.adiquimica. Barcelona Seville Adiquímica www.nl Netherlands Alphen aan des Rijn Czech Republic Děčín Development and application of cryogenic vaporizers Supplier of a wide variety of cryogenic products Steam system Service & Product Chart Ferox www.es Spain Nalco www.cryonorm.com Italy Bagnolo Cremasco Badajoz Talleres Vaca www.com Spirax Sarco www. LNG regasification www. Assembly Design and construction of installations for energy saving www.com Spain Services and products for water treatment Experts in chem-feed and water treatment Analytical projects and supplies ProMinent www. metal structures.com Spain Water treatment and process improvement company Water treatment Idagua www.com Spain Barcelona Deisa www.nalco.com Denmark Skanderborg Aquafrisch www. paints and coatings.com Spain Metallic structures and boilers Talleres Lombo Utility systems Sugimat (water treatment.praxair.keugroup.kochheattransfer.sugimat. disinfection and los Reyes.com Spain Madrid Atmospheric.com Spain Qart de Poblet.eurowater.com Country Spain City Almendralejo Primary Business Roofing. effluent treatment.pastech.es Spain Argelaguer.deisa.aquafrisch. cladding. Girona Perafort. Madrid ozone oxidation systems Bilbao Optimisation and global management of the industrial water cycle.com Germany Krefeld Industrial automation products . Wedeco nitrogen skid…) Ondeo N/A Spain Heras.com Spain Madrid Cryonorm www. Valencia www.chart-ferox.com Spain Sant Feliu de Llobregat.com Spain San Sebastián de Water purification. works Heat exchangers Koch Heat www. Storage Tanks.Power island tank and pressurized equipments and utility systems suppliers Power Island component Tank and pressurized equipments Company Name Calprisa WEB www.calprisa. Cantabria Pressure Vessels. high-performance coatings Treatment of water for waterworks and the industry Water treatment Eurowater www.ondeo-is.
.1. 6. Storage Medium Most of TES use a material. this configuration is the only one with commercial application up to know. After this is done. With increasing intermittent renewable added to the grid.Saturated steam tank . Molten salt storage is the more mature option. during the storage charge process. or through a heat exchanger) and then transported to the hot tanks.Phase change material Storage in solids for air receivers Storage in solids for water-steam receivers (graphite) [Emerging Energy 2010] Thermochemical storage Even if many purposes have been done through the years. The storage system that uses two tanks of molten salts bases its operation in thermal storage by sensible heat and mass transfer. Main Components This section describes the main components of thermal energy storage systems. In fact. classified mainly by terms of the storage medium: Oil as storage medium .6. THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM In this section we provide first a general description of thermal energy storage systems.Single termocline tank . it is used by discharging of the hot tank through the inverse process. many different thermal energy storage (TES) configurations have been studied.Two tanks . When storage is needed during the plant operation. it is the key factor that differentiates CSP from wind and photovoltaic (PV) energies and must be delivered in the medium term for CSP to grow.2. General Description The implementation of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) in CSP plants is intended to reduce the cost of electricity by increasing their capacity factor and their ability to meet peak demand and consequently to receive a higher rate in markets with varying prices along the day.Single fix bed tank Molten salts as storage medium in two tanks Water-steam as storage medium . gives it back again. the most common storage configuration to be implemented nowadays is the two tanks molten salts thermal storage. already included in operating commercial plants such as Andasol 1 in Spain. Up to know. Salts located at the cold tank are heated (either directly by solar radiation in the solar field. the main components are analyzed and their value chain as well. There are many possible storage medium candidates. which keeps the heat transferred by the heat transfer fluid and afterwards. 6. 6. in the case of the heat transfer fluid being the same as the storage medium.1. More critically. Storage capabilities must be proven at large scale before widespread adoption takes place. Some of them are listed below. and an adequate selection is very important. TES technology is expected to play an even greater role.2.
