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Central Receiver System Power Plants

- A Description of the Technology

The PS20 Solar Tower Plant at Sanlucar la Mayor, Seville, Spain. © Markel Redondo Photography

ENB456 - Energy Lecturer - Farhad Shahnia Queensland University of Technology By Mads Hellegaard Andersen, Thomas Schmidt and Rune Wiben October 10, 2011

Contents
1 Introduction 2 Description of The CRS Power Plant 3 Heliostats and Receiver 3.1 3.2 Receivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Control of Heliostats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3 5 6 7 10 10 11 12 12 12 13 14 15 16 16 17 18

4 Heat Transfer Circuit 4.1 4.2 Heat Transfer Fluids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thermal Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5 The Heat Engine 5.1 The Rankine Engine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.1.1 5.1.2 5.1.3 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Reversible and Irreversible Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Rankine Cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deviation From Ideal Cycle in Real Power Plants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pump . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Turbine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Condenser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

6 The Future of CRS Power Plants

Bibliography

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Throughout this description different possibilities for increasing the efficiency of the plant are pointed out and discussed. A brief description of the overall plant structure is made followed by an elaborating description of each subsystem of the plant. Thomas Schmidt and Rune Wiben This paper describes the technology of Central Receiver Power Plants. .Abstract Mads Hellegaard Andersen. Initially the technology is categorized among other solar power technologies. Finally the future of Central Receiver Power Plants are discussed and it is concluded that this technology is well suited to be part of an increasingly renewable power generation in the future due to its energy storage system which reduce the implications of the fluctuating power generation.

ch. CSP plants share characteristics with fossil fuel power plants but the heat originates from concentrated solar energy and not from the burning of fossil fuels. 1 .1 shows the categorization of CRS Power Plants in the wide area of solar energy applications. In CSP applications reflectors are used to concentrate solar energy to a small area thereby achieving a high energy concentration. Figure 1. CSP plants make use of different reflector shapes illustrated in figure 1.Chapter 1 Introduction This report is concerned with electricity generation using Central Receiver System (CRS) Power Plants. The Power Generation using solar energy can be split in two major categories: Photo-Voltaics (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) where PV applications use photo-voltaic cells to directly convert light into electricity by means of the photoelectric effect. The broadest categorization of a CRS Power Plant in the Solar Energy Applications is thus Power Generation opposed to Heating which covers water and space heating used widely in both commercial and residential applications. green energy source as it uses energy from the sun.2. This energy can then be used to heat a working fluid used to drive a turbine.both residential and commercial in smaller and larger scales as the prices of PV cells decrease [1. PV systems have been widely used in space applications due to its high power capacity per unit weight and the technology is spreading to other areas .1: Categorization of a CRS Power Plant. 8] [2]. The diagram in Figure 1. Solar energy is used in a variety of heating and power generating applications. A CRS Power Plant is based on a sustainable.

8].1: Comparison of different reflector types [1. 8]. The heat is then used in a sterling heat engine-generator unit [1. As for parabolic trough plants CRS Power Plants in the several hundred MW range exist [1. This must be done by a two-axis tracking mechanism. This makes it possible to achieve higher efficiencies than for parabolic trough plants [1. The hot oil is then used to heat water in order to produce steam which is used in a steam turbine [1.called heliostats . In order to absorb as much energy as possible the troughs must be controlled to track the sun which usually is done by one. In disc reflector applications one large disc reflects the sunlight to a receiver placed at the focus of the disc. In these systems a liquid (usually oil) absorbs the concentrated sunlight through a glass tube running along the focal line of the parabolic trough. In this report the focus will be on CRS Power Plants due to the moderately high efficiency combined with the possibility of high power applications. Some characteristics of the three reflector types are listed in table 1. ch. The alignment of heliostats that reflect the sunlight onto the receiver must be continuously controlled in order to hit the target area. Technology Parabolic Trough Central Receiver Disc Operating temperature on the hot side [◦ C] 300-500 500-1000 800-1200 Thermodynamic cycle efficiency Low Moderate High Table 1. 9]. ch.situated in a tower. p. 31-32]. The temperature at the receiver is even higher than for CRS systems yielding a higher possible efficiency. ch. b Central Receiver with heliostat reflectors and c Disc shaped reflector [1. The parabolic trough power plants are used in high power applications of up to several hundred MW [2. 8].to a very small area .1. ch. ch. 8]. p. 40]. In CRS Power Plants the sunlight is reflected using up to several thousand mirrors . 9].CHAPTER 1. 9]. ch. The trough reflectors are the most widely used of the three different types.called a reciever . ch.or two-axis tracking mechanism using electric motors to align the troughs according to the position of the sun [2.2: a Trough shaped reflector. 2 . The disc reflectors are usually used in relatively small applications of tens of kW due to the limitations of available engines and limitations of disc size due to the wind load [1. The resulting temperature at the receiver is higher than for parabolic troughs due to the high absorption area reflecting onto a very small area. INTRODUCTION Figure 1.

