Reported from CSPPLAZA: CMI Solar was awarded the contract for the design and supply of a Molten Salt Solar Receiver (MSSR) for the 50 MWe “Haixi” solar tower in Qinghai province (China) by the top Chinese EPC contractor Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation III (SEPCO III).
In December 2017, SEPCO III, one of the top Chinese EPC contractors, known for its interest in CSP technology both in China and overseas, has chosen CMI Solar central receiver for its 50 MWe Molten Salt solar tower of the Haixi project (also known as “Luneng project”, after its owner name, the Luneng company).
The renewable energy power plant of Haixi, located in the province of Qinghai (China), is part of the 23 Multi-Energy projects and will combine CSP, PV and wind, a unique mix of renewable energies on the same site. It will be located in a high altitude desert environment, with severe weather conditions and will feature 12 hours of thermal energy storage.
On the basis of CMI’s long expertise in boilers and heat exchangers design, CMI Solar has been working for years at optimizing the central tower solar receiver technology, offering worldwide Molten Salt Solar Receiver (MSSR) with the quality, flexibility and reliability required by such large scale solar projects. After previous successes in South Africa and Chile, this latest order confirms CMI’s leadership on the field of Molten Salt Solar Receivers (MSSR).
Molten Salt Plants: dispatchability and Overnight Power Generation
One of the best ways to insure dispatchability or even overnight electricity production is to store absorbed solar energy in Molten Salt: a low-cost, flame-proof and non-polluting fluid.
In a Solar Tower, the solar receiver first converts the absorbed solar energy into thermal energy by heating molten salt, which is stored in the hot molten salt storage tank. Steam can then be produced on demand by pumping the hot molten salt through a steam generator (another product available in CMI Solar portfolio). Cold molten salts are returned to a cold molten salt tank, from which they are sent to the solar receiver to be heated again.
CMI solar receiver consists of vertical heat exchanger tube panels through which the molten salt absorbs the energy of the concentrated solar flux. This heat flux reaching the receiver can exceed 1000 kW/m² (more than 1000 times the natural solar flux at the most exposed places on earth) and leads to high local metal temperature, requiring to use special materials like stainless steels and nickel alloys. These extreme temperatures induce stress, creep, fatigue and other specific phenomena that CMI expertise as a renowned boiler designer and manufacturer allows to know and have under control for a maximum reliability.
A major operational risk for the receiver is the overheating due to a locally excessive incident flux. To mitigate that risk, CMI developed a system to closely monitor the thermo-mechanical behavior of the heat exchanger panels thanks to a network of infrared cameras. The system also evaluates in real time the thermal stress at every point of the panels. This allows to always operate at the maximum capacity without any risk of damaging the receiver.
CMI receiver also features an insulated airtight casing (patented), a unique maintenance crane system (patented) and many other features allowing for a maximum quality and reliability.
A successful step forward in China
CMI has already a long history in China, dating back to 1900 when a Chinese delegation visited CMI headquarters in Seraing and continuing in the 20th and 21st centuries with, among others, the Energy and Industry sectors supplying Heat Recovery Steam Generators and steel processing lines.
Today, CMI is proud to be trusted by SEPCO 3 for the supply of one of the key equipment of their first solar tower in China and is looking forward to be the trusted partner in CSP for the many future solar projects in the future.
About the CMI Group
Founded in 1817 in Seraing (Belgium) where it is headquartered, the CMI Group has been an international group specializing in steam generation for 200 years.
It is active in 5 activity sectors: Energy, Defense, Industry, the Environment and Services to industries. CMI is an engineering company providing customized solutions with training and services dedicated to improving its client’s equipment performance. It can rely on 5000 employees and turns over more than EUR 1 billion.
For 50 years, CMI Energy has been on the lead in the development of Heat Recovery Steam Generators behind gas turbines, mainly for combined cycle applications. CMI Energy has also a strong expertise in the design of steam generators for high power concentrated solar power stations (CSP) and in particular in:
- generation and management of steam
- heat exchanges, thermal processes and fluid mechanics
- management of high temperatures, thermal stresses in material.
For more information: www.cmigroupe.com/thermal-solar-receivers
About Sepco III
SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd.( SEPCO III), founded in 1985, is a wholly-owned Grade A subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China, whose main operating models are EPCO, EPC, BOT, BOO and PMC in the construction of various types of power plants, including thermal, nuclear, gas, hydro, wind, transformer substation, biomass, photovoltaic, solar energy and sea water desalination. Since its founding, it has constructed a variety of power plants with a single unit ranging from 12MW to 1000MW for a total installed capacity of 80,000MW.
For more information: http://www.sepco3.com
From CMI Energy