Coco Enriquez, Luis and Muñoz Antón, Javier and Martínez-Val Peñalosa, Jose Maria
SolarPaces 2013: Innovations on direct steam generation in linear fresnel collectors.
In: "SolarPACES 2013", 17/09/201 - 20/09/2013, Las Vegas, EE.UU.
Direct Steam Generation (DSG) in Linear Fresnel (LF) solar collectors is being consolidated as a feasible technology for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants. The competitiveness of this technology relies on the following main features: water as heat transfer fluid (HTF) in Solar Field (SF), obtaining high superheated steam temperatures and pressures at turbine inlet (500ºC and 90 bar), no heat tracing required to avoid HTF freezing, no HTF degradation, no environmental impacts, any heat exchanger between SF and Balance Of Plant (BOP), and low cost installation and maintenance. Regarding to LF solar collectors, were recently developed as an alternative to Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC) technology. The main advantages of LF are: the reduced collector manufacturing cost and maintenance, linear mirrors shapes versus parabolic mirror, fixed receiver pipes (no ball joints reducing leaking for high pressures), lower susceptibility to wind damages, and light supporting structures allowing reduced driving devices. Companies as Novatec, Areva, Solar Euromed, etc., are investing in LF DSG technology and constructing different pilot plants to demonstrate the benefits and feasibility of this solution for defined locations and conditions (Puerto Errado 1 and 2 in Murcia Spain, Lidellin Newcastle Australia, Kogran Creek in South West Queensland Australia, Kimberlina in Bakersfield California USA, Llo Solar in Pyrénées France,Dhursar in India,etc). There are several critical decisions that must be taken in order to obtain a compromise and optimization between plant performance, cost, and durability. Some of these decisions go through the SF design: proper thermodynamic operational parameters, receiver material selection for high pressures, phase separators and recirculation pumps number and location, pipes distribution to reduce the amount of tubes (reducing possible leaks points and transient time, etc.), etc. Attending to these aspects, the correct design parameters selection and its correct assessment are the main target for designing DSG LF power plants. For this purpose in the recent few years some commercial software tools were developed to simulatesolar thermal power plants, the most focused on LF DSG design are Thermoflex and System Advisor Model (SAM). Once the simulation tool is selected,it is made the study of the proposed SFconfiguration that constitutes the main innovation of this work, and also a comparison with one of the most typical state-of-the-art configuration. The transient analysis must be simulated with high detail level, mainly in the BOP during start up, shut down, stand by, and partial loads are crucial, to obtain the annual plant performance. An innovative SF configurationwas proposed and analyzed to improve plant performance. Finally it was demonstrated thermal inertia and BOP regulation mode are critical points in low sun irradiation day plant behavior, impacting in annual performance depending on power plant location.