Siemens tests salt receivers in Portugal

<b>Archimede Solar Receiver for Molten Salt. </b><br><br><i>Photo: Archimede Solar Energy</i>
Archimede Solar Receiver for Molten Salt.

Photo: Archimede Solar Energy

The advantage of liquid salt is that it can tolerate higher temperatures than the thermal oil typically used. Up to now, parabolic trough power stations have been limited to receiver temperatures under 400° C because of the oil. The ideal working temperature of a steam turbine, however, is around 550° C. Using salt as the heat transfer medium, the participants now want to exceed the 500° C level and thus increase the working efficiency of the turbines.

The experimental power station consists of a 300 m row of parabolic trough collectors that are equipped with molten salt receivers from Archimede Solar Energy (ASE), which is partly owned by Siemens (see SUN & WIND ENERGY 4/2010, page 92).
For three years, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the companies K+S AG, Senior Berghöfer GmbH and Steinmüller Engineering GmbH want to test various salts and optimize the plant. The salts to be tested include a further developed form of the salt that has been used up to now, which is a mixture of approximately 40% potassium nitrate and 60% sodium nitrate, but salts with other components will also be tested. The aim is to find a suitable salt with a low melting point that can also compete with the currently used salt in terms of its heat capacity and pumpability. The mixture of potassium and sodium nitrate previously used in research plants solidifies at temperatures of around 240° C. Therefore, all the pipework must be kept significantly above this temperature at all times – using electrical heating when necessary. Apart from the salt itself, the researchers in Evora also want to investigate which plant design and operating concept is best-suited to power stations using salt as a heat transfer medium.

The experimental power station is part of the research project "High-Performance Solar Thermal Energy" that is supported by the Federal Environment Ministry. The land and the infrastructure for the plant have been provided by the Portuguese energy utility Energias de Portugal.

Similar Entries

Webinar "Operation of Wind Power Plants in Cold Climate 2021" (pict. VGB)

For the first time the results of the VGB Research Project “Comparison of blade-based ice detection systems” will be presented at the webinar
"Operation of Wind Power Plants in Cold Climate".

Assela Wind Farm (pict. Siemens Gamesa)

Siemens Gamesa has signed its first wind power project in Ethiopia with state-owned electricity company Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), strengthening its leadership in Africa as the country begins to expand its green energy capacity to meet ambitious renewable targets.

Ebee Smart Technologies GmbH and The Mobility House are coordinating the interoperability of their systems. A smooth interaction between the Ebee solution, the charging controller from Bender, which has been verified by thousands of test cases, and the Charging and Energy Management system ChargePilot from The Mobility House is guaranteed.

Using Bolt-Check to monitor clamp load (pict.: R&D A/S)

The Bolt-Check tool reduces preventative maintenance time, resulting in service cost reductions while maximizing uptime; Reduced health and safety costs.