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SOLAR

THERMAL
PARLEUROP. Biblioih.
. C.
Com. %g-g*f%

Proceedings of a Course held at the
JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE
of the
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Ispra (Varese) - Italy
in the framework of
COURSES
September 3 - 7, 1979
LEGAL NOTI CE
Neither the Commission of the European Communities nor any person acting on behalf of the
Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the following information.
SOLAR
THERMAL
Proceedings of a course held at
the Joint Research Centre of the
Commission of the European
Communities, Ispra, Italy.
September 3 - 7,1979
Edited by
J . GRETZ
Commission of the European Communities
Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy
Published for the
COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN
COMMUNITIES
by ELSEVIER SEQUOIA
; vi RL
. C.
Com.
EU"":'.. '
Publication arranged by tha Directorate General Information Market and Innovation of
the Commission of the European Communities, Luxembourg.
ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels and Luxembourg, 1980
EUR 6670 EN
CONTENTS
SOLAR THERMAL POWER GENERATION
Editorial 1
Guest editorial 2
Thermomechanical solar power generation 3
J. Gretz (Ispra, Italy)
The 1 MW(el) experimental solar power plant of the European Community 13
J. Hofmann (Munich, F.R.G.) and J. Gretz (Ispra, Italy)
Layout, application and economic efficiency of solar farm systems 25
J. E. Feustel, O. Mayrhofer and U. Wiedmann (Munich, F.R.G.)
100 - 1000 kW(el) medium-power distributed-collector solar system 41
J. L. Boy-Marcotte (Plaisir, France)
Considerations on a combined and hybrid solar/fossil fuel cycle 53
C. Micheli (Milan, Italy)
A solar farm with parabolic dishes (Kuwaiti-German project) 65
G. Schmidt and H. Zewen (Munich, F.R.G.) and S. Moustafa (Safat, Kuwait)
The heliostat field layout of the EEC experimental solar power plant 77
V. Hartung, J. Hofmann and Chr. Kindermann (Munich, F.R.G.)
Mirror fields for tower-type solar power plants 91
The late G. Francia (Genoa, Italy)
The influence of the heat transfer fluid on the receiver design 99
M. J. Bignon (Neuilly, France)
The heat pipe and its application to solar receivers I l l
W. B. Bienert (Cockeysville, MD, U.S.A.)
Selective absorbant surfaces for high temperature solar collectors 125
P. Beucherie (Ispra, Italy)
Comparison of heat transfer fluids for use in solar thermal power stations 139
M. Becker (Cologne, F.R.G.)
System and components design of a sodium heat transfer circuit for solar power plants 151
D. Stahl, F. . Boese and S. Kostrzewa (Bergisch Gladbach, F.R.G.)
Layout of gas cycles for solar power generation 163
K. Bammert (Hannover, F.R.G.)
Long-term storage of solar energy in industrial process heat and electricity production: an analysis with
reference to Mediterranean weather 185
R. Visentin (Rome, Italy)
The Spilling steam motor 199
G. Spilling (Wohlen, Switzerland)
Integration problems of an intermittent power generating plant <. 207
D. Borgese (Milan, Italy)
Small-scale solar electricity generation and redundancy of the grid .' . . , 213
F.-J. Glatzel (Essen, F.R.G.)
The U.S. solar thermal power program 227
C. S. Selvage (Livermore, CA, U.S.A.)
The French solar thermodynamic programme 267
H. Durand (Paris, France)
The German R&D programme on solar thermal power generation 273
P. J. Heinzelmann (Bonn, F.R.G.)
The solar energy potential in Switzerland 285
P. Kesselring (Wrenlingen, Switzerland)
Autonomous power generation in developing countries 297
P. Lequeux (Brussels, Belgium)
AUTHOR INDEX 303
SUBJECT INDEX 304
Reprinted from
Electric Power Systems Research, Volume 3
Editor-in-Chief, M. E. Council.
EDITORIAL Included in the concept and design of the Electric Power Systems Re-
search Journal by the editorial staff was the need to provide special issues
devoted solely to a specific topic relevant to electric power systems research.
Volume 3 is devoted to research on large-scale central station thermomechan-
ical solar power generation.
The editorial staff appreciates the hard work and dedication of the many
authors whose papers appear in these special issues and especially that of
J. Gretz who has so graciously accepted the responsibility of Guest Editor
for these issues.
As sure as the sun shines, our need for electrical energy will continue to
grow. Predictions of a levelling off of our requirements have not materialized
and in many areas just the opposite has been the case. Since the embargo of
1973 more attention has been given to energy sources and the conservation
of certain types commonly used by the public. Spot shortages coupled with
ever increasing cost per unit of energy has stimulated a conscientiousness of
conservation in the living, buying and driving habits of the public. Much more
needs to be and can be done, but the masses of energy users must have an
improved educational vehicle to enable them to practice energy conservation
now that conscientiousness has been achieved. Conservation alone will not
satisfy the needs for electrical energy in the future.
Oil will continue to be an expensive source of electrical energy. Coal is
abundant in many areas of the world but its use involves high environmental
protection costs. Proponents of nuclear energy find it more and more diffi-
cult to see plants 'come on the line', especially in the United States.
The electric power industry throughout the world is therefore faced with
a limited menu of boiler fuels, all at increasingly high cost. The economics of
these fuels has motivated scientists and engineers, as well as ratepayers, to
take a second look at solar energy. Solar energy is not free as many propo-
nents would lead us to believe, but incurs very high conversion and storage
costs.
Solar energy research is presently being conducted by numerous groups,
either government or privately sponsored. A broad classification of solar en-
ergy might include such non-depletable sources as wind, wave, ocean currents
and tides, as well as those associated directly with solar radiation.
The papers in these issues deal with research on concentrating solar radi-
ation on collectors and the conversion of solar energy to other forms, one of
which is electrical.
GUEST
EDITORIAL
The articles of this volume of Electric Power Systems Research are lec-
tures which have been given within the frame of the ISPRA Courses, held at
the Joint Research Centre of the European Communities, Ispra, Italy. They
are organised in order to disseminate scientific knowledge in areas within the
research programme of the Joint Research Centre and to exchange views with
scientists of other organisations on an international basis.
After the flat-plate solar collectors for warm water production and
house heating, solar power plants for electricity and process heat production
are on the verge of entering the industrial stage. Experimental, demonstration
and commercial power plants are now being built in the kilowatt to mega-
watt range by several industries. The time is ripe, therefore, to exchange ex-
perimental results and scientific and technical points of view on the matter.
Direct conversion by means of photovoltaic cells and thermomechanical
conversion are the main candidates for solar power/electricity generation. In
order to keep the solar collector field of the latter (mirror field) size reason-
ably small, high efficiency conversion processes must be applied, i.e. use of
high or very high working temperatures, which in turn requires concentration
of the solar radiation.
Most solar power plants today are steam cycle systems. In order to im-
prove on the potential and cost benefits, different technology/cycles should
be investigated. At this moment, gas and hybrid gas/steam cycles seem to be
very promising. Open cycle gas turbine plants need no refrigeration, which is
an extra benefit in remote and sunny areas where the provision of cooling
water may be a problem.
Solar thermal power generation is feasible today; no major scientific
breakthroughs are required, but rather the development and cost reduction
of more or less available components, as well as optimisation of the systems
linking together those components: receiver, heliostat, prime mover, storage,
heat cycle.
Gratitude is expressed to the authors of the course for their intellectual
contribution as well as for preparing the material to be printed. Thanks are
given also to the Head and all members of the Division Training and Educa-
tion of the Joint Research Centre at ISPRA for the organisation of the course.
Joachim Gretz
Joint Research Centre
of the European Communities
Ispra (Varese), Italy
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 3 1 1
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
Thermomechanical Solar Power Generation*
JOACHIM GRETZ
Solar Energy Program/Project Directorate, CCR Euratom, 2102 Ispra, Varese (Italy)
SUMMARY
After considerations on the thermodyn
amics and technicalities of solar energy
conversion into power, indicating the advan
tage of using high temperatures, the 1 MW(el)
helioelectric power plant EURE LIOS of the
European Communities is described.
The conversion of solar energy into hydro
gen, and transportation of solar energy by
means of hydrogen and/or hydrogenated fuels
are discussed. The solar power plant is, at
about 80% of the overall costs, the most cost
intensive component in the system comprising
solar energy conversion into mechanical
power, electrolysis, chemical reactor and
transportation of chemicals over long dis
tances (several 1000 km) over land and sea to
the user's site. Liquid and gaseous hydrogen,
methanol and ammonia are considered.
Industrial solar hydrogen production is dis
cussed, especially by electrolysis, because of
its present readiness for application.
Some qualitative considerations on the in
fluence of largescale solar energy conversion
on local climate indicate that there should be
no heating up of the atmosphere above the
ground but a slight cooling of the ground
underneath the mirrors.
CONTENTS
1. Introduction
2. Thermomechanical power generation
2.1. Thermodynamic considerations
2.2. EURELIOS, the 1 MW(el) power plant
of the European Communities
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
3. Solar energy transportation
3.1. Solar hydrogen
3.1.1. Solar hydrogen production
3.2. Storage
3.3. Transport
4. Costs and learning
4. 1. Learning
4.2. Costs
5. Influence of largescale power plants on
local climate
6. Summary and outlook
1. INTRODUCTION
Solar energy seems to be the best candidate
for a renewable energy source because its high
thermodynamic potential allows its conver
sion into heat, electricity and synthetic fuels,
i.e., all forms of energy which are convenient
for man's use.
It is useful to recall some figures on the
potential of solar energy, land use and material
requirements. If Europe's present electricity
consumption of about 1.2 X10
12
kWh/y
were to be met by helioelectric power plants
( = 20%) with European insolation (3 kWh/
m
2
per day), about 0.5 1% of Europe's land
would be required. Interestingly enough,
about the same amount of land is used for our
roads (2.8 X 10
6
km). Of course, it would not
make much sense to ruin our culturally
unique and beautiful Europe for energy pro
duction; there are many deserts in Africa
from which it would be preferable to import
energy to Europe to the advantage of both
continents.
As for the frequently mentioned extremely
high material requirements of helioelectric
power plants, I quote some U.S. (Mac
DonnelDouglas) figures. The material re
quirements to construct 10 GW(el) solar
power tower plants per year which corre
sponds in energy production to 2 3 large
1 GW nuclear power plants per year would
be about 1.4 X 10
6
tonnes of steel and 0.8 X
10
6
tonnes of glass, i.e., about 0.5% of
Europe's yearly steel and mild steel production
and probably 6% of its glass production. For
comparison, European automobile production
requires about three times the abovemen
tioned steel production.
The cost of a solar power plant today is
10 ECU/W(el) (e.g., EURELIOS, the 1 MW(el)
helioelectric power plant of the European
Communities). U.S. estimates forecast costs
of about 1.2 U.S. $/W(el), corresponding to
an electricity cost of 80 milis/kWh (at an an
nuity of 0.15) by 1990.
I. personally, shall make no projections
because I would not know on what grounds,
by when, or whether at all, these energy costs
will be competitive with other energy
resources. Besides, I have my doubts about
those low investment costs of 1.2 $/W(el).
But we shall have a look at cost reduction due
to learning later on.
2. THERMOMECHANICAL POWER GENERATION
2.1. Thermodynamic considerations
A useful solar energy conversion efficiency
should be the product of the exergetic, collec
tor and cycle/mechanical efficiencies:
^tot