When energy is needed the fluid is passed through a boiler to heat a working fluid used to drive turbine-generator application which is connected to the grid. The energy concentrated in the receiver is used to heat an energy transferring fluid. Figure 2. Evident from the schematic of a CRS Power Plant seen in figure 2. A simplified schematic of a CRS Power Plant is seen in Figure 2. ch.Chapter 2 Description of The CRS Power Plant This section is based on [1. called heliostats. in this figure the heat transfer fluid is molten salt while the working fluid is water/steam. The heated fluid is used for energy production right away but also stored so that energy is available during cloud covers. In a CRS Power Plant solar energy is collected by sun-tracking mirrors. ch. 9].1: Schematic of a CRS Power Plant [1. the subsystems listed below will be described in individual sections: 3 . 9].1 the plant has several subsystems that must be considered.1. After delivering thermal energy in the boiler the “low” temperature heat transfer fluid is stored in another storage tank and pumped back to the receiver to be reheated in a new thermal cycle. Besides the Generator and Grid Connection part. and is reflected to a single receiver on top of a tower.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CRS POWER PLANT • Heliostat • Receiver • Heat Transferring Circuit • Heat engine – Pump – Boiler – Turbine – Condenser • Generator and Grid Connection As the plant has several subsystems the overall efficiency of the plant is determined by the efficiency of all the individual subsystems. 4 . Therefore it is not always possible to increase the overall power output by increasing the plant size and by absorbing more energy from the sun. Higher overall efficiency of the plant yields lower construction costs. Furthermore some of the subsystems are subject to constraints especially regarding the temperature range in which they can operate.CHAPTER 2.

the shape and size of each heliostat. The fluid is described in the Section 4.Chapter 3 Heliostats and Receiver The purpose of the heliostats and the receiver is to convert the electromagnetic energy of the sunlight into internal energy in the heat transfer fluid. In order to do so the engineers must design the layout of the heliostat field. [4. The plant is a project plant from Barstow in California build in 1982.79]. The high temperature allows for high efficiency in the Heat Engine which is described in Section 5. A picture showing a Central Receiver System (CRS) plant is given in Figure 3. p. [3]. The heliostat tracks the suns position across the sky and controls the rotation and inclination angles of the mirror so it reflects the sunlight to the receiver in the top of the central tower. Therefore it is of great interest to optimize the efficiency of the field so that the size of it can be minimized. [3]. The receiver absorbs the concentrated sunlight and turns it into heat which is transfered away from the receiver and to the Heat Engine by the Heat Transfer Fluid. The largest expense in a Central Receiver System is the cost of the heliostat field.1: Example of a CRS Plant. the optimal height of the tower.1. choose an efficient control algorithm for 5 . By combining heliostats it is possible to reach temperatures of up to 1000◦ C with development of receiver technologies allowing for 1200◦ C. Figure 3.

The principle is the same as the volumetric. HELIOSTATS AND RECEIVER focusing the light and choose the best receiver type for the system. Today tubes are still used but has been undergoing radical design changes. 3. It is a complicated task with a lot of local optimums in the design space. but the receiver is encapsulated in a pressurized chamber isolating it from the environment. The problem with this type were inadequate heat transfer and local overheating of tubes.1. with air flowing through the mesh. this type gets its air-supply from a compressor driven by the turbine.made of ceramic or metallic materials . Figure 3. Therefore solar systems with a total efficiency of over 20% is possible.and a super heated steam turbine it is possible to reach efficiencies of more than 50% of the Heat Engine. Instead of pulling in air from the front of the receiver. A diagram showing the process is seen in Figure 3. RECEIVERS CHAPTER 3. 6 . The air reaches temperatures of up to 850◦ C.2: Illustration of a pressurized volumetric receiver. The most promising type of receiver is a volumetric receiver which consist of a wire mesh . The exhaust from the gas turbine is then re-heated and used in the heat engine described in Section 5.1 Receivers Early receiver types were made out of steel tubes containing the heat transfer medium.in a honeycomb structure.3. [3]. Using this receiver the air temperature can reach 1200◦ C which is high enough for supplying a gas turbine.3. [5]. An improvement of this concept is being prototyped and is called “the pressurized air receiver” concept. Using this hybrid configuration of both a gas.

