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Solar Two Performance Evaluation Methodology

Description: Solar Two is a 10-MWe prototype central-receiver plant east of Barstow, California. Solar Two, which is sponsored by a consortium of utilities and industry in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, began regular electricity production in February 1997. The objective of Solar Two's performance evaluation activity is to understand the plant's performance and to use the evaluation information for the following purposes: optimize plant performance, extrapolate Solar Two's performance to general performance of molten-salt central-receiver technology, and recommend revisions to predictive models and engineering design methods for Solar Two and future-generation molten-salt central-receiver technology. The primary aspect of the performance evaluation is the lost-electricity analysis. This analysis compares the actual generation with the generation predicted by the Solar Two model. (SOLERGY, a computer program designed by Sandia National Laboratories to simulate the operation and power output of a solar central-receiver power plant is the code used to model Solar Two.) The difference between the predicted and the actual generation (i.e., the lost electricity) is broken down into the different efficiency and availability categories responsible for the loss. Having the losses broken down by system and in terms of electricity is useful for understanding and improving the plant's performance; it provides a tool for determining the best operating procedures for plant performance and the allocation of operation and maintenance resources for the best performance payback.
Date: November 1, 1999
Creator: Hale, Mary Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rolling Thunder -- Integration of the Solo 161 Stirling engine with the CPG-460 solar concentrator at Ft. Huachuca

Description: Project Rolling Thunder is a dish/Stirling demonstration project at Ft. Huachuca, a US Army fort in southeastern Arizona (Huachuca means rolling thunder in Apache). It has been supported by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), a cooperative program between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DOE). As part of a 1992 SERDP project, Cummins Power Generation, Inc. (CPG) installed a CPG 7 kW(c) dish/Stirling system at the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. The primary objective of the SERDP Dish/Stirling for DoD Applications project was to demonstrate a CPG 7-kW(c) dish/Stirling system at a military facility. Unfortunately, Cummins Engine Company decided to divest its solar operations. As a direct result of Ft. Huachuca`s interest in the Cummins dish/Stirling technology, Sandia explored the possibility of installing a SOLO 161 Stirling power conversion unit (PCU) on the Ft. Huachuca CPG-460. In January 1997, a decision was made to retrofit a SOLO 161 Stirling engine on the CPG-460 at Ft. Huachuca. Project Rolling Thunder. The SOLO 161 Demonstration at Ft. Huachuca has been a challenge. Although, the SOLO 161 PCU has operated nearly flawlessly and the CPG-460 has been, for the most part, a solid and reliable component, integration of the SOLO PCU with the CPG-460 has required significant attention. In this paper, the integration issues and technical approaches of project Rolling Thunder are presented. Lessons of the project are also discussed.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Diver, R.B.; Moss, T.A.; Goldberg, V.; Thomas, G. & Beaudet, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heliostat Manufacturing for Near-Term Markets: Phase II Final Report

Description: This report describes a project by Science Applications International Corporation and its subcontractors Boeing/Rocketdyne and Bechtel Corp. to develop manufacturing technology for production of SAIC stretched membrane heliostats. The project consists of three phases, of which two are complete. This first phase had as its goals to identify and complete a detailed evaluation of manufacturing technology, process changes, and design enhancements to be pursued for near-term heliostat markets. In the second phase, the design of the SAIC stretched membrane heliostat was refined, manufacturing tooling for mirror facet and structural component fabrication was implemented, and four proof-of-concept/test heliostats were produced and installed in three locations. The proposed plan for Phase III calls for improvements in production tooling to enhance product quality and prepare increased production capacity. This project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Manufacturing Technology Program (SolMaT).
Date: December 21, 1998
Creator: Energy Products Division: Science Applications International Corporation: Golden, Colorado
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Today`s Solar Power Towers

Description: This [updated 1/95] report outlines the technology of modern solar central receiver power plants, showing how they could be an important domestic source of energy within the next decade
Date: January 1, 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar Two: A successful power tower demonstration project

Description: Solar Two, a 10MWe power tower plant in Barstow, California, successfully demonstrated the production of grid electricity at utility-scale with a molten-salt solar power tower. This paper provides an overview of the project, from inception in 1993 to closure in the spring of 1999. Included are discussions of the goals of the Solar Two consortium, the planned-vs.-actual timeline, plant performance, problems encountered, and highlights and successes of the project. The paper concludes with a number of key results of the Solar Two test and evaluation program.
Date: March 2, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Evaluation of Molten-Salt Power Towers Including Results of the Solar Two Project