l e x ^coll^cycle/mech
The energy, i.e., the work fraction of the heat
energy,is
T T
t
dEx = dQ

1
u
For 1 J of energy and for a coolingwater
temperature of 30 C, as a function of temper
ature :
5760 (solar surface temp.)
823 K( ~550C)
333 K( ~ 60 C)
Ex = 0.947 J
Ex = 0.63 J
Ex = 0.09 J
Then, with a typical flatplate collector effi
ciency (?
coU
= 0.5), mirror/receiver efficien
cy (? = 0.75) and cycle/mechanical efficiency
( = 0.35), the conversion efficiencies and
land use for power production with a flat
plate collector system and a concentrating
system are shown in Table 1. This Table is
selfexplanatory. I hesitate to set down these
TABLE 1
Efficiencies and land use of power production sys
tems
System T7
C X
T}
coU
7
c
ycle/mech ^tot
m
coll/
"mcch
Flatplate 0.09 0.5 0.35 1.57% 73
Concen 0.63 0.75 0.35 16.5% 7
trating
obvious Carnot considerations. The reason I
do it is that there are still people and indus
tries thinking of and even doing mechanical
power conversion with flatplate collector sys
tems.
2.2. EURELIOS, the 1 MW(el) solar power
plant of the European Communities [1]
Within the framework of its solar energy
R & D programme, in 1975 the Commission
of the European Communities decided to
build a helioelectric demonstration plant of
rather large rating. The size of 1 MW was the
result of reasoning that for useful monetary
outlay the smallest apparatus should be built,
the technology of which would be intrinsical
ly capable of being extrapolated to increasing
ly higher ratings. At that time, the first eval
uative studies indicated the crossover point of
investment cost and energy price between
distributed systems and power towers to be at
about 500 700 kW. To be sure of the correct
choice and in order to have a representative
rating, 1 MW(el) seemed to be a sound size.
A European Industrial Consortium was set
up for the layout and construction of the
plant, consisting of:
ANSALDO SpA and Ente Nazionale per
l'Energia Elettrica (ENEL), Italy,
CETHEL (combining Renault, FiveCail
Babcock, SaintGobainPontMousson and
Heurtey S.A.), France,
Messerschmitt Boi ko wBlohm (MBB),
Germany.
The special role of ENEL within the
project must be mentioned: ENEL not only
acts as a member of the Industrial Consortium,
but also as 'host partner'. As such, it shall
make available, free of charge to the contract
ing parties and to the EEC, the site and site
preparation, the infrastructure and the con
nection to the electricity grid, as well as a
certain number of other related services.
The site of the power plant is at Adrano, a
village 40 km west of Catania, Sicily. It has an
average elevation of 220 m, a north-south
inclination of 5%, and lies near a small river.
The project costs have been evaluated at
about 10 million ECU. According to the rules
of the Commission, half of the costs are borne
by the Commission, the other half by the
contractors themselves, or their respective
governments.
The technical details of the power plant are
shown in Table 2, and the project is described
elsewhere in this issue (p. 13).
3. SOLAR ENERGY TRANSPORTATION
3.1. Solar hydrogen
One answer to the question of what can be
done with solar power, except electricity pro-
duction, in order to have it in a convenient
and stored form and to transport it over long
distances from sunny countries into Europe,
is to convert it into hydrogen and other
hydrogenated fuels. A detailed discussion of
solar energy conversion into hydrogen has
been given elsewhere [2, 3] . It should be suf-
ficient here to recall the unique and universal
properties of combustion, energy storage and
energy transportation of hydrogen.' It may be
worth while, however, to expose some of the
reasoning leading to the solar hydrogen
concept.
To start with, hydrogen is not a primary,
but a secondary energy source and has there-
fore to be produced. If water is used as the
primary material and solar energy as the
primary energy source, then the concept of a
universal, clean, inexhaustible fuel for man-
kind would be perfect. The most difficult and
also the most important problem is the pro-
duction of hydrogen.
In a solar energy driven Europe there will
be roof and garden space available for decen-
tralized energy production, but it is estimated
that this will only meet, at most, 5 - 10% of
the primary energy consumption. And it
would be senseless to sacrifice the precious
and culturally unique Europe for additional
collector placing. Besides, studies indicate
that it would be cheaper to ship solar energy
in the form of hydrogen or hydrogen-
derivated fuels, like ammonia or methanol,
through hydrogen pipelines or by tankers to
Europe from the sunny regions of the world,
rather than use Europe's rather poor sun.
Gaseous hydrogen may be stored in under-
ground porous structures, originally filled
with water (aquifers) which would be dis-
placed by the pressurized hydrogen, or in
depleted oil and gas fields.
3.1.1. Solar hydrogen production [ 2- 6]
The splitting of water requires either free
energy or high temperatures [ 7] . Free energy
may be delivered by light quanta (photolysis)
or in the form of electricity. The latter
requires an electricity conversion device
which may be of photovoltaic or thermo-
mechanical nature. The situation today is as
follows.
Electrolysis. Electrolysis is a proven and
convenient way of producing hydrogen. If the
development of very high temperature
electrolysis (800 - 1000 C) is successful, heat-
assisted electrolysis with electric efficiencies
of 100% or more may be attractive in connec-
tion with thermomechanical helioelectric
conversion.
Thermal conversion. Extremely high temp-
erature (~3000 C) direct decomposition
(thermolysis) is thermodynamically interest-
ing, but is, for the time being, technologically
not feasible. The use of thermochemical
cycles is mainly a question of economics and
of adaptation to the high temperatures attain-
able with solar concentrating devices.
Quantum conversion. The thermodynamic
quality of light makes quantum conversion
highly attractive, though much basic research
is required.
Bioconversion. Biosystems are already
operating in nature but with extremely low
efficiencies, bioenergy systems would seem to
be an attractive way of fuel production.
Electrolysis being closest to the eventual
industrial production of solar hydrogen, the
thermomechanical way of electrolytic
hydrogen production will be discussed briefly.
Electrolysis is an attractive process for the
production of hydrogen in that it is a known
technique, generates hydrogen separately, and
allows discontinuous operation and hence the
use of solar energy without storage.
Today's modern electrolysers have electric
efficiencies of 75 - 80%, 90% efficiency is in
view, and hydrogen production by pure elec-
trolysis with solar energy is only a question of
component price. If advanced high temper-
TABLE 2
Technical parameters of EURELIOS
General characteristics
Experimental plant of central receiver-multiheliostat type
Location 37.5 N, 15.25 (Sicily, Italy)
Design point: equinox noon and assumed insolation of 1000 W/m
2
Power generated: 1 MW(el) into existing grid at design point
Design parameters (power figures at design point)
Heliostat field:
Heliostats:
CETHELt ype:
MBB type:
Receiver/tower:
Steam cycle:
Thermal storage:
Energy storage:
Equipment:
Electrical system:
4800 kW(th) to receiver
two types, two axiscontrolled, overall inaccuracy 4 mrad (1)
ca. 52 m
2
, 8 focusing modules, 70 heliostats
ca. 23 m
2
, 16 square elements, 112 heliostats
Cavitytype receiver, 4.5 m aperture in 55 m height, 110 inclination. Receiver outlet
steam conditions: 512 C, 64 atm, 4860 kg/h (5346 kg/h possible)
Turbine connected to receiver (no intermediate heat exchanger). Nominal power:
1200 kW(mec) with steam of 510 C, 60 atm. Feedwater temperature at receiver inlet:
36 C. Cooling water temperature: 25 C max
Reduced electrical output for ca. 30 min
Vapour 300 kWh; Hitec: 60 kWh
Pressurized (19 bar) water reservoir for 4300 kg. Vapour produced from 19 to 7 bar. Two
storage tanks, containing 1600 kg Hitec (overall capacity). Heat exchangers for 19 bar, 480
and 410 C steam temperature
Power generation: alternator for 1100 kW min for ca. 100 kW/internal power and 1000 kW
for external users. Transformers, emergency power supply. Interface to grid: equipment to
connect transformers to public grid. Steamcycle control equipment. Command, operation
and monitoring centralized in control centre
I'
l l
o
o
*
kJ
>.
U
J