√ θ = cos−1 2 −1/2 [sin(α)cos(λ) − cos(φH − A) cos(α) sin(λ) + 1] 2 7 (3.3: Central receiver system using a pressurized receiver and a steam heat engine extended with a gas turbine.2 Control of Heliostats As long as the mirrors of the heliostats are symmetric and "target aligned" the control of the mirrors are described by the equations presented here. [6].1).4: Illustration of a target aligned heliostat. HELIOSTATS AND RECEIVER Figure 3.3.1) . A target aligned heliostat is a heliostat that has two axis of rotations defined as in Figure 3. 3.2. [5]. As the sun moves the heliostat rotates around its first-axis so the horizontal/meridian plane of the heliostat coincide with the incident vector of the sun light. CONTROL OF HELIOSTATS CHAPTER 3. Figure 3.4 and has its first axis pointing to the target at the tower. The incident angle of the mirror can be found using the equation in (3.

The vectors are defined in Equation 3. CONTROL OF HELIOSTATS CHAPTER 3. Figure 3.     cos(A) cos(α) cos(αi )  cos(βi )  =  sin(A) cos(α)  sin(α) cos(γi ) (3.5: Illustration of the incident vector pointing towards the sun from the heliostat [6].6) .2.5)   cos(ωH ) − sin(ωH ) 0 M3 =  sin(ωH ) cos(ωH ) 0 0 0 1 8 (3.3. The incident angle is half the angle between the two vectors. Figure 3. In order to know the reference points for the two actuators on a particular heliostat the angle must be transformed to auxiliary coordinates fixed to the heliostat. HELIOSTATS AND RECEIVER It is derived by defining two vectors: The Incident Vector which points towards the sun (shown in figure 3.2)     − cos(φH ) sin(λ) cos(αr )  cos(βr )  =  − sin(φH ) sin(λ)  cos(λ) cos(γr ) (3.3) The incident angle is in an earth fixed frame.3.5) and The Reflection Vector which points towards the target (shown in figure 3. To relate the two reference-frames three rotational transformation matrices are defined as follows:  sin(φH ) − cos(φH ) 0 sin(φH ) 0 M1 = cos(φH ) 0 0 1  (3.6).4)  1 M2 = 0 0 0 cos(λ) − sin(λ)  0 sin(λ)  cos(λ) (3.2 and 3.6: The reflection vector pointing towards the target [6].

By multiplying the three matrices the relationship between the base frame and the auxiliary frame is established. Figure 3.7: Illustration of the three rotational matrix transformations. CONTROL OF HELIOSTATS CHAPTER 3. The right position is when it is angled in the middle of the vector pointing towards the sun and the vector pointing towards the target.3.8) When the heliostat has been rotated about the first axis with the angle ωH .     0 cos(A) cos(α)  sin(2θ)  = M3 M2 M1 ·  sin(A) cos(α)  cos(2θ) sin(α) (3. as for a symmetric heliostat the angle of incident equals the angle of reflection.2. [6]. HELIOSTATS AND RECEIVER The angles of rotations are seen in figure 3.7.7) Solving the first row of the matrix equation we find the rotation angle about the first axis of the heliostat ωH : ωH = tan−1 cos(α) sin(θH − A) cos(λ) cos(α) cos(θH − A) + sin(λ) sin(α) (3.9) 9 . the angle that tilts the heliostat in the right position is denoted EH . and the Incident Vector (pointing towards the sun) can be described in both coordinate frames and equated like in Equation (3. transforming from earth fixed reference frame to an auxiliary reference frame on the heliostat.7). and this is the same angle as the previously derived incident angle θ: EH = θ (3.

