On Friday, private engineering and technology company Sener -and its procurement partners Emvelo and Cobra – awarded global heat tracing specialist eltherm South Africa a contract for the design and installation of an electrical heat tracing (EHT) system at the 100 MW Ilanga solar thermal power plant near Upington, in the Northern Cape.
Ilanga’s EHT system will take between six to eight months to complete.
Ilanga marks the second big concentrated solar power (CSP) project for eltherm this year. The first is the installation of an EHT system currently under way at a 100 MW Kathu solar park plant, also in the Northern Cape.
“The Ilanga and Kathu projects represent an important milestone in eltherm’s local operations success and CSP growth in 2018, as EHT plays an integral part in the successful running of CSP plants,” said eltherm MD Peter Stone.
He explained that EHT is required at CSP plants to maintain temperature and prevent subsequent heat loss. At Ilanga, eltherm will install the majority of the EHT at the thermal energy storage facility, which contains the plant’s molten salt storage.
Temperatures between 450˚C and 200˚C will be maintained (temperate classes of T1 to T3).
The company’s EHT system is capable of pre-heating pipes and equipment to maintain the correct temperature throughout the plant’s storage process, which also avoids solidification of fluids, while compensating for the loss of heat when fluids flow to pipes with a lower ambient temperature, Stone explained.
Meanwhile, eltherm installed an EHT system at Xina Solar One in Pofadder, and is currently involved with the maintenance and repairs of the EHT systems at Kaxu Solar One, as well as Bokpoort CSP, all in the Northern Cape.
“Heat tracing is essential for the reliable functioning of solar power plants, which is evident on high-profile projects, including the world’s largest solar power plant NOOR III in Ouarzazate, in Morocco, and the Ashalim power station in Israel Waad al Shamal, in Saudi Arabia,” Stone concluded.