What is Concentrated Solar Power?
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) consists of concentrating heat in one point. This generates steam to drive the turbine. Moreover, this type of plant can operate continuously, since part of the heat is stored, thus providing a power supply even when there is no sun.
Torresol Energy is committed to technologies oriented towards the design, building, operation and maintenance of high-performance electrical power stations. These technologies allow us address:
- Central tower plants. Based on concentrated solar power with an array of heliostats on a central receiver mounted atop a tower more than 100 meters high. The liquid running through the receiver absorbs highly concentrated solar radiation in the receiver and converts it into thermal energy for use in the generation of steam, which runs the turbine, and thus generates electricity
- Parabolic trough collector plants. They are comprised of fluted reflectors with a parabolic section, arranged in horizontal arrays with absorbing pipes through which the heat transfer liquid runs (synthetic thermal oil).These plants are based on the concentration of solar light on the pipes of the receiver, which heats the oil. The hot oil is used to vaporize water, which, channeled to a steam turbine, drives a generator that injects electrical energy into the grid.
Both technologies feature a heat storage system that makes it possible to:
- Avoid supply fluctuations
- Continue to supply power at times when there is no sunlight and direct generation is not possible
- Move production peaks about to suit demand.
In recent years, SENER has made important breakthroughs in solar technology:
- The 120 m2 reflecting-surface heliostat, with excellent optical characteristics and high pointing precision
- The molten salt receptor with the capacity to operate with high flows of incoming solar radiation and provide greater thermal efficiency than its predecessors
- Moreover, SENER has developed and validated the design criteria of this groundbreaking heat storage system, with service temperatures in excess of 500º C
Concentrated solar energy is clean and reliable, it can be produced during demand peaks and has the potential to satisfy a country's growing needs in the future.