Therefore molten salt has been used in the latest experimental CRS-plants among others the “Solar Two” experimental plant located in California [8.2].1 Heat Transfer Fluids The HTF’s used in the majority of experimental CRS-plants are: water/steam. Also in the HT-circuit some pipes will require additional heating to make sure that the HTF does not solidify in the pipes used on the “cooled” side of the circuit 2 . Dependent on the design of the plant different fluids have proven capable of transferring and storing the thermal energy. Operating Temperature (High) 540 [◦ C] 425 [◦ C] Melting point (at 1 [atm]) 0 [◦ C] -10 [◦ C] Fluid Water/Steam Oil Advantages Low cost and simple implementation. 10.1. 5-16] 10 . 4.1 the characteristics and advantages of these 3 fluids are highlighted. p.1. 10. p.1. ch. 48] [7.2].Chapter 4 Heat Transfer Circuit The thermal solar energy concentrated in the central receiver (described in Section 3.1) is absorbed by a Heat transfer Fluid (HTF).1 are of importance because a HTF with high melting temperature requires reheating before startup of the plant [7. In table 4. Requires heating before plant startup. Low Cost and high efficiency due to ∆T across turbine. 2 This is done using electric heating with wires on the outside surface of the pipes[8. 10. air and molten salt [3. 5-9]. Energy storage very difficult. High volumetric heat capacity. The volumetric heat capacity of the HTF is also of interest as this determines the possibilities for thermal storage. p. ch. Disadvantages Difficult to use as energy storage medium.2]. ch. oil.1: Characteristics and advantages of Heat Transfer Fluids [7][8] The melting temperature of the fluids in table 4. Safety requirements due to highly flammable fluid and high cost. The operating temperature of the fluid is a primary criterion when choosing HTF [7. Air Molten salt 1000 [◦ C] 570-600 [◦ C] N/A 98-220 [◦ C] 1 Table 4. Effective as energy storage medium.

4. p. Three storage techniques have been used in Solar Thermal Power Plants [10. the energy from the HTF is stored so that fluctuations in solar energy due to clouds does not effect the electricity production [8. 5-7]. p.the ratio is called the solar multiple [9. p. THERMAL STORAGE CHAPTER 4.Thermal energy is used to drive an endothermic chemical process of a fluid which can then be stored an used in a reverse exothermical process when energy is needed. 14]. • Thermochemical heat storage . HEAT TRANSFER CIRCUIT 4. 11 . 13]. The Sensible heat storage techniques is used in most Thermal Power Plants today as this is the simplest way of storing the energy absorbed [10. p.Energy is stored by phase change of a medium keeping the temperature constant. The advantage of Thermochemical heat storage is that the medium can be stored long term and therefore stored energy can be transported off site and transformed where the energy is needed [10. p. 4]. The Plants are designed so that the thermal capacity of the heliostat fields exceeds the thermal requirements of the steam turbine . 15].2 Thermal Storage For the turbine of the plant to deliver a constant power output. • Latent heat storage .The HTF is stored directly or used to heat another medium with a higher thermal capacity and then stored in a tank or a cave. the CRS Power Plant will be able to store energy when the turbine is at maximum capacity and thus the Plant can operate at full capacity for a couple of hours after sundown (or during cloud cover) [8. With a solar multiple larger than 1. p. Latent heat storage is a relatively new concept and is first expected to be used commercially in 7 years [10. p. 13]: • Sensible heat storage .5-6].2.

Reversible processes always have higher efficiency than irreversible processes and the irreversibilities are therefore undesirable. In a Rankine Cycle the fluid undergoes the following 4 internally reversible processes: • Isentropic compression in a pump • Isobaric heat addition in a boiler • Isentropic expansion in a turbine • Isobaric heat rejection in a condenser 5. both the system and its surroundings are returned to their initial state after the reverse cycle [11.a schematic of a Rankine Engine is seen in Figure 5. p. 6. 297-298]: • Friction • Unrestrained expansion of a gas • Heat transfer through a finite temperature difference As mentioned the Rankine Cycle is internally reversible but not externally reversible due to the fact that heat and work is supplied from outside the closed system. Such processes are idealizations and cannot occur in reality.2] . This is not a reversible process due to the fact that the surroundings are not returned to the initial state .therefore the term "ideal" vapor heat engine is used to 12 . However it is possible to return the system to its initial state after the reverse cycle by letting its surroundings perform some amount of work on it. Irreversibilities include [11.1.such a process is called internally reversible because no irreversabilities occur within the system and the reverse process pass through the same equilibrium states as for the forward cycle. ch. 5.1 Reversible and Irreversible Processes A reversible process is a process that can be reversed without leaving any trace on its surroundings . the boiler.1.6]. The internal reversibility of the process is however an idealization . The heat engine consists of the pump. the turbine and the condenser.that is. 10. ch.Chapter 5 The Heat Engine The heat engine is an essential part of a thermal power plant as it is responsible for the thermodynamic energy conversion from thermal to mechanical energy on the generator shaft.1 The Rankine Engine An ideal vapor heat engine is called a Rankine engine as it undergoes a Rankine Cycle [11.