>

*
Ui
300


kJ
mol
200
WO
dS
J
mol
ABOVE THIS LIN
HYDROGEN AND
^\.
BELOW THIS LINE NO
HYDROGEN CAN BE
PRODUCED
'
1
0
W
ELECTRICITY IS
GIVING OUT EX
BETWEEN THE
TV AND HEAT A
CREATE HYDRi
w-
^
PRODUCING 1
ESS HE
1 ( nntat | H,
iE LINES BOTH ELECTRICI-
IRE BEING USED TO
MS =^G

^
s
9
^ ^ d G ,
7000 2000 3000 iOOO
Fig. 1. Thermodynamics of electrolytic water splitting.
ature electrolysers are successfully developed,
they may prove to be of interest in connec
tion with thermomechanical helioelectric
conversion (see Fig. 1) [8, 9].
High temperature steam produced in the
boiler of a power tower would be used partly
in turbine expansion for electricity produc
tion, and would partly be bypassed and used
to supply the TAS heating of the electrolyser.
With increasing temperature the dissocia
tion voltage decreases, according to
dE,'dT = 0. 2 5 mV/C
At a temperature of 1300 K, for instance, the
voltage would be 0.88 V, with the corre
sponding TAS heat requirement of 1.49
0.88 = 0.58 V, since the thermoneutral poten
tial at 1300 is 1.49 V. This heat equivalent
of 0.58 V, compensating for the cooling
tendency of the cell, can be induced by any
external heat source. Since this energy is heat,
it is not subjected to Carnot reduction and
the conversion operation becomes thermo-
dynamically advantageous.
For an operation temperature of 1300
and with theoretical values of r?
m
= 1 , over-
potential = 0 V, and with Q as thermal heat
flow, the turbogenerator heat flow would be
\ I
X100 = 88%
and the influence of such a hybrid system on
the production cost of hydrogen, as compared
to normal electrolysis, for the above case
would be
=

3
'(^
where = H
2
production cost difference
between normal electrolysis and hybrid elec
trolysis (milis/kWh), a (= 0.16) = annuity
(
_1
F ir 0.12) = enthalpy fraction,
S
y
(= 2300) = yearly sunshine hours (h y
_ 1
) ,
t'i (= 200) = investment cost of solar thermal
plants ($/kW(th)), i
2
(= 120) = investment
cost of the turboalternator ($/kW(el)),
j
3
(= 120) = investment cost of the electro
lyser ($(kW(el)), (= 0.2) = electricity
conversion efficiency.
The numerical values in brackets are esti
mates for 1985 1990 (note that i
l
is the cost
per thermal power) and may illustrate the size
of the influence of the hybrid system on the
costs. The cost of pure electrolysismade
hydrogen would be
a X10
3

160
+ U + I.
2300
(1000 + 120 + 120) = 87 milis/kWh
Hybrid electrolysismade hydrogen would be
cheaper by
160
= [0.12 (1000 200 + 120)]
2300
= 7.7 milis/kWh
Of course, a costbenefit calculation has to
decide whether the energy cost gain compen
sates for the higher investment cost of the
sophisticated high temperature electrolyser.
In this context the bad amortisation condi
tions of solar energy components are stressed,
indicating the advantage of having low invest
ment costs rather than high performance.
3.2. Storage
The delivery of continuous solar energy
may, but must not necessarily, be from stor
age. For instance, a hybrid solar energy power
station, operated in conjunction with a fossil
fuel system for 24 h/d plant operation, would
ameliorate the bad amortisation conditions of
power plants and would be cheaper than stor
age; this is certainly an attractive concept,
especially in these first decades of transition
from fossil to renewable fuels.
Any terrestrial solar energy conversion
device suffers from the bad amortisation of its
investment costs owing to its low annual load
factor, which is 25% at best, the average being
between 15 and 20%. Storage does not
present a solution to this problem since the
plant layout is powerproportional rather
than energyproportional; in fact, the whole
powerproportional solar collection part
heliostats, tower, receiver, primary piping,
representing, say, 60% of the total plant is
badly amortised in either case, with or with
out storage. Any storage device would only
lead to savings on the remaining 40% of the
power plant. There are also the investment
costs of the storage system to take into
consideration. Since any storage device is
more expensive than an oil burner, shunting
of the latter is a more economic solution
the solar energy conversion device can be seen
as shunted to the nuclear or fossil plant,
rather than the other way round.
In that light, hydrogen as a secondary ener
gy source is certainly a potential means of
energy storage, but its most attractive feature
is that it forms a genuine primary energy
source since it originates from water and is
split by solar energy.
3.3. Transport
As a solar energy vector, hydrogen is not
the only one which should be considered, but
also other hydrogenderived fuels such as am
monia and methanol.
A study presented at Ispra [10] on the
economics of production and transportation
of hydrogenrich fuel from production sites
1000 5000 km distant from the user's site
shows a rather interesting result. Whatever the
energy carrier is, i.e. gaseous hydrogen,
methanol or ammonia, the conversion of solar
energy into electricity and then into hydrogen
is by far the most costly process in the whole
chain. With assumed solar electricity costs of
80 milis/kWh, the (normalized) methanol at
the consumers' site, 5000 km from the pro
duction site, would cost 108 milis/kWh.
The storage and transportation costs of the
chemicals are a small percentage of the overall
costs at the utilization site for methanol and
ammonia (0.25 0.55% for methanol, 0.6
1% for ammonia, dependent on the route
length). For liquefied hydrogen this percent
age rises to 2.2 5% owing to the high cost of
the ship and to the low energy density of the
cargo. For an electricity generating cost of
80 milis/kWh, there is only a marginal differ
ence in delivered energy cost between the dif
ferent chemicals considered.
Another study [11] produces similar
results, comparing alternative forms of energy
transmission from ocean thermal energy
conversion (OTEC) plants, i.e. gaseous and
liquid hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, gasoline
and methane. It defines the overall efficiency
of conversion, storage and transportation of
OTEC mechanical energy into chemical ener
gy and its conversion back into electricity at
the user's site. Interestingly enough, the study
assumes an OTEC shaft horsepower cost of
20 milis/kWh. I, personally, have my severest
doubts on such optimistic low energy costs
from any solar energy conversion process,
even in the distant future.
As an appendix almost, a thought should
be given to enriched uranium, a 'black sheep'
in the solar family, as an energy vector. In the
search for a high energy density vector this
would be a good candidate. Assuming a burn
up of 30 MWd/kg of heavy material and
separation work of 140 TI/TWh, the energy
density of enriched uranium would be about
1000 times higher than that of hydrogen, or
3000 times higher than that of gasoline.
4. COSTS AND LEARNING
4.1. Learning
Except for basic researchintensive R&D,
like for instance quantum conversion and
direct photolysis for hydrogen production,
the cost of solar energy conversion is a ques
tion of component costs. The constituent
components (photocells, mirrors, heliostats,
receiver, turboalternator, electrolyser) have a
price, a lifetime and an operating efficiency
and the energy costs can then be calculated as
a function of insolation and financing condi
tions.
The cost of any component at an early
stage of a new technology enjoys a reduction
due to learning. The learning process is usual
ly expressed as the diminution of production
cost of an item with increasing production:
c = kf
n
where
c = relative cost of item
k = constant
f = learning factor (0.5 < f < 1)
= number of integral production doublings
= 1(/
0
) In 2"
1
(because 2" = a/a
0
)
a
0
= number of items produced at time 0,
a = number of items produced at the time
under consideration
Assuming that at present there are 5 MW(el)
installed or nearly completed, and 50 MW(el)
by 1990, i.e. a/a
0
= 10, then
= In 10(ln 2)
1
= 3.3
and
c =0. 5
The unit cost by 1990 would therefore be
down by a factor 2. The learning factor was
taken to be an average of 0.8 on the grounds
that at the beginning the learning is faster,
giving a smaller learning factor ( = 0.7), and
gets slower with increasing maturity of the
industry (f = 0.9).
The decreased unit cost by a factor 2 due
to learning for a tenfold increase in unit pro-
duction is small compared with the wide
spread of uncertainty of the projected cost
for helioelectric power which was almost two
orders of magnitude at the beginning of 1976
(Toulouse Conference). That suggests that
one should be careful with projections for
future solar power plant costs which take into
consideration industry's learning, because the
learning process discussed above is mainly due
to learning in the mere production process of
an already industrialized product. At an early
stage of a new technique, however, funda-
mental inventions may entail major break-
throughs in production techniques and there-
with cost reduction by orders of magnitude.
The cost goals of the U.S. and other countries
for photovoltaics illustrate this situation
[12]. Cost reduction by a factor 20 within 10
years would correspond to a millionfold
increase in production, or 20 doublings within
ten years. However, with U.S. cost projections
of 1500 $/kW(el), the peak energy would cost
96 milis/kWh. Without storage, the energy
costs would be more like 80 milis/kWh, i.e.
five times higher than today's electricity pro
duction costs.
4.2. Costs
Two remarks may be made with regard to
costs. About half of the costs are for the
mirror field, the size of which is inversely pro
portional to the plant conversion efficiency.
Looking at the cost goals of photovoltaics,
one is inclined to ask oneself whether there is
any chance to improve those costs and, if so,
by what measures. The high cost of the mirror
field seems to indicate that here is the key to
the cost problem, i.e. the reduction of the
mirror field by increasing the plant conversion
efficiency. Indicative figures show total
conversion efficiencies of ~40% for gas
turbine/steam cycle hybrid plants, whereas
the efficiency of the 1 MW(el) power plant of
the EC is still at 16%. Here is room for hope.
A more general view on the cost issue is
interesting here. Automobile costs of, say,
100 $/kW are often quoted as an example of
how 60 years of mass production can bring
down the costs of such a complicated and
complex thing like an automobile (see Table
3). In actual fact, the automobile costs are
two orders of magnitude less than today's
solar power plants and one order of mag
nitude less than the projected future ones. An
objection would, of course, be that an auto
mobile is built to run, say, 2000 hours in its
life and a power plant 20 years, i.e. 100 000
hours. So, I inquired at a wellknown marine
diesel factory [13] about the costs of diesel
power plants working under power plant
conditions. The difference is less striking
here, yet one is still led to ask why compli
cated machines should cost less than simpler
ones.
5. INFLUENCE OF LARGESCALE POWER
PLANTS ON LOCAL CLIMATE
Some qualitative considerations on the in
fluence of largescale solar energy conversion
on the local climate show that there should be
no temperature increase of the atmosphere
above the ground where the collectors or
mirrors are situated; there will be a small
temperature reduction of the ground under
neath the mirrors (Fig. 2).
Wi thout power plant, albedo 20% Wi th power pl ant , = 20*/
( Si mpl i f i ed, wi t hout at mospher i c i nt er act i on)
1 0 0
/ 2 0
/ ( A=0, 5y)
8 0 = :
80
( = ! 0) Consumer
' 20
Solar power
pl ant
I I
\ \
( )
Fig. 2. Energy balance at earth surface with and with
out solar power plant.
Without solar power plants, 10 20% of the
incoming radiation is reflected from the
earth's surface, according to the earth's
albedo. The wavelength of that radiation is
around 0.5 and so does not heat up the
atmosphere. The other 80 90% of the solar
radiation is absorbed by the earth, heats it up
and is backradiated as infrared radiation at a
wavelength set by the earth's temperature, i.e.
X
max
= 10 . Thus, the earth and the atmo
sphere above it are heated up by 80 90% of
the incoming solar radiation. For reasons of
illustration, 80% is assumed here.
In the case of solar power plant operation,
an amount of free energy proportional to the
total conversion efficiency of the plant, say
20% of the incoming radiation, is transported
away to the consumer's site, where it will be
TABLE 3
Comparison of specific costs
Solar, actual
k$/kW(el) 10
$/kg 10 (heliostats)
Solar, goal
1.2
3 (heliostats)
Automobile
0.1
3.2
Marine diesel
power plant
0.75
10
liberated as heat. This quantity of heat is
independent of the type of primary energy
source; it will be waste heat in either case.
The other 80% will be backradiated from the
power plant as losses mirrors, receiver,
Carnot in the form of infrared radiation. It
heats up the atmosphere above the power
plant but the earth underneath the mirrors
receives solar radiation only inversely propor
tional to the ground cover ratio. Owing to the
effect of heat conduction from outside the
mirror field, there should be only a slight
cooling effect on the ground, however. Thus,
the sun sees the receiver black in the mirrors,
but the optical blackness does not correspond
to the thermodynamic blackness. The latter is
only black to the degree that the power plant
produces free energy, which equals, in our
example, the earth's albedo.
6. SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK
To give some sort of outlook, I shall try to
answer the tricky question by when solar
energy will come seriously into play; and I
shall take a rather pessimistic view.
There are inherent laws of marked penetra
tion of different energy sources, worked out
by ASA [14], indicating the surprising fact
that the different primary energy sources have
equal gradients of about 50% market penetra
tion in 100 years, independent of infrastruc
tural, technological or other changes of socie
ty (see Fig. 3).
There are at least two comments to be
made. Firstly, the logistic model function, de
scribing the market penetration over time, il
lustrated by the Sshaped curve in Fig. 4,
holds for the takeover time period t
s
, in
which the market share increases from 10 to
in'
m
Ili'
>n'
!
F U S A
\ WOOD
\
C0
*L
NUCLEAR / j.'
GAS / y
soLFus
/ Y ' \ / \ '
v
\
v