6 1.15 1.4 (28. for example. heat exchangers and recipients.2. there are different ways of configurating the storage system.0 N.57 0. Compatibility with materials used in piping. preferably neither inflammable nor toxic. and each of them has its advantages and disadvantages compared to others. Furthermore. Main properties and costs of different storage mediums studied Storage medium Operational fluid Air Air Air Oil Air Molten salt Molten salt Molten salt Oil Oil Operating temperature (ºC) Cold 20 0 20 0 20 0 20 0 50 0 29 0 29 0 45 0 25 0 20 0 Hot 400 700 1.12 Media costs ($/kWhth) 1.6 1.A. 1. Although it has not been much studied. 0. Tanks There are different options according to the material to be used. High thermal conductivity. the following table shows the main properties of other storage mediums also studied.6 Average heat conductivit y (W/mK) 1. for example. one with cold fluid and the other with hot fluid so the volume of each must have sufficient capacity to contain the total volume of working fluid. There are several possibilities. in order to decrease the storage volume for a same value of stored energy.8 2. the multi-tank storage concept would allow the capacity of each tank to be decreased at expenses of complicating the mechanical and control systems.That is the reason why some important technical characteristics have to be taken into account: High heat capacity per mass unit and per volume unit.11 0. This can be in two tanks or several. Storage in several tanks.000 380 565 850 390 300 Average heat capacity (KJ/Kg K) 0.0 4.85 1.5 1.0 7. that decreases investment costs.0 1.3 N.0 4. Every characteristic just mentioned has to be fulfilled also at high temperatures. Tests and applications developed at an industrial scale make it possible to consider two main configurations: Storage in one single tank. leading to a good heat transfer in heat exchangers. Medium chosen. Another variation uses a dual medium tank. since. a bed of rocks that allows the amount of fluid necessary to be reduced and increases the thermal capacity of the whole.6) (1) 8.A.4)(1) 11. . in which the fluid is stratified by temperature due to the difference in density.200 300 1.2. The most common is in two tanks.0 43.0 0.0 6.2 Reinforced concrete Silica fire bricks Ceramics Solid Magnesia fire bricks Sand rock mineral oil Pebbles Nitrate salts Molten salts Liquid Nitrate salts Carbonate salts Synthetic Oil Mineral 6.5 5. what makes it ask the same questions as when choosing the correct material. one of which uses the thermocline concept. the capacity of rocks is 5% higher than salt.0 1.3 2.A. 25.2 N.57 2. Even if molten salts are the currently storage medium used for the commercial power plants which include storage system. Low vapor pressure. Good mechanical and chemical stability.5 (13.
but is considering molten salts storage for its Solana plant in Arizona.3. Abencs operates also in India (Mumbai). 1989]  Solar power plants using the same fluid as heat transfer fluid and storage medium do not need this element. F. making this characteristic an important advantage in comparison with other storage systems. Storage Fluid / HTF Heat Exchangers The use of a storage system often implicitly involves the need to incorporate a heat exchanger between the working fluid in the solar field and the storage fluid. due to their performance. [Baker. Only in cases when this fluid is the same in both circuits this can be avoided. in spite of the technology risk associated with molten salts coupled with high installed capacity. and Sener have taken the lead on TES applications for parabolic trough projects that are operating in Spain and are planned for the US. Components Value Chain The European companies Solar Millennium (Flagsol).. So it is therefore important to try to minimize the use of valves and also avoid ball valves. 6. A. 6. SolarReserve is developing a similar approach. which are lowered by exchanger approaches and pinch point. especially in the intakes of process instruments and valve rods. It plans a demonstration plant in Italy and has programmed projects in India with Entegra. . Solare XXI (Italy) is the only company to promote the use of molten salts as heat transfer fluid in parabolic trough field and storage fluid in two tanks. based on the experience of Solar One and Solar two demonstration plants. Storage Fluid Heaters The high melting point of salt (142ºC. In demonstration projects carried out.3. ACS Cobra. has also pioneered TES applications for commercial power towers with its 17 MW Gemasolar plant under advanced construction. through its joint-venture with Masdar called Torresol. This not only introduces efficiency losses. problems of obstructions due to solidification of salts appeared. The electrical tracing consists of the installation of electrical heating elements that heat the ducts in emergency situations in which the salt could reach its melting point. but also affects the working temperatures. Abengoa did not include large TES in its first power towers (PS10 and PS20) and parabolic trough plants (Solnova 1 to 4). (See Figure 95).6.2. Sener. Energy transferred by the storage system in charge and discharge processes for a facility using water as heat transfer fluid and oil as storage medium. Figure 95. Abengoa‘s subsidiary Abener and the US engineering company MECS created Abencs (now subsidiary of Abener) in charge of the design of TES systems for Abengoa‘s plants. for Hitec nitrate salt with three components and approximately 220ºC for binary salts) makes it necessary for the installation to include electrical tracing and proper insulation in piping and components.4.2.