3 (3’) and 4 (4’) correspond to the markings in Figure 5. Two different scenarios continue from this point.at this state the steam is a high quality mixture of liquid and gas (high quality meaning that the liquid content 13 .1.5.2.1: Water enters the pump at state 1 as saturated liquid. Work is applied to the pump from the surroundings and the liquid is compressed to the operating pressure of the boiler. The steam then enters the turbine at a higher temperature and higher pressure producing more work. The Rankine Cycle seen in Figure 5. THE HEAT ENGINE Figure 5. In this scenario the boiler adds more heat to the system causing the fluid to go into the superheated region where the steam is dry (the phase change from liquid to gas is complete) and the temperature rises further to the point 3’.the states 1. 5. In order to increase the work done by the turbine the steam is often superheated before entering the turbine.1: Schematic of a Rankine heat engine.2 The Rankine Cycle The (T-s diagram) of the Rankine Cycle is seen in Figure 5. At state 2 the pressurized water enters the boiler in which heat is transfered to the system resulting in a constant pressure heat addition. Heat is added until a phase change occurs (the horizontal line in the T-s diagram). describe the Rankine Engine. THE RANKINE ENGINE CHAPTER 5.1. During the isentropic expansion in the turbine the temperature and pressure falls and leaves the turbine at state 4’ .2 is now explained . The entropy change of a system during a cycle is a measure of the irreversibility of the system.2. The temperature and pressure of the liquid drops during this process to the point 4. In a normal Rankine cycle the fluid enters the turbine as saturated (or nearly saturated) steam (point 3) and undergoes an isentropic expansion in which work is produced by rotating the shaft connected to a generator. Therefore a lot of information about a system efficiency and how to increase it is included in the temperature-specific entropy diagram (T-s diagram) of the system cycle. The water temperature rises slightly during the compression because of the decrease in specific volume of the water.

From figure 5.1. p. At state 4 (or 4’ for the superheated case) the fluid enters the condenser where heat is removed at constant pressure using active or passive cooling and is brought back to the initial state 1. thus a high temperature of the salt .3]: • Fluid friction which causes pressure drops in the boiler.1.2: T-s diagram of a Rankine Cycle with and without superheating. 554]. Using this information it is seen that the superheated scenario produces more net work. This demands more work input to the pump and thus lowers the overall efficiency of the plant. The difference between these to curves (the area enclosed by the cycle curve) is the net work produced during the cycle [11. 5. ch. The major causes of irreversibilities are [11.acting as a heat source .2 it is seen that the area under process curve 2-3 (or 2-3’) represents the heat transfered to the fluid in the boiler and the area under process curve 4-1 (or 4’-1) represents the heat rejected in the condenser.is needed in order to increase the efficiency of the system. THE RANKINE ENGINE CHAPTER 5. To compensate for this the water must be pumped to a significantly higher pressure than in the ideal cycle. • Heat loss to the surroundings which causes the temperature difference between the turbine 14 .5. 10. THE HEAT ENGINE Figure 5.3 Deviation From Ideal Cycle in Real Power Plants Reversible processes are difficult to approximate in real life due to irreversibilities in the various components used in the heat engine. the pipes and the condenser. For internally reversible processes the area under the process curve in the T-s diagram) represents the heat transfer. is low compared to the gas content).

is a leakage constant for the pump.2.5. The mechanical efficiency. [12. Figure 5.2]: ηhmP = Mtp Mp (5. The total efficiency of the pump is determined by the volumetric efficiency and the mechanical efficiency. 2.or piston-type pumps [12. 2.2. depends on pressure across the pump.2 Pump Different hydraulic pumps can be used to maintain a steady flow in the Rankine cycle (eg. THE HEAT ENGINE inlet and outlet to decrease resulting in less output work and thus lower overall efficiency. ηvP .2. Mtp . PUMP CHAPTER 5. 2.1. µ is the dynamic viscosity and QtP is the theoretical pump flow (stroke replacement times rotational pump speed). ch. [12. ch. ch.this converts some of the input and output work to be converted into heat that escapes the system thus lowering the overall efficiency.2]: ηvP = 1 − ∆pp Klp µQtP (5. ∆pp . The volumetric efficiency of the pump. Klp .1]). 5. Mp . gear-. Figure 5.1) where. • Mechanical friction in pump and turbine which causes an entropy increase during the compression and expansion of the fluid .3 shows the T-s diagram of an ideal and an actual Rankine cycle. ηhmP .3: T-s diagram of an ideal (black) and actual (red) Rankine cycle. and the actual input torque.2) 15 . is determined by the ratio between the theoretical input torque to the pump. vane.