Description: This report utilizes the results of the Solar Two project, as well as continuing technology development, to update the technical and economic status of molten-salt power towers. The report starts with an overview of power tower technology, including the progression from Solar One to the Solar Two project. This discussion is followed by a review of the Solar Two project--what was planned, what actually occurred, what was learned, and what was accomplished. The third section presents preliminary information regarding the likely configuration of the next molten-salt power tower plant. This section draws on Solar Two experience as well as results of continuing power tower development efforts conducted jointly by industry and Sandia National Laboratories. The fourth section details the expected performance and cost goals for the first commercial molten-salt power tower plant and includes a comparison of the commercial performance goals to the actual performance at Solar One and Solar Two. The final section summarizes the successes of Solar Two and the current technology development activities. The data collected from the Solar Two project suggest that the electricity cost goals established for power towers are reasonable and can be achieved with some simple design improvements.
Date: November 1, 2001
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Recent results on the optical performance of solar two heliostats

Description: Recent Sandia support of the Solar Two project has included the analysis of optical performance issues related to heliostat field improvements. Two types of heliostats will be used for the Solar Two project: The 1818 original 38.4 m{sup 2} Martin Marietta Co. heliostats, and 108 new 95 m{sup 2} Lugo heliostats. Carrisa Plains mirror modules will be used to construct the Lugo heliostats and refurbish original heliostats. Baseline, clean reflectivity measurements of 0.90 and 0.94 are recomended for the original heliostat and the Carrisa Plains modules, respectively. Sandia`s Beam Characterization System provided beam quality information for representative configurations of both heliostats. This showed that the replacement of two facets with Carrisa Plains modules on an original heliostat led to a slight increase in spillage, but also increased beam power. As expected, the large beam of the Lugo heliostat showed poorer beam quality and significant spillage, but proved to be an economical addition of reflective area. The Carrisa Plains modules were found to be nominally flat, although the focal length changed slightly with temperature. An analysis of the canting options for both types of heliostats was performed. It was recommended the original heliostats be canted with an on-axis, lookback method, whereas a two-step method using first on-, then off-axis approaches was recommended for the Lugo heliostats. Finally, measurements performed at the Daggett site showed that despite the 1992 Landers earthquake, heliostat pedestal tilt and the associated tracking errors are expected to be within acceptable limits.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Jones, S. A.; Edgar, R. M. & Houser, R. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of molten-salt solar central-receiver freeze-up and recovery events

Description: Molten salt used as a heat transfer fluid in central-receiver so ar power plants has a high freezing point (430{degrees}F (221{degrees}C)). It is very likely during the life of the plant that the receiver will accidentally freeze up due to equipment malfunction or operator error. Experiments were conducted to measure the effects of a molten salt receiver freeze-up and recovery event and methods to thaw the receiver. In addition, simulated freeze/thaw experiments were conducted to determine what happens when salt freezes and is thawed in receiver tubes and to quantify the damage caused to candidate receiver tube materials. Fourteen tube samples of various materials, diameters and wall thicknesses were tested to destruction. Results of these tests are presented in this paper.
Date: February 1996
Creator: Pacheco, J. E. & Dunkin, S. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PVT -- A photovoltaic/thermal concentrator total energy system: Final phase 1 project report. Building opportunities in the U.S. for photovoltaics (PV:BONUS) Two

Description: United Solar completed its Phase 1 report and its proposal for Phase 2 of the PVBONUS Two program at the end of March 1998. At the same time, it also completed and submitted a proposal to the California Energy Commission PIER program for additional funding to cost-share development and testing of a pre-production model of the PVT-14. It was unsuccessful in both of these proposed efforts. While waiting for the proposal decisions, work continued in April and May to analyze the system design and component decisions described below. This document is a final summation report on the Phase 1 effort of the PVBONUS Two program that describes the key technical issues that United Solar and its subcontractor, Industrial Solar Technology Corporation, worked on in preparation of a Phase 2 award. The decisions described were ones that will guide the design and fabrication of a pre-production prototype of a 1500:1 mirrored concentrator with gallium arsenide cells when United solar resumes its development work. The material below is organized by citing the key components that underwent a design review, what the company considered, what was decided, the name of the expected supplier, if not to be produced in-house, and some information about expected costs. The cost figures given are usually budgetary estimates, not the result of firm quotations or extensive analysis.
Date: December 31, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Comparison of an impedance heating system to mineral insulated heat trace for power tower applications