Hitec and Hitec XL salts from Coastal Chemical (USA) were also considered and used in previous CSP experimental facilities up to 500 ºC. Australia) and hydrogen storage system from Ibereólica. SQM will have a premixed blended salt available for sale in 2012.1. There are several R&D initiatives to increase the temperature range in molten salts by changing the composition. In 2007 too. the company received subsidies from Australian institutions develop central receiver CSP plants employing the company‘s design and graphite storage technology. Switzerland) is specialized in engineering systems that use fluids such as organic media (mineral/synthetic oil) or molten salts as conduits for hightemperature heat processes. piping. claiming that it could cause a dramatic decrease in plant investment costs. many other storage materials are investigated at laboratory scale. that is why some power island component suppliers like Friatec or GEA are also involved in TES components supply. Lloyd Energy Storage focuses on power storage capabilities for renewable energy applications. pumps…). One of these initiatives consists in the addition of lithium to the molten salt mixture to increase the working range but this is still in a very early stage at R&D level. heat exchangers. melted on-site in a 60% sodium nitrate and 40% potassium nitrate blend which can be used up to 565 ºC. but their use as a storage medium requires a high degree of purity [CSP Technology RoadMap IEA. They provide sodium and potassium nitrate. Molten salts for thermal storage may raise some production problems. Heat transfer systems manufacturer Bertrams Heatec (Pratteln.Many components of the TES systems are very similar to power island components (tank. but none of them is considered in current commercial project. It provides salts/HTF heat exchangers for TES to ENEA and other research institutions.3. They are used in large quantities as fertilizers for agriculture. Chile). Ibereólica signed a 20-year license with Clean Hydrogen Producers (Geneva. Switzerland) for their solar hydrogen storage technology. 6. Heat Transfer and Storage Fluids Molten salt Main salt suppliers for both parabolic trough and power tower storage systems are the fertilizer producers Haifa Chemicals (Israel) and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA (SQM. . excepted graphite storage system from Lloyd Energy Storage (Sydney. In 2007. Aside from molten salts. 2010]. using high-purity graphite as a high temperature storage medium positioned atop the plant‘s central tower and acting as both receiver and storage block.
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It is envisioned in the NSM that 50% of the targeted goal for electricity generation from solar power will come from concentrating solar thermal technologies (CST). According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). . The potential for such cost decrease is considerable. 1 2 http://www. The GoI has approved funding for the first phase in the amount of Rs43. The current industry experience unveils the installation cost between $4.000 megawatts1. In November 2009. with a limited number of large and/or experienced players. 100 MW of roof top and small-scale solar power. With this respect. The first phase of the NSM envisions the installation of 1.000 per kW for fossil fuel fired plants (or wind farms). which aims at bringing on line 20 GW of solar power by 2022. a combination of factors is necessary.). so that manufactured volumes and experience should allow for extensive industrialization and sizeable productivity gains. the WB intends to finance consulting services for a study of local capabilities to manufacture and supply components for development of concentrating solar thermal power plants. as CST is a young industry.in/release/release. which currently largely depend upon power supplies from coalfired plants.000 MW of grid-connected solar power plants.asp?relid=56788 This means that innovation is expected to be more incremental than fundamental.nic. receivers. which will be necessary for rapid scale-up and to achieve the target of 20. the GoI hopes to join the top tier of world solar power developers. It will be made possible by a combination of technical innovation. GoI.000 to $2. Although CST technologies do not entail any fuel associated expenses. This implies that the major cost drivers related to manufacturing of solar field components and systems need to decline over time. to make concessional finance less critical. and (ii) support for R&D to reduce material consumption and improve efficiency and develop new materials and storage methods.000 and $6. the generation cost from CST plants will need to be dramatically reduced. tracking systems. the Government of India (GoI) approved its National Solar Mission (the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission).ANNEXURE I: TERMS OF REFERENCE ASSESSMENT OF MANUFACTURING CAPACITIES FOR CONCENTRATING SOLAR THERMAL TECHNOLOGIES IN INDIA BACKGROUND 1. and 200 MW of non-grid connected power. 3. 4. In the longer term. as opposed to around $1. The implementation of the Mission will proceed on the basis of the technology advancements and cost reduction. three major initiatives are planned under the NSM including (i) the creation of volumes. which will allow large scale domestic manufacture. (ii) announcement of a long term policy to purchase power. CST technologies also exhibit moderate technological complexity2 and limited capital intensity.000 per kW. To make CST projects in India more cost effective in the short to medium term. Beyond the obvious goal of deploying more carbonfree electricity throughout the economic sectors. economies of scale. etc. 2. The World Bank (WB) provides assistance to and work with the MNRE to support the establishment of an industrial base for manufacturing of CST technology components in India. and the experience curve effect. The structural elements of the CST technologies are characterized by high modularity of the main components (reflectors. High initial capital costs are a significant issue for the adoption of CST technologies. the levelized cost of electricity from CST generation facilities are therefore much more expensive than that of fossil fuel-based plants.37 billion (USD 950 million). including but limited to local incentives and availability of concessional finance.pib.