12. The problem for increasing the maximum temperature is that it dramatically increase the requirements to the mechanical structure.3) Choosing a pump with high efficiency would increase the total efficiency of the plant. Figure 5.5) below. and the flow and pressure requirements of the boiler within the cycle.5: Rankine cycle using re-heating to avoid moisture on last turbine blades.3] [13.2. The increased efficiency should be high enough as to facilitate such an investment.4) and Figure (5. 5.3. 5.2. The turbine is one of three turbines designed for the complex. and the problem can be avoided. each has a power output of 123 [MW]. If re-heating is used then the averaged temperature can be increased without increasing the maximum temperature. [11].3 Boiler If the average temperature at which the boiler operates is increased the efficiency of the Rankine engine is increased as well. This dramatically increase wear on the turbine blades which can lead to a significant increase in operating expenses. 3]. Other factors which determines the pump choice are: The working fluid of the Rankine cycle [7. p. California. but if the entropy of the fluid at this point is too low the vapor will start turning into liquid in the turbine before it reaches the condenser. Special materials must be used to withstand the higher temperature and pressure which increases the initial expenditure of the plant. It is possible just to stop the cycle when the temperature reaches the same maximum. [11]. ch. Figure 5. ch 12.6 shows a steam turbine from Siemens to be used in the Ivanpah Solar Power Complex. 16 . Steam turbines are under constant development.5. Figure 5. BOILER CHAPTER 5.4 Turbine Steam turbines are the preferred choice in CRS Power Plants because steam is a well known fluid and because the Rankine Cycle for steam is well documented and tested in fossil powered plants [7. THE HEAT ENGINE Therefore the total efficiency of the circulation pump is: ηP = ηhmP ηvP (5.4: Example of Rankine cycle with increased boiling pressure but maintained maximum temperature.3]. The Rankine cycles with and without re-heating is seen in Figure (5.

p. 5. Therefore when planning the location for a concentrated solar power plant it is essential to have a cold cooling medium. In order to achieve a high efficiency of the thermodynamic cycle it is necessary to reject the heat at as low pressure as possible. it actually has to stay well above this temperature as to allow for effective heat transfer.5. 6] . which enters as a mixture of liquid and gas and leaves as saturated liquid. Condensers are basically large heat exchangers which dissipate heat from the fluid to the environment. 17 . The condensing temperature cannot be lowered to a value less than the temperature of the cooling medium.5.6: The siemens SST-900 steam turbine. In a two-phase saturation (a mixture of e. THE HEAT ENGINE Figure 5. Has a rotational speed of up to 3600 [rpm] and an inlet steam temperature of up to 585 ◦ C [14. Condensers are split into active and passive condensers with active condensers using fans.5 Condenser The condenser is responsible for rejecting heat from the fluid. CONDENSER CHAPTER 5. water and steam) a lower condensing pressure also means that the temperature is lowered as it is fixed to the fluids saturation level doing the condensing process [11].g. which can be a problem as they also needs to be placed in regions with a lot of solar radiation which often have a warmer environment.

only two commercial plant exists [10.Chapter 6 The Future of CRS Power Plants Solar Power Towers is a relatively new technology. For Figure 6. As figure 6. 4]. The plants have also shown improvements in efficiency as the technology has evolved [15. p. p. they could theoretically cover the total global electricity consumption [5]. All in all solar plant is an expanding technology and a possible part of the solution to a continuously increasing global energy demand. example if 1% of the Sahara desert is used for Solar Power Plants. p.1 shows m this involves the earths Sunbelt. 18 . And finally the materials used in Solar Power Plants are well known and conventional materials which are not costly [10. 55].1: Annual average of daily direct normal irradiation of global solar exposure [16] . However this is an insignificant limitation of the technology. Solar Power Plants produce electricity when the consumer demand is largest. The advantages of Solar Power is that it offers thermal energy storage where other Renewable technologies such as wind turbines have fluctuating power production. They should be placed in regions with a global irradiance of more that 1800 [ kW2h ] [5]. However experimental plants have proven capable of delivering a constant power output. 47] If CRS Power Plants are to be a success the location of the Plants is essential.

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