Pumps for Spanish Solar Power Plant Supplied by KSB
Last year, KSB won a contract to supply eleven pumps to a solar thermal power plant located 60 kilometers southeast of Seville, Andalusia: seven process pumps and four canned motor pumps designed to pump thermal oil at a drive rating of up to 315 kW and 45 kW, respectively. All units meet the standards and specifications of the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The pumps perform various tasks within the power plant, including providing support for the daily start-up of the solar field, controlling the level of the thermal oil at maximum temperatures of 400 °C, protecting the solar field from freezing or overheating, and in the oil cleaning process.
Concentrated Solar Plants (CSP) like this one focus solar energy onto absorber tubes using a mirror, thus heating the thermal oil inside. Downstream of this is a conventional water-steam cycle like those found in fossil-fueled power plants.
CSP technology offers the advantage of allowing operators to provide renewable energy to the electrical grid on demand by collecting part of the solar heat in large thermal salt silos during the day and sending it to the steam cycle at night or to cover peaks in demand. In some cases, these types of plant can achieve higher efficiency levels than photovoltaic systems, though they are only economically viable in regions with substantial sunshine.
After this power plant is commissioned at the end of 2013, it will have an output of 50 megawatts; this translates to 50,000 Spanish households lit through environmentally friendly electricity. The annual electricity production is forecast at over 170 gigawatt hours.