Research Papers

Reducing the Number of Turbine Starts in Concentrating Solar Power Plants Through the Integration of Thermal Energy Storage

[+] Author and Article Information
Rafael Guédez

Department of Energy Technology,
Royal Institute of Technology,
Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
e-mail: rafael.guedez@energy.kth.se

James Spelling

Department of Energy Technology,
Royal Institute of Technology,
Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
e-mail: james.spelling@energy.kth.se

Björn Laumert

Department of Energy Technology,
Royal Institute of Technology,
Stockholm SE-100 44, Sweden
e-mail: bjorn.laumert@energy.kth.se

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: Including Wind Energy and Building Energy Conservation. Manuscript received November 18, 2013; final manuscript received July 3, 2014; published online July 29, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Markus Eck.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(1), 011003 (Jul 29, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1342; doi: 10.1115/1.4028004 History: Received November 18, 2013; Revised July 03, 2014

The operation of steam turbine units in solar thermal power plants is very different than in conventional base-load plants. Due to the variability of the solar resource, much higher frequencies of plant start-ups are encountered. This study provides an insight to the influence of thermal energy storage (TES) integration on the typical cycling operation of solar thermal power plants. It is demonstrated that the integration of storage leads to significant reductions in the annual number of turbine starts and is thus beneficial to the turbine lifetime. At the same time, the effects of storage integration on the electricity costs are analyzed to ensure that the designs remain economically competitive. Large storage capacities, can allow the plant to be shifted from a daily starting regime to one where less than 20 plant starts occur annually. Additionally, the concept of equivalent operating hours (EOHs) is used to further analyze the direct impact of storage integration on the maintenance planning of the turbine units.

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Fig. 3

Turbine start-up time as a function of the minimum temperature measured in the unit before start-up 0

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Fig. 2

Storage tanks at the Andasol CSP power plants

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Fig. 1

Schematic of a parabolic trough power plant with a two-tank indirect TES system

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Fig. 4

Turbine load during start-up as a function of the type of start 0

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Fig. 5

Schematic power block flowsheet

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Fig. 6

Storage charging and discharging modes

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Fig. 12

Total annual EOH for the parabolic trough plant

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Fig. 7

Annual number of turbine starts

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Fig. 8

Percentage of hot starts over total starts at Daggett location

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Fig. 9

Annual NOH for the parabolic trough plant

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Fig. 10

Annual EOHs, due to turbine starts

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Fig. 11

Percentage of the total EOH due to turbine starts

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Fig. 13

Levelized cost of electricity calculation



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