Description: A non-conventional type of heating system is being tested at Sandia National Laboratories for solar thermal power tower applications. In this system, called impedance heating, electric current flows directly through the pipe to maintain the desired temperature. The pipe becomes the resistor where the heat is generated. Impedance heating has many advantages over previously used mineral insulated (MI) heat trace. An impedance heating system should be much more reliable than heat trace cable since delicate junctions and cabling are not used and the main component, a transformer, is inherently reliable. A big advantage of impedance heating is the system can be sized to rapidly heat up the piping to provide rapid response times necessary in cyclic power plants such as solar power towers. In this paper, experimental results from testing an impedance heating system are compared to MI heat trace. The authors found impedance heating was able to heat piping rapidly and effectively. There were not significant stray currents and impedance heating did not affect instrumentation.
Date: March 1, 1997
Creator: Pacheco, J.E. & Kolb, W.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Performance of the Solar Two central receiver power plant

Description: Solar Two is a utility-led project to promote the commercialization of solar power towers by retrofitting the Solar One pilot plant from a water/steam-based system to a molten salt system. Solar Two is capable of producing 10 MW(e) net electricity with enough thermal storage capacity to operate the turbine for three hours after sunset. The plant was turned over to its operations and maintenance contractor in February 1998, marking transition from start-up to the test and evaluation phase. Solar Two has collected as much as 230 MWh thermal and generated as much as 72 MWh(e) gross electricity in one day. The plant has demonstrated dispatchability after dark, during clouds, and during sunshine hours. To date, Solar Two has collected thermal energy at a maximum rate of 39 MW(t) and generated gross electricity at a maximum rate of 11.1 MW(e). Important lessons have been learned in the areas of heat trace, valve selection, materials of construction, and steam generator design. Testing has begun in a number of areas relating to receiver performance, storage tank performance, salt chemistry, overnight thermal conditioning, electricity dispatching, performance monitoring and evaluation, availability tracking, and receiver controls.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Prairie, M.R.; Pacheco, J.E.; Gilbert, R.L.; Reilly, H.E.; Speidel, P.J. & Kelly, B.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of the Solar Two Test and Evaluation Program

Description: Solar Two was a collaborative, cost-shared project between eleven US industry and utility partners and the U. S. Department of Energy to validate molten-salt power tower technology. The Solar Two plant, located east of Barstow, CA, was comprised of 1926 heliostats, a receiver, a thermal storage system and a steam generation system. Molten nitrate salt was used as the heat transfer fluid and storage media. The steam generator powered a 10 MWe, conventional Rankine cycle turbine. Solar Two operated from June 1996 to April 1999. The major objective of the test and evaluation phase of the project was to validate the technical characteristics of a molten salt power tower. This paper describes the significant results from the test and evaluation activities.
Date: February 8, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Educational initiative for EE/RE engineering skills: Solar Two student interns. Final report

Description: The US Department of Energy sponsored five student interns from the University of California, Riverside, College of Engineering to work during the summer of 1996 at the Solar Two Energy facility in the Mojave Desert. Through the DOE intern program, engineering students supported the Solar Two Project under the supervision of engineers from Southern California Edison. The prime purpose was to provide outreach and educational support for expanding interactions with university students to increase awareness of careers in renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. The College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) coordinated this project. CE-CERT is primarily a research facility focusing on air pollution and energy efficiency. CE-CERT serves undergraduate and graduate students by employing them on research projects, supporting them in the research and experimentation required for Senior Design Projects, and sponsoring them in student engineering competitions.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Norbeck, J.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar central receiver technology: the Solar Two Project

Description: Solar Two will be the world`s largest operating solar central receiver power plant. It is expected to begin operating in April 1996; it is currently undergoing start-up and checkout. The plant will use sunlight reflected from 1926 sun-tracking mirrors to heat molten nitrate salt flowing in a heat exchanger (receiver) that sits atop a 200 foot tower. The heated salt will be stored in a tank for use, when needed, to generate superheated steam for producing electricity with a conventional Rankine-cycle turbine/generator. The purpose of the project is to validate molten-salt solar central receiver technology and to reduce the perceived risks associated with the first full-scale commercial plants. Already, much has been learned during the project including the effects of trace contaminants in the salt and the large effect of wind on the receiver. There is also much that remains to be learned. This report describes the technical status of the Solar Two project including a summary of lessons learned to date.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Sutherland, J.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dish/Stirling systems: Overview of an emerging commercial solar thermal electric technology

