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molten salts

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Sener is about to start the final tests at Noor Ouarzazate III, after completing, last August, the first synchronization of the 150 MW Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant to the Moroccan grid. With these milestones, Sener starts the last phase before the plant’s commercial operation and final delivery to the client.

This plant is the second unit designed and built by SENER using its own central receiver tower and molten salt heat storage technology, and one of the first ones in the world to apply this configuration on a commercial scale. The high performance of this technology – the molten salt reaches higher temperatures than other CSP technologies, which maximizes thermodynamic efficiency – allows to manage the solar energy in absence of solar radiation and respond to the grid’s demand. This is a unique characteristic of CSP that radically changes the role of renewable sources in the global power supply.

In the Noor Ouarzazate III thermal power plant, Sener has been responsible for the plant’s conceptual and basic engineering, detail engineering and supplying equipment for the thermal storage system, engineering and construction of the solar field and the molten salt receiver, as well as the commissioning of the entire plant, which is expected to be delivered to the client by the end of 2018.

Noor Ouarzazate III is composed of a solar field of 7,400 heliostats HE54 (designed and patented by Sener), that point the Sun radiation towards a receiver located on the top of the tower, at a height of 250 m, thanks to the company’s highly accurate tracking system known as ‘solar tracker’. Sener has also been responsible for the 600+ MW high-powered receiver design and construction, in collaboration with Moroccan companies. Noor Ouarzazate III is also equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows the plant to keep producing electricity 7.5 hours without solar radiation and guarantees the dispatchability of the power plant. Along with all these key components, Sener has fully developed the integrated control system of the receiver and solar field.

Anas Raisuni, Sener Regional Managing Director in Morocco, commented: “Noor Ouarzate III synchronization is the last milestone before delivering the plant to ACWA and MASEN. With its visionary investment in solar power, MASEN has secured a clean, sustainable and manageable power supply for Morocco, while developing the national industry in a cutting-edge sector as CSP. We are very proud to have worked for these two entities (ACWA and MASEN), designing and building one of the most advanced solar thermal power plants of the world. Once operational, it will mark a turning point in
the CSP sector worldwide and will consolidate Sener as a leading engineering company and the most innovative one as a technology supplier for this sector.

Noor Ouarzazate III forms part of the Noor solar complex located in Morocco and managed by MASEN, and the largest solar complex in the world. In this complex, Sener forms part of the turnkey building consortium for the Noor Ouarzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II plants – both of which use SENERtrough® parabolic trough technology – and Noor Ouarzazate III, with additional advanced innovations than those applied in the pioneer plant Gemasolar, which was designed and built by SENER and was the first plant in commercial operation with central receiver tower and molten salt heat storage technology in the world.

Source: Sener

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The engineering and technology group Sener and Acciona Industrial have achieved another relevant milestone initiating the salt melting process at the Kathu Solar Park Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant. The molten salt will be used to store heat from the solar field that can later be recovered to produce steam and generate electricity in the absence of solar radiation, extending the operational capacity of the plant after sunset and during cloudy weather.

Thanks to this molten salt storage system, that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage, the Kathu Solar Park CSP Plant will supply clean energy to 179,000 homes. The plant uses SENERtrough®-2 collectors, a parabolic trough technology, specifically designed and patented by SENER, aimed at improving efficiency of the solar field. The significance of this technology – SENERtrough®-2 and molten salt storage system – is that the CSP plant will not only supply power during sunny periods, but as needed to satisfy the peak of demand, without the considerable expense of battery storage.

Siyabonga Mbanjwa, Sener Regional Managing Director in Southern Africa, commented: “The use of molten salt as thermal energy storage system will allow Kathu Solar Park to operate in a cost-effective manner, storing the generated energy from the sun, producing and dispatching electricity, in absence of solar radiation, to satisfy the peak of demand. At Sener, our aim is to provide the most innovative technology, being compliant with Health & Safety stringent standards, to ensure an outstanding performance and thermal stability for a reliable and sustained energy supply.

Roberto Felipe, Chief Operating Officer of Acciona Industrial, said: “This project is technologically cutting-edge, and the complexity of both engineering and construction is only comparable to large infrastructure projects. At ACCIONA, we are committed to the social and economic development of the regions where our projects are located, and the positive impact this plant is having in Kathu and the surrounding areas is a reason for us to continue executing these projects with these high quality standards.

Kathu Solar Park is one of the awarded projects in bid window 3.5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) led by the South African Department of Energy (DOE).

The joint venture between Sener and Acciona Industrial was appointed by the ENGIE led consortium to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Construction started on site in May 2016 and is due for completion within the next few months. Approximately 1,400 jobs are being created during the construction phase. It is estimated that the Kathu Solar Park will save six million tonnes of CO2 over 20 years and will further promote local economic development through the KSP trust and the Kelebogile Trust, which has invested significantly in the local community thus far thereby making a meaningful contribution to the community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality.

Source: Sener

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Engineering and technology company Sener is putting into operation, on a multi-phase basis, the different components of the Noor Ouarzazate III CSP plant. This plant is the second CSP plant designed and built by Sener using its own central receiver tower and molten salt heat storage technology, and one of the first ones in the world to apply this configuration on a commercial scale.

Sener recently carried out the start up of the solar receiver, pointing the heliostats towards the receiver located on the top of the tower, at a height of 250 m, to pre-heat it to 320ºC.

Sener has also been responsible for the receiver technology design and construction, applying its know-how from the aeronautical sector. This 600+ MW high-powered receiver has been developed in collaboration with Moroccan companies and, once in operation, it will enable the plant to reach a gross production of 150 MW and 7.5 hours of heat storage. Similarly, Sener has fully developed another key element for this type of installation: the integrated control system of the receiver and solar field.
As a preliminary step in the receiver start-up, Sener has completed the functional tests in the solar field, comprising 7,400 heliostats HE54, designed and patented by the company. This model (the HE54) incorporates improvements such as a larger reflective surface (178.5 sqm compared to the 115.7 sqm of the Gemasolar heliostats) and a highly accurate tracking system known as ‘solar tracker’, which uses Sener space technology.

Once the receiver pre-heating tests currently underway are completed, the next step in the commissioning phase will be to circulate the molten salt throughout the receiver to heat them to the daily commercial operation temperature (550º C). This milestone will be accomplished in the coming weeks. The last phase will consist in generating steam using the heat captured from the mentioned molten salts.

Noor Ouarzazate III forms part of the Noor solar complex located in Morocco and managed by Masen, and the largest solar complex in the world. In this complex, Sener forms part of the turnkey building consortium for the Noor Ouarzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II plants, both of which use SENERtrough® parabolic trough technology, and Noor Ouarzazate III, with additional advanced innovations than those applied in the pioneer plant Gemasolar located in Seville (Spain), in commercial operation since 2011, which was designed and built by Sener.

In the Noor Ouarzazate III thermal power plant, Sener is responsible for the plant’s conceptual and basic engineering, detail engineering and supplying equipment for the thermal storage system, engineering and construction of the solar field and the molten salt receiver, as well as the commissioning of the entire plant. The plant’s delivery to the client is planned for the last quarter of 2018.

Source: Sener

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