The solar power plant cycle basically consists of three separated but coupled systems – the solar field, the thermal energy storage (TES) and the power block (water/steam cycle).
The solar field consists of numerous parallel rows with parabolic mirrors. There the Sun’s rays are focused onto an absorber tube called receiver, where the irradiation is concentrated. A heat transfer fluid – in particular, thermal oil - flows inside this vacuum-insulated tube where it is heated up to about 400 degrees Celsius.
Then, the hot oil transfers its heat to water on its way through the heat exchangers trains and steam is produced. After that, the steam runs a conventional steam turbine connected to a generator which finally produces electricity.
On the other hand, the thermal storage system allows generating electricity even after the sun has set or when the weather is cloudy. That way, the short-term fluctuations in production can be compensated to ensure electricity generation around the clock.
The concentration of the direct radiation by the parabolic mirrors let the HTF to reach high temperatures.more information
The HTF transfers the accumulated heat to a water/steam cycle for driving a steam turbine.more information
The integration of heat storage allows the power plant to operate in a manageable way.more information
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