/ A/V\ xx \
1750 1800 150 1930 1950 2000 2050 2100 2150 2200 2250
YEAR
Fig. 3. U.S. energy consumption from various sources.
(From ref. 14, p. 213.)
Fig. 4. Time dependence of the market share f of a
technology entering the market (according to the
logistic function).
90%. But to reach the first 10%, it may take
another 30 years or so for solar energy since
the main parameter dictating the penetration
is economic competitiveness, whether we like
it or not.
The second remark is on that point. When
ever an energy source has displaced another
one, it has been on the grounds of being
cheaper. As for solar energy, it has a lot of
qualities, but certainly not that of being
cheap.
This being said, I do not think that solar
energy and even under the assumption that
it has not to compete from the year 2000 on
with fusion or breeders will cover, say, 50%
of our primary energy consumption in less
than 100 to 130 years.
Of course, catastrophies may change all
that: difficulties with OPEC, a serious reactor
or burnt fuel accident, confirmation of C0
2
phenomena, etc.
In any case, penetration rates may change,
but the fact that solar energy is expensive will
not. One should have no illusions on that
intrinsic fact. No technology will be able to
alter the discontinuity and the weak energy
density of terrestrial solar radiation. On the
other hand, the time of cheap energy is over;
the rare petroleum, the dirty coal, the danger
ous or paradangerous atom will all require
their toll and may make solar energy, one day
in the future, a viable energy source.
REFERENCES
1 R. Floris and J. Gretz, La centrale solare da 1
MW(el) della Comunit Europea, Convegno sull'
Energia Solare, Genova, Giugno, 1978.
11
2 J. Gretz, On the potential of solar energy conver
sion into hydrogen and/or other fuels, 2nd
World Hydrogen Energy Conference, Zurich,
August 1978.
3 J. O. M. Bockris, Energy: The Solar Hydrogen
Alternative, Architectural Press, London, 1975.
4 T. Nejet Veziroglu (ed.), Hydrogen Energy, Part
A, Plenum Press, New York, 1975.
5 J. Gretz, The conversion of solar energy without
concentration, Energ. Nucl. (Milan), 21 (8/9)
( 1974) 504 510.
6 NASAASEE, A HydroEnergy Carrier, Vol. II,
1973.
7 G. Porter and M. D. Archer, In vitro photo
synthesis, Interdiscip. Sci. Rev., 1 (2) (1976).
8 H. Matthfer, Die Ntzung der Solaren Strahl
ungsenergie, Umschau, FrankfurtonMain, 1976.
9 J. E. Funk and R. Reinstrm, Energy require
ments in the production of hydrogen from water,
Ind. Eng. Chem. Process Des. Dev., 5 (3) (1966).
10 G. Beghi, A. Broggi, G. De Beni, G. Giacomazzi
and J. Gretz, Solar heat and synthetic fuels:
production and transportation of hydrogenrich
chemicals, International Symposium on Solar
Energy, Cairo, June 1622, 1978.
11 A. Talib et al., Alternative forms of energy trans
mission from OTEC plants, International Solar
Energy Congress 1977, New Delhi, January 16
21, 1978.
12 L. M. Magid, The current status of the U.S.
photovoltaic conversion program, Colloque Inter
national sur l'Electricit Solaire, Toulouse, March
1976.
13 MAN, Die Wirtschaftliche Energieerzeugung mit
Dampfturbinen, Dieselmotoren, Gasturbinen,
Maschinenfabrik AugsburgNrnberg.
14 W. Hfele et al, Second Status Report on the
HASA Project on Energy Systems, 19 75, RR
761, International Institute for Applied Systems
Analysis, Sachsenburg, Austria.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 13 - 24
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
13
The 1 MW(el) Experimental Solar Power Plant of the European Community*
J. HOFMANN
Messerschmitt-Blkow-Blohm GmbH, Space Division, Postfach 80 11 69, 8000 Munich 80 (F.R.G.)
J. GRETZ
Solar Energy Program/Project Directorate, CCR Euratom, 2102 Ispra, Varese (Italy)
1. INTRODUCTION
When in 1976 the EEC placed a contract for
a system definition study of a 1 MW(el) solar
thermal power station, a great deal of informa-
tion was already available, suggesting that the
central receiver-multiheliostat concept is right
for a power station which shall provide peak
power of 900 -1000 kW(el) and more [ 1] .
The basic experimental and theoretical work
to reach this conclusion was done in France
and Italy, by Trombe and Le Phat Vinh [2]
in Odeillo and by Francia [3] in San Ilario
near Genoa, long before the dramatic increase
of oil prices in 1973 urged serious study of
alternative energy sources.
After 1973, national and international au-
thorities started comprehensive development
programmes to explore and to implement
techniques for the utilisation of solar energy.
In particular, the programmes in the U.S.A.
provided results on the various technical and
economic aspects of solar power stations [ 4] .
With the advice of Francia and on the basis
of other work (see ref. 1 and references
therein), the system definition study for the
1 MW(el) solar thermal power station of the
EEC was performed with the participation of
British, French, German and Italian industry.
Its results formed the basis of the project
EURELIOS, the 1 MW(el) solar power station,
which is now under construction by a Euro-
pean industrial consortium. By the end of
1980/beginning of 1981, the plant shall be
ready for an experimental programme, which
foresees the operation of the plant and its
*Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 - 7, 1979.
ability to deliver the energy produced into a
public grid. It will be the first solar thermal
power plant in the world with this operational
capability [5, 6 ] .
2. ORGANISATION AND TIME SCHEDULE
The 1 MW(el) solar thermal power station
EURELIOS is part of the so-called 'Programme
B' within the Commission's Energy research
and development programme section Solar
Energy. As the project is done by industry
and not by an institute of the EEC, only 50%
of the programme is financed by the EEC.
The other half is financed by the participating
countries, the Federal Republic of Germany,
France and Italy, through the ministries con-
cerned.
The participating firms are ANSALDO and
ENEL (Genoa, Italy and Milan/Rome, Italy,
respectively),CETHEL (Paris, France) and Mes-
serschmitt-Blkow-Blohm (MBB) (Munich,
Germany). A consulting contract with the
British firm GTS was concluded by the EEC
for support supervision of the development
work. The Italian firm ENEL acts as the host
partner; the plant will be erected on ENEL's
site at Adrano, Sicily, in the vicinity of
Cantania.
The main areas of responsibility for the
firms of the consortium are:
ANSALDO: receiver, steam cycle
CETHEL: heliostat (CETHEL-type), heat
storage, electrical system
ENEL: host partner: site with neces-
sary infrastructure, buildings,
advice concerning Italian tech-
nical regulations
MBB: heliostats (MBB-type)
The firms have set up a management commit-
tee which takes all necessary managerial and
system-oriented decisions.
14
A detailed diagram of the organisation is
given in Fig. 1, including the supervising Helio
electric Plant Consultative Committee, the
project manager of the Commission and the
British firm GTS as consultant to the project
manager.
The overall programme was arranged in the
following way.
Phase A, Feasibility study and system defi
nition, concerning:
Definition of operating conditions.
Layout of system and components.
Preliminary subsystem and component
specifications.
Preliminary cost estimate and planning for
phases and C.
Phase A was completed in 1976.
Phase
Overall system definition according to
results of phase A.
Overall engineering design.
Implementation of a management concept
of the plant.
Planning and cost estimates.
Detailed engineering and manufacturing
specifications.
Phase took place between November 1977
and November 1978.
Consulting Firm
GTS / UK
ITALI

