An inexhaustible sourceConcentrated solar thermal power is worldwide becoming a more and more important source for power generation. The reasons for this are obvious: The sun is an inexhaustible source for power production. And it is not only a free fuel source but also a complete emissions-free source. Steam turbine generator sets convert solar energy into electricity. But what makes our steam turbines so special? Watch our short video clip:
The right steam turbine for every applicationSince the solar boom of the eighties in USA, solar thermal energy has been a proven technology. The most common type of plant is the parabolic trough collector, but alternative technologies are rapidly coming to the fore, such as Linear Fresnel collector plants with flat mirrors and central tower plants with slightly curved mirrors or heliostats.
The basic principle is the same for all three plant technologies: Mirrors concentrate the incident solar radiation onto a receiver where it is converted into heat that is used to produce steam to drive a steam turbine. Heat storage systems like molten salt tanks provide for power supply even during unfavorable weather conditions or at night. They significantly increase the number of full-load operation hours with optimal steam turbine efficiency.
Turbines for all main CSP technologies
With its broad steam turbine portfolio, Siemens offers a range of turbines for different types of solar plants and all power outputs. The turbine technology fits all three common concentrated solar power concepts. Siemens was the first steam turbine supplier to re-enter the CSP market in the 21st century, pioneering commercial solutions in the US and Spain. Today, Siemens is the world market leader in steam turbines for CSP plants, and has more than 20 years of experience with steam turbines for daily cycling.
Typical regimes of operationThe number of concentrated solar power plants has increased tremendously in the past ten years. Today we see many different regimes of operations, each of which poses a different challenge to power generation equipment. The design of each steam turbine is adapted to these challenges.
Examples for the regimes of operation for a solarthermal power plant, with a power output of 50 MW:
Industrial steam turbines – tailor-made and flexible
As a market leader for industrial steam turbines, Siemens offers a comprehensive range of reliable and versatile steam turbines for the power output range from 2 to 250 MW. Our industrial steam turbines are designed for easy constructability, fast start-up and economical operation.