Description: Dish/Stirling is a solar thermal electric technology which couples parabolic, point-focusing solar collectors and heat engines which employ the Stirling thermodynamic cycle. Since the late 1970s, the development of Dish/Stirling systems intended for commercial use has been in progress in Germany, Japan, and the US. In the next several years it is expected that one or more commercial systems will enter the market place. This paper provides a general overview of this emerging technology, including: a description of the fundamental principles of operation of Dish/Stirling systems; a presentation of the major components of the systems (concentrator, receiver, engine/alternator, and controls); an overview of the actual systems under development around the world, with a discussion of some of the technical issues and challenges facing the Dish/Stirling developers. A brief discussion is also presented of potential applications for small Dish/Stirling systems in northern Mexico.
Date: November 1, 1995
Creator: Strachan, J.W.; Diver, R.B. & Estrada, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar dish/engine systems

Description: Solar dish/engine systems convert the energy from the sun into electricity at a very high efficiency. Using a mirror array formed into the shape of a dish, the solar dish focuses the sun`s rays onto a receiver. The receiver transmits the energy to an engine that generates electric power. Because of the high concentration ratios achievable with parabolic dishes and the small size of the receiver, solar dishes are efficient at collecting solar energy at very high temperatures. Tests of prototype systems and components at locations throughout the US have demonstrated net solar to electric conversion efficiencies as high as 30%. This is significantly higher than any other solar technology.
Date: April 1, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Testing of an impedance heating system for solar power tower applications

Description: A non-conventional type of heating system is being tested at Sandia National Laboratories for solar thermal power tower applications. In this system, called impedance heating, electric current flows directly through the pipe to maintain the desired temperature. The pipe becomes the resistor where the heat is generated. Impedance heating has many advantages over previously used mineral insulated (MI) heat trace. An impedance heating system should be much more reliable than heat trace cable since delicate junctions and cabling are not used and the main component, a transformer, is inherently reliable. A big advantage of impedance heating is the system can be sized to rapidly heat up the piping to provide rapid response times necessary in cyclic power plants such as solar power towers. In this paper, experimental results from testing an impedance heating system are compared to MI cable heat trace. We found impedance heating was able to heat piping rapidly and effectively. There were not significant stray currents and impedance heating did not affect instrumentation.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Pacheco, J.E. & Kolb, W.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar thermal repowering

Description: Solar central receiver technology is developing steadily with a promise of becoming a real commercial alternative for energy generation in the late 1980s. Significant potential markets have been identified, research and development of important components is proceeding well, and the first full-system verification experiment at Barstow, California, is under construction. However, much work still lies ahead. A big step toward the realization of large-scale commercial use of solar energy was taken when the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a solicitation in March 1979 for utility repowering/industrial retrofit system conceptual design studies employing solar central receivers. Twenty-two responses were evaluated, and twelve were selected for funding. The results of the twelve studies, plus one study completed earlier and one privately funded, are sufficiently encouraging to warrant proceeding to the next stage of the program: cost-shared projects chosen through open competition. Eight of he fourteen studies are for electric utility repowering of existing oil or natural gas generating plants. The other six are the first site-specific studies of the use of solar central receiver systems for industrial process heat. The industrial processes include gypsum board drying, oil refining, enhanced oil recovery, uranium ore processing, natural gas processing, and ammonia production. Site descriptions, project summaries, conceptual designs, and functional descriptions are given for each of these 14 studies.
Date: August 1, 1980
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conversion of Solar Two to a Kokhala hybrid power tower

Description: The continued drop in energy prices and restructuring of the utility industry have reduced the likelihood that a follow-on commercial 100-MW, power tower project will be built immediately following the Solar Two demonstration project. Given this, it would be desirable to find a way to extend the life of the Solar Two project to allow the plant to operate as a showcase for future power tower projects. This paper looks at the possibility of converting Solar Two into a commercial Kokhala hybrid power tower plant at the end of its demonstration period in 1998. The study identifies two gas turbines that could be integrated into a Kokhala cycle at Solar Two and evaluates the design, expected performance, and economics of each of the systems. The study shows that a commercial Kokhala project at Solar Two could produce power at a cost of less than 7 e/kWhr.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Price, H.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Results of the Boeing/DOE DECC Phase 1 stirling engine project