ANSALDO / Italy
Project Leader
Management
System Engineering
Receiver
Steam cycle and
Storage Interface
Electrical System
{Part)
Instailation Work
Direction XI1
Directorate General
for Research, Science
and Education
Germany
BftfT
I t al y
Hel i oel ect r i c Pl ant
Consultative Committee
Proj ect Leader
Management Committee
Consortium of :
ANSALDO / ENEL
CETHEL / MBB
.J
ITALY

CETHEL / France
Project Leader
ENEL / Italy
Project Leader
Management
System Engineering
Heliostats Typ 1
Tracking
Master Safety
Control
Electrical System
(Part)
Instailation and
Commissioning
Heat Storage
Management
System Engineering
Observer
Status
for industrial
partner
GERMANY
BMFT
via "Projekt
begleitung"
MBB / Germany
Project Leader
Consortium
Members
Host Partner
Management
System Engineering
Heliostats Typ II
Tracking
Instailation and
Commissioning
Commissioning Land
Civil Engineering Infrastructure
Advice cone.
Local and National
Construction Rules
Communication Lines
Organisation's Appointments
for the HPCC
Fig. 1. Organisation for the implementation of EURELIOS.
15
Phase C
- Construction and installation.
- Acceptance testing.
Duration, November 1978 - November 1980.
Phase D
- Testing and experimental work.
Phase E
- Testing and potential modifications.
At present we are in phase C of the project,
at a stage when civil works at the site at
Adrano, Sicily, have started and when manu-
facture of all parts is in progress.
3. TECHNICAL CONCEPT AND SYSTEM
SUMMARY
As a result of phase A, a system for the 1
MW(el) solar power plant has been defined.
This system is the basis for the design and
development work of the present phase. A
schematic diagram is shown in Fig. 2. It repre-
sents the typical layout of a central receiver-
multiheliostat system. Its major subsystems
are:
heliostat field
receiver and tower
electrical power conversion system with
- steam cycle including turbine, condensor,
pumps, valves, etc.
- electrical system including alternator,
transformers, etc.
thermal storage
Two main aspects are important for this par-
ticular project:
(1) Operational requirements: The plant is
not only a facility with which to study the
performance of certain components, e.g. helio-
stats and a receiver, but it will produce elec-
tricity and will deliver this electric power into
a public grid. Such a demonstration power
plant will allow the study of electric power
generation and the grid interface of a solar
power plant and is therefore a step beyond
facilities where strictly development work is
done and where the thermal energy generated
by the sun is not used further. For the dem-
onstration plant, a storage capability of 1/2
hour appears to be reasonable.
(2) Receiver technology development by
Francia: The receiver design is a cavity-type
receiver, operating at approximately 500 C
and using water/steam as a working medium.
This design allows the use of a well-known
simple power conversion circuit: use of water,
possibility of feeding the turbine directly from
the receiver, utilisation of conventional com-
ponents.
Although it is acknowledged that systems
with higher operating temperatures will oper-
INCIDENT
SOLAR
ENERGY
. RECEIVER SUBSYSTEM
CENTRAL RECEIVER SOLAR THERMAL POWER SYSTEM
Fig. 2. Schematic diagram of EURELI OS.
16
ate more efficiently, the present system offers
the advantage of a low development risk for
the whole plant. The receiver in particular has
been studied in several models of smaller size
by Francia and ANSALDO and is not consid
ered to represent development problems.
The selection of the receiver characteristics
has immediate consequences on the heliostat
field, i.e. its shape and dimensions and the
pointing accuracy of the heliostats.
4. DESIGN CHARACTERISTICS
4.1. System parameter summary
The design of the 1 MW(el) solar power
demonstration plant EURELIOS uses as key
parameters the characteristics shown in Fig. 3.
A forecast of the overall energy balance on
the basis of the nominal operating conditions
is given in Fig. 4. It is obvious, however, that
for conditions other than nominal (e.g. other
values of insolation, other positions of the sun),
different efficiencies will be experienced. One
goal of the later experimental phases is to
correlate experimental results with theoretical
forecasts for the efficiency with respect to the
power output.
4.2. The heliostat field
Two types of heliostats will be used in the
project, one provided by MBB (Fig. 5), one
by CETHEL (Fig. 6). The task of the heliostats
is to reflect the rays of the sun into the aper
ture of the receiver, independent of the time.
This is accomplished by a socalled tracking
system (Fig. 7). In both designs a computer
calculates the position of the sun and the
angles for azimuth and elevation required. DC
motors bring the heliostats into the predeter
mined position; deviations from the nominal
positions will be detected by encoders and
will be corrected as required.
Each single heliostat will have focusing ca
pability, in fact each of the mirror elements
will be bent: in one dimension in the case of
CETHEL's, in two dimensions in the case of
MBB's. A comprehensive development pro
gramme gave the assurance that the series of
heliostats will meet the accuracy requirements
of 4 mrad (1 ) at a nominal wind speed of
18 km/h.
Although MBB and CETHEL heliostats
apply the same design principles and are subject
to the same system requirements, they differ
in many details, e.g. with respect to dimen
General characteristics
Experimental plant of central receivermultiheliostat type
Location 37.5 N, 15.25 E (Sicily, Italy)
Design point: equinox noon and assumed insolation of 1000 W/m
2
Power generated: 1 MW(el) into existing grid at design point
Design parameters (power figures at design point)
Heliostat field:
Heliostats:
CETHEL type:
MBB type:
Receiver/tower:
Steam cycle:
Thermal storage:
Energy storage:
Equipment:
Electrical system:
4800 kW(th) to receiver
two types, two axiscontrolled, overall inaccuracy 4 mrad (1)
ca. 52 m
2
, 8 focusing modules, 70 heliostats
ca. 23 m
2
, 16 square elements, 112 heliostats
Cavitytype receiver, 4.5 m Q) aperture in 55 m height, 110 inclination. Receiver outlet
steam conditions: 512 C, 64 atm, 4860 kg/h (5346 kg/h possible)
Turbine connected to receiver (no intermediate heat exchanger). Nominal power:
1200 kW(mec) with steam of 510 C, 60 atm. Feedwater temperature at receiver inlet:
36 C. Cooling water temperature: 25 C max
Reduced electrical output for ca. 30 min
Vapour 300 kWh;Hitec: 60 kWh
Pressurized (19 bar) water reservoir for 4300 kg. Vapour produced from 19 to 7 bar. Two
storage tanks, containing 1600 kg Hitec (overall capacity). Heat exchangers for 19 bar, 480
and 410 C steam temperature
Power generation: alternator for 1100 kW min for ca. 100 kW internal power and 1000 kW
for external users. Transformers, emergency power supply. Interface to grid : equipment to
connect transformers to public grid. Steamcycle control equipment. Command, operation
and monitoring centralized in control centre
Fig. 3. Main design characteristics of EURELIOS.
17
ti^lt? H*
Cosi n
Sol ar power
f a l 1 mg on
nomina 1 r
ror surfai _e
S96 KW
Ref l eL
shad i n
b l o c k i
>
Sol ac power
i nt er c ept ed
by the
l t ' r or s
4800 \i
t i v i t y Hel i
] and r acy
"> Reco
nt e
>
Sol ac power
r e f l e c t e d
t o the
r ec ei v er
4676 KW
i s t at Accu
ver Recei
cept E f f i c
y -
Sol ar Power
ent er i ng
the r e
c ei v er
444? KW
er Cycl e
ency E f f i c
>
The ma l
power t o
steai' i
I nt er nal
ency Power Consumpti on
> >
1100 KW , ,,
El . power
at gener at or
bus bar
El . power
t n g r i d
P0ER PLA'IT E'.ERGV BALANCE REQUIREMENT
' , 1 Condi t ions )
',injl Conditions: equinox noon, 37,b north, 1000 '