and for CSP plants as a whole. Review of the main existing CST-related and potentially CST-related industrial sectors and companies in India. electrical engineering. will be implemented in two Phases. identification of key skills (e. 2) an evaluation of short. etc. Identification of changes and related costs that existing industries need to introduce in order to participate in supplying CSP components and systems (for example changes to production line or process for regular mirror production lines). cost structures.) Country/state-specific level SWOT analyses. The Phase 1 work will primarily involve desk top reviews of available literature and information on CSP technologies and associated component manufacturing processes. including those that are active in India (present and potential). steel industry. The proposed scope of work for consulting services will include the following elements: 1) an assessment of a competitive position of industries in India to support the development of CST technologies. Cost analysis for the main CSP components and systems. innovation. and associated components and systems (this should a brief overview since body of literature related to CST technology principles and components is available).). .g.SCOPE OF WORK 5. potential new entrants (automotive industry. etc. An analysis of potential economic benefits resulting from the creation of a local industrial base for CST. automation. volume thresholds. Definition of changes including related costs to be introduced in existing industries in India to enable them participate in the manufacturing and supply of CST components and systems. Phase 2 – Assessment of Competitive Positioning of India‘s Industries and Preparation of an Action Plan to Stimulate Local Production of CST Technologies in India Assessment of Competitive Positioning: Identification of present and potential international and local (if applicable) manufacturers. Milestones and Deliverables for Phase 1: 7. The implementation period for Phase 1 is from April 15 through June 15 2010. mechanical engineering. foreign trade impact. glass industry. The requested consulting services will help assess the potential for India‘s industries to set up a manufacturing base for production of CST technology components and equipment. potential export markets.). medium and long-term economic benefits of the creation of a local manufacturing base. component suppliers and EPC contractors in the value chain of each CST system. including labor and skill impact. 6. and 3) the preparation of an action plan to stimulate local manufacturing of CST technology components and equipment. labor. The scope of work. The deliverable for Phase 1 will be a report on the CST technology and cost drivers overview covering the scope described above. Phase 1 – Assessment of CST Technology Elements and Cost Drivers Overview CST technology and cost drivers: A description of the main technologies. An analysis of India‘s industries capabilities and potential for each of the main CST technologies and their components and auxiliary equipment including supply chains. etc. potential for economies of scale. industrialization. in metallurgical production. etc. including potential for cost reduction (materials. based in particular on increasing local components. Overview of manufacturing processes for the main CST components and systems (including thermal storage). defined below. competitive advantages/weaknesses (including labor skills/educational potential and R&D capabilities).
potential CST suppliers.Preparation of Action Plan: Outline of an action plan – country-wide and/or state specific . businesses.to attract investors. 8. both locally and internationally including existing CST project developers and suppliers. and address potential bottlenecks. and skill assessments and design of capacity building programs. Consultants will gather information through questionnaires and one-on-one meetings with relevant industry representatives. lower potential barriers. 9. etc. and R&D programs. analysis of economic competitiveness. Consultant‘s Qualifications: Consultants for this assignment should demonstrate international experience in the following areas: CST project preparation and engineering. local industrial companies in India. state specific institutions working on renewable energy development. strategic planning. knowledge of industrial processes and organizational structures. Fiscal and trade measures. including: Financing. business competitive analyses. . financial instruments. Milestones and Deliverables for Phase 2 The implementation period for Phase 1 is from July 15 through December 15 2010. Education and training.