The Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants are innovative utilities that produce electricity from green and renewable resources. CSPs make use of parabolic troughs, which concentrate the sunlight in tubular devices where a transfer fluid (thermal oil) is heated up to about 400° C. In a standard configuration, 100% of thermal oil flows into boilers where the steam is produced and used to drive the steam turbine, and finally operate the power block.
However, the electricity pays better in the evening, when it is in demand, rather than during the day. For this reason the Electric Companies seeks ways to accumulate the solar energy, at least part of it, for later use, so to be able to improve the dispatchability of green electricity and increase the overall economics.
Thanks to the massive experience gained in the design and implementation of molten salts and thermal oils systems used in the chemical and petrochemical complexes, Eurotecnica has been involved in the development of Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems, following the concept of transferring by means of a heat exchanger part of the heat of the thermal oil to the molten salts, that finally accumulate into large storage tanks.
At evening hours, the flow is reversed. The molten salts, passing through the heat exchanger, release the heat to the same thermal oil that flows into the steam boilers, so to keep the steam turbine and the power block at full capacity.
The extraordinary performance of Andasol-3 TES system, based on Eurotecnica’s proprietary ET Sun Energy™ technology and recently implemented in the Spanish region of Andalusia, has set a new standard for safety, reliability and profitability within a promising industry.