insolation, wind speed ^ 18 km h


Fig. 4. Power plant energy requirements. (For different operating conditions, other efficiencies will be experi
enced.)
sions, mechanical/optical characteristics, and
the control and tracking system.
To study the behaviour of the two types of
heliostats, advantage is taken of the fact that
one half (east/west) of the heliostat field has
essentially the same operational characteristics
in the morning as the other half in the after
noon. Therefore the field is subdivided into a
west field (CETHEL) and an east field (MBB).
As the CETHEL heliostats will provide 57%
of the power, some of them are also placed
east of the centre line, where the MBB helio
stats are essentially positioned.
The power contribution of a single heliostat,
located at a certain position and considered at
a certain time, depends on a variety of para
meters illustrated in Fig. 8. The final layout
has been evaluated taking into account the
abovementioned aspects. The result is shown
in Fig. 9. A description of the MBB computer
program applied and of details of the calcula
tions is given in ref. 7 and in a separate paper
of this issue [8].
4.3. Receiver and tower
The receiver technology and its influence
on the system layout have been briefly discus
sed in section 3. The receiver was designed by
Francia together with a team of engineers at
ANSALDO and provides steam at 510 C and
64 bar (at nominal design conditions), the
water inlet temperature being 36 C.
Extensive testing of a receiver model (Fig.
10) confirmed the design assumptions for the
oncethrough boiler. A schematic diagram of
the final receiver is given in Fig. 11.
The water/steam is guided through the boiler
by two parallel pipes. The preheating zone is
in the centre of the receiver, directly exposed
to the incoming radiation flux, the boiling
zone forms the wall, and the superheating zone
is at the back of the receiver, protected against
the direct radiation. Mineral wood protects
the receiver against losses through the wall,
and Pyrex tubes inside the boiler have the task
of equalising the radiation energy density
inside the cavity receiver.
The receiver is mounted at a height of 55 m
on top of a steel tower.
The receiver control is included as a part of
the control of the total steam cycle (see ref.
9).
4.4. Thermal cycle
A schematic diagram of the steam cycle is
given in Fig. 12.
The regulation of a water/steam cycle has
been described recently by Francia [9]. Under
a wide range of insolation conditions the te
18
Heliostat ;or,i.o-
J
:it
- Mirror
Mirror Structure
Dr i ve uni t
inel. m o t o r s , g e a r s
1 bear i ng for
az :muUi
2 bear inqs for
e l e va t i o n
Column
Foundation
Fig. 5. MBB heliostat and technical data: mirror surface, 23 m
2
; mirror elements 16 elements, flat, 3 mm float
glass, 1.20 m Xl. 20 m; total height, 5.48 m ; mirror + mirror structure height, 5.01 m ; width, 5.60 m ; weight, ca.
1500 kg; ground clearance, ca. 0.50 m; height of elevation axis above ground, 2.97 m.
perature of the steam provided by the receiver
shall be kept constant.
The means to control the temperature are
the mass-flow control by the feed pump and
the steam-temperature control by injection of
water. These water injections have, in particu-
lar, the task of fixing the geometric position
of the boiling zone in the once-through type
of boiler.
It should be noted that passage of a cloud
is not a trivial operational mode: to prevent
the boiler from excessive temperature increase
19
Fig. 6. CETHEL heliostat and technical data: mirror surface, 51.8 m
2
; mirror elements 48 elements, 6 mm float
glass, 1.8 m X 0.6 m; total height, 7.87 m; width, 8.84 m weight, ca. 4900 kg; height of elevation axis above ground
4.2 m.
when the sun is coming back, the heliostats
have to be successively deviated from the re-
ceiver pointing orientation during the cloudy
period.
A bypass system allows receiver testing
without the turbine. Whereas the cycle control
involves a rather complex regulating system,
the steam cycle itself is based on conventional
components, e.g. the turbine is based on a
design used in a similar form for auxiliary
power generation in naval applications.
Although the turbine is capable of accept-
ing short-term temperature variations of 50 C,
it is intended that the turbine should not be
subjected to too much stress due to short-term
inlet temperature variations. It is, however,
20
Fig. 7. Heliostat tracking system (MBB type).
Reduced
Beam cross section
(Cosine Ef f ect ]
Blocking Hehostctt Imperfections Shading
and optical Errors
Fig. 8. Radiation power collected in the central receiver.
Sun
Radiation Flux
Date
Hour
(Atmospheric Effects)
Receiver
Height
Aperture
Inclination
(Max Temperature )
Heliostats
Location
Dimensions
Accuracy
Reflectivity
Operational Conditions
( Wind I
( Turbidity of Atmosphere )
foreseen that the turbine should be operated
in a continuous mode at any temperature be-
tween 410 and 510 C. This is of particular
importance when it is operating together with
the storage system as the maximum tempera-
ture of steam provided by the storage system
is 430 C.
4.5. Thermal storage
To operate the power plant for 30 minutes
without using steam from the receiver (e.g.
during the evening or during cloudy periods),
thermal storage capacity is provided (for nu-
merical values, see Fig. 3). For this purpose,
two types of equipment are used:
21
4 :
*
U

D D D D D D D
D D DDOGDD
DDDDDDDDD
DDDDDDDDD
D D D D G D D D D
D D D D D D G D
D D D D D D D

D D D D D D
D


O
DDDD
DDDD
D D D D
D D D D
D D D G
DDDD
DDDD
D D D D
DDDD
DDDD
D D D D D D
D D D D D

D D D D G D
D D D D D D
D D D D D
DDG
DD
D
5 * 5 * C t
Fig. 9. Field configuration.
h'
. . I'


" " J
Fig. 10. Receiver model from ANSALDO during tests
at San Ilario, Genoa.
a storage tank with pressurised water,
two storage tanks filled with molten salt
(mixture of 53% KN0
3
, 40% NaN0
2
, 7%
NaN0
3
; tradename: Hitec).
The water tank is part of the thermal cycle
subsystem. The principle of the salt storage
system is shown in Fig. 13. To pump the liquid
salt from the cold tank through the desuper
heater into the hot tank (charging mode) a
system with pressurised nitrogen is used (the
same applies for the analogous discharging
mode).
The salt used is solid at ambient tempera
tures (freezing point 145 C), whereas normal
operationing temperatures are between 480
and 240 C and lead to contamination if air
(humidity!) can get access. Therefore impor
tant technological aspects are: avoiding com
ponent damage during melting/freezing, heat
ing of the system, and avoiding contamination.
This kind of technique has, however, been
known for many years and is not expected to
cause development problems.
4.6. The electrical subsystem
The task of this subsystem is
to convert the turbine shaft power into
electrical energy,
to transform the voltages adequately for
internal and external users and to provide a
distribution system,
to connect the plant to the public grid,
to control the plant by means of the dif
ferent subsystem controls.
Most of the equipment and many design
aspects are conventional. Special aspects, how
ever, are the control cycles coping with the
changing radiation intensities offered by the
sun. These and the consequences of operation
of the plant together with the grid will be
studied experimentally during the next phases
of the project.
22
0 4500
Fig. 11. Receiver design (ANSALDO).
Fig. 12. Schematic diagram of steam cycle (ANSAL-
DO).
4.7. Site and civil work
The site for the plant is in Sicily, close to
Adrano and near Catania. The site offers all
facilities required (access roads, cooling water,
grid, etc.). There is a slight slope to the south
which is favourable because the shading and
blocking effects of the heliostats are reduced.
The site layout, including the arrangement
of the buildings, is presented in Fig. 14. Shown
are the main elements of the heliostat field,
tower and receiver, the machine house which
also contains the heat storage system, and the
main components of the electrical system in-
cluding the control room. Attached to the ma-
chine house there will be offices, etc.; a sepa-
rate building provides a warehouse for storage
of materials and equipment.
5. DEVELOPMENT STATUS
The project outlined in the preceding sec-
tions is in its hardware stage, the so-called
phase C. This means in particular that the
civil works have already started at the site. The
contracts have been placed for the manufac-
ture of all hardware and work is in progress.
23
275" C
1672 kq/h
1010 kg/h
J

I
300 C
315 kg/h h
16 bar
201 C
|1MI 5 kg/h I V* ( | | )
16 bar "
418 C
1W5 kg/h 50* C
3^15 kg/h
!
\