Description: Phase I of Boeing Company/DOE Dish Engine Critical Component (DECC) Project started in April of 1998 and was completed in 1999. The Phase I objectives, schedule, and test results are presented in this paper. These data shows the power, energy, and mirror performance are comparable to that when the hardware was first manufactured 15 years ago. During the Phase I and initial Phase II test period the on-sun system accumulated over 3,800 hours of solar-powered operating time, accumulated over 4,500 hours of concentrator solar tracking time, and generated over 50,000 kWh of grid-compatible electrical energy. The data also shows that the system was available 95 {percent} of the time when the sun's insolation level was above approximately 300 w/m{sup 2}, and achieved a daily energy efficiency between 20{percent} and 26{percent}. A second concentrator was refurbished during Phase I and accumulated over 2,200 hours of solar track time. A second Stirling engine operated 24 hours a day in a test cell in Sweden and accumulated over 6,000 test hours. Discussion of daily operation shows no major problems encountered during the testing that would prevent commercialization of the technology. Further analysis of the test data shows that system servicing with hydrogen, coolant and lubricating oil should not be a major O and M cost.
Date: March 2, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar Two technology for Mexico

Description: Solar power towers, based on molten salt technology, have been the subject of extensive research and development since the late 1970s. In the mid 1980s, small experimental plants were successfully fielded in the USA and France that demonstrated the feasibility of the concept at a 1 to 2 MW{sub e} scale. Systems analyses indicate this technology will be cost competitive with coal-fired power plants after scaling-up plant size to the 100 to 200 MW{sub e} range. To help bridge the scale-up gap, a 10 MW{sub e} demonstration project known as Solar Two, was successfully operated in California, USA from 1996 to 1999. The next logical step could be to scale-up further and develop a 30 MW{sub e} project within the country of Mexico. The plant could be built by an IPP industrial consortium consisting of USA's Boeing and Bechtel Corporations, combined with Mexican industrial and financial partners. Plausible technical and financial characteristics of such a ``Solar-Two-type'' Mexican project are discussed in this paper.
Date: March 2, 2000
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Concentrating Solar Power strategic plan summary

Description: A strategic plan for Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) -- A Bright Path to the Future -- was completed and released by the US Department of Energy`s Office of Solar Thermal, Biomass Power, and Hydrogen Technologies in December 1996. This strategic plan document will help bring CSP (formerly solar thermal electric) technologies to the marketplace over the course of the next 20 years (1996--2015) -- taking us from the current pre-competitive status closer to full commercialization. The plan, developed in concert with stakeholders, is a living document and will undergo periodic reevaluation as well as revision to reflect changes in the market environment, the progress of the technologies, and the development of new concepts and ideas.
Date: May 1, 1998
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Solar two: A molten salt power tower demonstration

Description: A consortium of United States utility concerns led by the Southern California Edison Company (SCE) is conducting a cooperative project with the US Department of Energy (DOE), Sandia National Laboratories, and industry to convert the 10-MW Solar One Power Tower Pilot Plant to molten nitrate salt technology. The conversion involves installation of a new receiver, a new thermal storage system, and a new steam generator; it utilizes Solar One`s heliostat field and turbine generator. Successful operation of the converted plant, called Solar Two, will reduce economic risks in building initial commercial power tow projects and accelerate the commercial acceptance of this promising renewable energy technology. The estimated cost of Solar Two, including its three-year test period, is $48.5 million. The plant will begin operation in early 1996.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Tyner, C. E.; Sutherland, J. P. & Gould, W. R., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of cold filling receiver panels and piping in molten-nitrate-salt central-receiver solar power plants

Description: Cold filling refers to flowing a fluid through piping or tubes that are at temperatures below the fluid`s freezing point. Since the piping and areas of the receiver in a molten-nitrate salt central-receiver solar power plant must be electrically heated to maintain their temperatures above the nitrate salt freezing point (430{degrees}F, 221{degrees}C), considerable energy could be used to maintain such temperatures during nightly shut down and bad weather. Experiments and analyses have been conducted to investigate cold filling receiver panels and piping as a way of reducing parasitic electrical power consumption and increasing the availability of the plant. The two major concerns with cold filling are: (1) how far can the molten salt penetrate cold piping before freezing closed and (2) what thermal stresses develop during the associated thermal shock. Cold fill experiments were conducted by flowing molten salt at 550{degrees}F (288{degrees}C) through cold panels, manifolds, and piping to determine the feasibility of cold filling the receiver and piping. The transient thermal responses were measured and heat transfer coefficients were calculated from the data. Nondimensional analysis is presented which quantifies the thermal stresses in a pipe or tube undergoing thermal shock. In addition, penetration distances were calculated to determine the distance salt could flow in cold pipes prior to freezing closed.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Pacheco, J. E.; Ralph, M. E. & Chavez, J. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department