Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Systems – an Overview
There are three types of CSP systems.
1. Solar Power Plant with a Central Receiver
This solar plant consists of numerous flat mirrored heliostats that automatically track the sun as it moves across the sky. They beam the reflected concentrated radiation to a central receiver fixed at a predetermined height on a tower.
The receiver normally holds molten salts that are a mixture of nitrates that convert easily to liquid and withstand the high temperatures required by the system.
The HTF pump circulates the salts from the receiver to a heat exchanger that uses this high temperature medium to convert water to superheated steam in a two pass process. The superheated steam is then used to drive the power generators.
2. Solar Parabolic Collector Power Plant
This type of solar power plant uses mirrored parabolic shaped troughs to track the sun across the sky and concentrate its radiation onto an integral metal tube, enclosed in a glass tube under a vacuum.
The HTF pump circulates the medium, usually synthetic oil, through numerous parabolic components, raising its temperature before feeding it through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger converts water to superheated steam, which is used to run steam turbines and drive power generators.
3. Linear Solar Fresnel Power Plant
This solar power plant uses numerous linear mirrors to reflect the sun's radiance onto a receiver tube, usually located above the array of linear mirrors. The HTF pump circulates molten salts from the receiver tube through a heat exchanger that converts water to superheated steam.
As with the other two CSP power plants, the superheated steam runs the turbines used to drive power generators.
1. Sun and Climate
2. Mother Nature