II
I Cold tank
I I Hot tank
III Desuperheater exchanger
IV Superheater exchanger
V Nitrogen storage
Steam
Hitec
Nitrogen
E.E.C.
SOLAR POVER PLAUT
CETHEL
WP 11IO SALT S70RA6
HOV 0IA6RAM
CAL/QUA P3 Ot UK *. *
Fig. 13. Molten salt storage (CETHEL).
The majority of the installation work will be
done during the first half of 1980. We are con
fident that the plant will be ready for experi
mental work by the end of 1980.
REFERENCES
Vergleichende Analyse von Sonnenkraftwerks
konzepten im Bereich von 100 W bis 10 MW, com
piled by MBB, May 1976, BMFT Vorhaben ET
4234 A, under contract from PLE Jlich. See also:
P. Zahn, Conceptual design of solar thermal power
plants (100 W 10 MW), Proceedings of UKISES
Conference on Solar Thermal Power Generation,
July 1978, UKISES, p. 24.
F. Trombe and A. Le Phat Vinh, Thousand kW solar
furnace, built by the NCSR in Odeillo, France,
Solar Energy, 15 (1973) 57 61.
G. Francia, Pilot plants of solar steam generating
stations, Solar Energy, 12 (1968) 51 64.
4 L. L. VantHull and A. F. Hildebrandt, Solar thermal
power system based on optical transmission, Solar
Energy, 18 (1976) 34 ff.
5 A. Strub, The 1 MW(el) solar power plant of the
European Communities, Proceedings of the Inter
national Symposium on Solar Thermal Power Sta
tions, DFVLR, Cologne, April 1978.
6 J. Hofmann and J. Gretz, The concept of the 1
MW(el) solar thermal power plant of the European
Economic Communities, 2. Internationales Sonnen
forum/XII Zusammenkunft der Comptes, Hamburg,
April 1978.
7 J. Hofmann and Chr. Kindermann, Heliostat field for
central receiver solar power plants in the 1 MW(el)
range, Proceedings of the Internat. Symp. on Solar
Thermal Power Stations, DFVLR, Cologne, April
1978.
8 V. Hartung, Chr. Kindermann and J. Hofmann, The
heliostat field layout of the EEC experimental solar
power plant, Elect. Power Systems Res., 3 (1980)
77 89.
9 G. Francia, Regulation of the watersteamcycle in
a solar receiver, Rev. Int. Heliostech., Comptes,
Marseilles, (1) (1979) 18 ff.
For Fig. 14 please see overleaf.
24
WtWAMtHK ah
Fig. 14. Layout of the site (ENEL): 1, CETHEL heliostats; 2, MBB heliostats; 3, tower and receiver; 4, machine
room; 5, control room/service building; 6, warehouse; 7, parking lot; 8, main entrance; 9, transformers; 10, cool-
ing tower; 11, protective wall.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 25 39
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
25
Layout, Application and Economic Efficiency of Solar Farm Systems*
J. E. FEUSTEL, O. MAYRHOFER and U. WIEDMANN
Firma MAN (Entwicklung), Dachauer Strasse 667, Munich (F.R.G.)
1. INTRODUCTION
Small solar power systems of the solar farm
type use decentralized absorbers and operate
from temperatures of about 200 C up to
400 C. To generate these temperatures collec
tor systems with concentration ratios of 30
up to 50 suns are used in most systems. Be
cause of the principle of decentralised absorp
tion solar tower systems use central ab
sorbers with high light concentration optim
um operating temperatures are about 300 C,
and overall efficiencies of solar farm stations
producing electricity are between 8 and 12%.
Concerning optimum system sizes there are
certainly considerable economic advantages
for having solar farms instead of tower sys
tems in the range 30 1000 kW, possibly even
up to several MW.
Figure 1 shows the achievable temperatures
and system efficiencies for several collector
types and power conversion principles. The
following considerations refer to the most
typical solar farm, namely the system using
parabolic trough collectors. After description
of some major considerations for the layout
of collector fields and prime mover, some
examples of applications of process heat
generators and electricity producing systems
will be given. Finally, the economical poten
tial of solar farm stations will be described.
2. LAYOUT OF SOLAR FARM SYSTEMS
2.1. Overall system description
Typical solar farm systems consist of the
four major subsystems comprising collector
*Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre
of the Commission of the European Communities,
Ispra (Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA
Courses, September 3 7, 1979.
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
UPPER PROCESS TEMPERATURE ( C)
Fig. 1. Efficiencies of solar power stations.
field, storage, power conversion and cooling.
Figure 2 shows a functional block diagram
of such a typical system.
In the collector field the collectors or col
lector modules are grouped to loops which are
normally to some extent autonomously oper
ating subsystems. The collector loops feed
their heat energy to the main pipes of the
field. Heat is accumulated in storage tanks
I Collector Module
2Hot Storage
3Cold Storage
Fig. 2. Functional block diagram of a typical solar
farm plant.
26
which might be a thermocline storage or a
two-tank version with hot and cold tank. The
power conversion system consists of the main
components comprising steam generator,
prime mover, condenser and electro-generator,
and a number of other smaller mechanical and
electrical components.
The cooling cycle uses wet or dry cooling
units; owing to non-availability of water, in
most cases dry cooling is applied.
Figure 3 shows an artist's view of a small
experimental solar farm plant. This test centre
near Madrid (Spain) is used for the compar-
ison of several collector types and for the
optimisation of overall farm systems for
generation of electrical energy with 50 kW
rated output. The left-hand side of the field
contains collectors with one-axis tracking, the
right-hand part shows six 32 m
2
collector
modules with two-axis tracking and one large
module (150 m
2
) with azimuth-axis tracking.
In the building and the container in the fore-
ground the complete power conversion sys-
tem and the data acquisition system are
arranged. Beside the building a thermal stor-
age tank can be seen, including the necessary
field equipment like pumps and valves.
_ 015-
Fig. 3. MAN/Auxini solar test centre near Madrid.
Solar farm systems seem to be very suitable
for power production at fairly small sizes, and
even plants of some 100 m
2
collector area can
be advantageously applied. But power stations
of far bigger sizes can also be built according
to the farm principle.
Figure 4 shows possible overall efficiencies
for various amounts of electricity generated.
If the efficiencies of the power conversion
systems are increased, the overall efficiency
0 05
Collector Concentrati on Factor C = 0
Condensati on Condition lor PCS 50 C
Thermal Energy Storage Included
001
01 1 10 100
Net El ectri cal Power Output [MW]
1000
Fig. 4. Efficiency of electrical energy generation with
solar farm plants.
grows with greater performances. This
tendency is valid up to several MW; at larger
sizes efficiency drops owing to increasing
losses in the heat collecting network. It is
therefore an advantageous characteristic of
solar farm power stations that they are as well
adapted to small decentralised systems as they
are to fairly large central stations.
To complete the picture of the overall sys-
tem, Fig. 5 shows the type of energy conver-
sion in the major subsystems. This typical
example shows that the collector field
produces about 52% of usable heat out of
100% insolated energy. The losses are in the
form of optical and thermal losses in the col-
lector and as thermal.losses in the field piping.
Direct insolation
100%
Collector field
56%
optical and
thermal losses
U %
heat losses of field
Rower Conver-
sion System
1%|
cycle and
mechanical losses
1 %
^ plant internal consumption
W 10%
net electrical power
Fig. 5. Energy flow chart of a typical solar farm.
27
The power conversion system has a relatively
high thermodynamic loss; in this case about
11% remains as electrical output. Some part
of this power is used for internal consump
tion, e.g. pumps, so that finally about 10%
overall plant electrical efficiency seems to be
realistic. The achievable thermal efficiency for
a process power generation system is about
50%; for the combined production of electri
city and heat the efficiencies are, according to
the above considerations, between 10 and
50%.
2.2. Collector and collector field
The collector is the major subsystem of a
solar farm plant. Parabolic trough collectors
are usually applied in today's solar farms. As
well as the line focus mirror system, some
farms use point focus systems like paraboloid
mirrors, and some others use Fresnel lenses or
Fresnel mirrors, mostly as line focus collector
systems.
Figure 6 shows a typical linear focus collec
tor of the trough type using glass mirrors. The
picture shows a collector developed by Auxini,
Spain, which uses a horizontal tracking axis.
The parabolic shaped reflector concentrates
the direct sunlight on the straight absorber
tube. Through the absorber tube flows the
cooling fluid. The selectively coated absorber
tube is covered by a lighttransparent glass
cladding in order to decrease thermal losses.
Fig, 6. Auxini parabolic trough collector.
Figure 7 shows schematically the energy
conversion and energy transport in the collec
tor and gives a general definition of the collec
tor efficiency.
Energy Balance
Collected _ Insolated _ Insolation _ Heat
Heal Energy Losses Losses
QC = IS l L QL
Collector Efficiency
2C. = n = 1 Hn.T.p.r! HT

,A.t|m,A,a')
= --\
's ' is is
. _ hsolation /Radiative +Convective \
' " Losses \Heat Losses Heat Losses/
Optical
Losses
Thermal
Losses
Fig. 7. Collector energy transport and definition of
efficiency.
Collector efficiency can be described as the
ratio of heat collected in the heat transfer
medium to insolated energy to the collector
area.
The energy balance can be described as fol
lows:
Qc ~ Is ^L Qi
where Q
c
= collected heat, I
s
= insolated
energy, I
h
= insolation losses or optical losses,
Q
h
= heat losses.
The theoretical determination of collector
efficiency is relatively complex, depends on a
great number of factors and cannot be de
scribed explicitly. The major determining fac
tors give the equation in Fig. 7.
The optical losses can be described mainly
by
reflection losses in the reflector (reflecti
vity )
interception losses in the reflector (inter
cept factor )
transmission losses in the collector cover
and absorber envelope (transmittances )
absorption losses at the absorber tube
surface (absorptance a)
The second group of losses are thermal
losses of the collector, mainly radiation and
convection losses. These are caused by the
heat fluxes which go from the absorber to the
surroundings instead of to the heat transfer
fluid. For both types of losses, absorber tube
temperature and absorber surface area are the
important factors of influence. In addition,
the emittance for longwave radiation (e) and
the heat transfer coefficient between absorber
surface and thermofluid (a') are important
factors.
28
Some of these factors which can be
grouped into design parameters and opera
tional parameters of the collector will be dis
cussed in more detail.
Concentration ratio, mirror reflectivity, ab
sorber coating selectivity, absorber insulation,
and reflector/absorber interception are typical
design parameters. Degree of insolation, wind
speed, tracking mode and accuracy, dust and
shading are typical operational parameters
that influence collector efficiency.
The concentration ratio is one of the most
important factors influencing collector effi
ciency. It can be described as
(d
M
d
E
) X 360
C =
d
A
Ti2e
where C = concentration ratio, d
M
= mirror
aperture, d
E
= diameter of absorber envelope,
d
A
= diameter of absorber tube and = rim
angle (in degrees).
Figure 8 shows, for a nonselective absorber,
the strong influence of concentration ratio on
collector efficiency. For achievement of a
200 C absorber temperature at 50% efficien
cy, a concentration of 20 suns is sufficient; to
heat a thermofluid or steam up to 300 C
which is a normal requirement for a good
solar farm overall efficiency a concentra
tion factor of 50 is required with again 50%
efficiency. The higher the absorber temper
ature required, the faster the value of the
concentration ratio increases to achieve ad
equate efficiencies.
An important factor for collector perfor
mance especially at high concentration is
the intercept factor, which comprises losses
, vu
60
>

