The sun's advocate

A solution from Alfa Laval increases the electrical generation time in concentrated solar power plants by 50 percent, making the sun a power source to be reckoned with.

DATE 2023-11-28 AUTHOR Åsa Lovell

Concentrated solar power, or CSP, is one of the two main technologies to produce electricity from the sun’s energy. Until recently, CSP has been used to produce electricity only when the sun was up. This has been a problem, since the production does not fully match the typical demand curve for electricity. A solution to the problem is to add a thermal storage system based on molten salt, which allows the plant to generate electricity even when the sky is overcast and after the sun goes down without using a backup system powered by fossil fuels. This means the plant can operate for 18 hours straight instead of 12 hours – an increase of six hours or 50 percent. At the heart of the thermal storage system is an Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchanger specifically developed for this application.

Thanks to recent acquisitions, Alfa Laval can also supply other vital equipment to CSP plants, including a variety of heat exchangers, condensers and dry coolers.


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