D


L
L
ILI
C
O
L
L
E
C
T
O
R

^

o

c

c
\
\
0 2C
ABSORBER
y c= \
\
3
TEMPER/
D= 800
T= 20
" 1
\ \
(
\ ^ '
20 \30
X) u
VTURE TA(
W/M2
C
:0NCENTR
3ATI0 C
uo \so
X) 5C
C) -
ATION

due to dispersion of the solar picture, posi
tioning inaccuracies of the absorber and, pre
dominantly, losses due to reflector inaccura
cies.
Simplifying, one can say that the degree of
interception gives the part of reflected solar
radiation which reaches the absorber.
Figure 9 shows the measured intercept fac
tor for a warm bended glass mirror. The di
agram shows the increasing value of intercep
tion loss with growing concentration ratio.
Because of the finite diameter of a solar disk
of about 0.5 degrees, high concentration
ratios lead to a rapidly decreasing intercept
factor. Concentrators with intercept factors in
the range of 98% at concentrations around 40
suns are of excellent quality and require very
careful design. As pointed out before, for
good collector efficiencies at higher temper
atures of about 300 C, concentration ratios
in the range of 50 (at a/e = 1) are required.
The reason for this is mainly the thermal
behaviour of the absorber. Thermal losses of
the absorber to the surroundings increase pro
portionally with the heatemitting outer sur
face area of the absorber. For radiation and
convection a similar behaviour is found. Thus,
as high concentration means small absorber
area, collector efficiency increases with
concentration ratio.
1.0
oe
h 06

o
02
Design ft)nt:
c = 41
y 0.976
Experimental Dala. Measured by Laser Test
Equipment (DFVLR)
30 50 70
Concentration Ratb c()
x
Fig. 8. Influence of concentration ratio on efficiency.
Fig. 9. Intercept factor for a typical collector.
Besides this, at higher temperatures the
selectivity of absorber coatings plays a decid
ing role for efficiency. The selectivity of the
absorber surface is described by the absorp
tance for solar radiation and the emittance e
for longwave radiation.
29
Figure 10 shows the influence of a selective
coating on the absorber tube at different
temperatures for 40 suns. If a collector has to
be operated at elevated temperatures such as
200 400 C, selective coating is of extreme
importance.
Fig.
500
ABSORBER TEMPERATURE T A ( C)
10. Influence of coating selectivity on effi ci ency.
Going back to the above example of an
absorber temperature of 300 C, collector effi
ciency increases with selectivity a/e = 1 to 5
from ? = 35 to 52%; in other words, efficien
cy increases by almost 50% with the use of
selective surfaces. The increase of efficiency is
especially strong at low selective values and at
high absorber temperatures.
An overall view of the design parameters'
influence on collector efficiency is given in
Fig. 11. Starting from the design point (D.P.)
of a given collector the diagram shows the
gradients of efficiency change in relation to
the change of a selected parameter. The indi
vidual points in this diagram indicate the prac
tical potential of efficiency increase by chang
ing design parameters. A sensitivity analysis
leads to the result that the best realistic
increases of efficiency can be achieved by
improving mirror reflectivity and emissivity of
the absorber tube.
Besides these design parameters, operational
parameters play an important role. For the
installation of a field the chosen collector
tracking system is of great importance.
Figure 12 shows the rear side of a collector
platform with a twoaxis tracking system. The
photo gives an impression of the structural
equipment of such a module. A rigidly
mounted pedestal is used as a base for a
. Absorber
Absorber
Envelope
-f Envelopp
, ' ' X Reflector
Absorber
Mirror
2
Fig.
0.6 07 0.8 0.9 1 1.1
relative Lhange of parameter /
11. Potential of collector efficiency increase.
Fig. 12. Rear view of 32 m
2
collector module HE
LIOMAN.
able collector structure on which mirrors and
absorbers are mounted.
Figure 13 shows the front view of the same
module. The projected glass mirror area is
about 32 m
2
; the insolated energy is focused
with a concentration ratio of 42 suns to 4 ab
sorber tubes.
The performance of this collector module
is described by its efficiency characteristic
which is shown in Fig. 14. The graph shows
that even at elevated temperatures good effi
30
Fig. 13. Front view of 32 m
2
collector module HE-
LIOMAN.
400 500 600 700 800 900 1000
beam irradiant solar flux ensily Eb [
w
/m]
Fig. 14. Heat collecting efficiency of the collector
module HELIOMAN.
ciencies for heating up the thermal oil in the
absorber can be achieved. The abscissa of the
diagram gives the solar flux density normal to
the collector area. This value obviously has to
be as high as possible to get good collector
efficiencies. This aim can be realised in the
best way by using heliostatic tracking systems.
Figure 15 shows the influence of the track-
ing mode on energy output. The diagram
compares three different one-axis tracking
systems with heliostatic or two-axis tracking
collectors. Using azimuthal tracking the col-
lector is turned around a vertical axis; collec-
tors with a horizontal tracking axis can either
be arranged in an east-west or north-south
direction. The graph shows the insolated
energy and the useful heat produced by equal
collector areas. The heat output is optimal for
two-axis tracking collectors. This maximum
energy output has to be paid with higher col-
lector costs owing to the use of a more expen-
sive tracking system.
N-S HORIZONTAL AXIS
EQUINOX
37 LATITUDE
6 8 10
DAY TIME ( H ) -
daily average energy at equinox
TRACKING
RELATIVE
NORMAL INSO-
LATED ENERGY
RELATIVE
HEAT OUTPUT
INCLINED COLLECTOR 37AXI S
HELIOSTATIC
1007.
100 7.
AZIMUTHAL
94 7.
93 7.
HORIZONTAL COLLECTOR AXIS
N-S
87 7.
84 7.
E-W
74 7.
687.
Fig. 15. Influence of tracking mode on energy output
for typical collector fields.
Besides tracking, the geographical latitude
is of major influence on collector output. The
climatic conditions of different geographical
latitudes are certainly of great importance but
the geometric data of the path of the sun also
have a strong influence, even for collectors
with two-axis tracking. At a low position of
the sun, collector shading in a field cannot be
avoided.
Figure 16 shows the heat losses due to col-
lector shading for two-axis tracking collectors.
The collectors are arranged according to the
sketch in an orthogonal way. The centre dis-
tance in the north-south direction is 10.5 m ;
the abscissa shows the relative distance in the
east-west direction. The data of Fig. 16 give
typical arrangements for most of the two-axis
11
d
E
w
Dstance Ratio NS
Fig. 16. Influence of module spacing and latitude on
collector module shading losses.
31
tracking collector systems. At equinox condi
tions, therefore, 2 5% losses due to collector
shading have to be taken into account.
For a special collector arrangement, Fig. 17
shows the influence of geographical latitude
on shading losses. In the zone between 20
latitude north and south, heat losses are in the
order of 2.5% and are not strongly dependent
on latitude. At higher degrees of geographical
latitude the losses due to shading play an
increasing role, especially during winter
months. During summer months a site of 40
latitude is not at a great disadvantage com
pared with a site on the equator.
assumptions
065
exp
20 bar 1^300 C l 2 '
Fig. 17. Influence of latitude and date on collector
module shading losses.
2.3. Power conversion system (PCS)
Solar farm power stations can, in the near
future, produce heat economically in a temp
erature range 200 400 C. If this heat is to be
used in a thermodynamic cycle for producing
mechanical and than electrical energy at the
abovementioned temperatures, only vapour
processes can be usefully applied. The selec
tion of the right vaporizing and condensatihg
medium is of great importance for solar farm
stations.
Among a great variety of media, Fig. 18
compares three typical ones which seem to be
well suited to this application: steam, toluene
and benzene. The picture shows the three
media in relation to three selective criteria,
namely the cycle efficiency, the usable en
thalpy difference and the volume flowrate.
With respect to the Rankine cycle efficien
cy, toluene shows the best results. Regarding
60C
I
k.
Steam Toluene Benzene
Fig. 18. Comparison of working fluids for power
conversion cycles.
the usable enthalpy difference, the organic
media produce values far below those of
steam. In general, small enthalpy differences
lead to simple turbines with a small number
of stages. If water is expanded in a onestage
turbine this leads, at a high enthalpy differ
ence of the theoretical Rankine process, to a
relatively low turbine efficiency. The volu
metric flowrate at the engine entrance, espe
cially at small performances, is of great impor
tance. Small volume flowrates lead to small
engine dimensions or partial admission, which
normally is combined with difficult design
problems and low expansion efficiencies.
Besides the above thermodynamic criteria,
a number of other important factors like cor
rosiveness, safety requirements, biological de
composition, availability and price of the
medium have to be regarded when selecting
the best medium. A number of different
organic media are applied today but for many
good reasons the application of water steam is
favoured, especially in solar farm power
conversion systems.
Another important factor is the selection
of the upper process temperature of the PCS.
This temperature has to be optimised as there
are two opposing tendencies which affect the
efficiency of the overall system.
Figure 19 shows the efficiency of the col
lector field which drops with increasing temp
erature and the efficiency of the PCS which
increases with temperature. For the overall
32
COLLECTOR FIELD
CONCENTRATING COLLECTOR C = 40
MULTISTAGE STEAM TURBINE
*i =800 W/ m ?
T = 20C
100 200 300 400
COLLECTOR FIELD EXIT TEMPERATURE [ C]
Fig. 19. System efficiency optimisation.
system the product of both factors is impor
t ant ; in this typical example an optimum sys
tem efficiency is shown t o be at about 280 C
collector field exit t emperat ure.
Figure 20 shows a number of different
prime movers, namely three different expan
sion motors and four different turbines. For
each prime mover the major application range
is marked. Taking this i nt o account, almost all
prime movers except the closedcycle gas tur
bine could be applied in solar farms. But the
selection possibility is also limited by the
temperature range in which the solar farms
operate.
power
100MW 1000MW
pistontype
steam engine is
stifling engine
screwtype
steam engine
impulse
steam turbine
reaction
steam turbine
open cycle
gasturbine
closed cycle
gas turbine
kW
"SBl
Jsd
W
m_
_M! |
Ml
JM
SL
3
lbw_
~m
i s
IMW
""
MW
JZ
50 MW ^
solar energy power plants today and in near future
Fig. 20. Major application range of different prime
Figure 21 shows t he temperature ranges in
which vapour and gasexpansion engines nor
mally operate. As the maxi mum temperatures
in solar farms do not exceed 400 C, gas
Upper Process Temperature
500 1000 C
Steam
Motors
Steam
Turbines
Gas Motors
(Stirling)
Gas
Turbines
100
350
300
550
1 1
500
1000
1600
| 1200
1 1
solar tarm
plants
todays luture
solar tower plants
Fig. 21. Major temperature ranges of different prime
movers.
expansion motors and gas turbines can be
excluded. Therefore vapourexpansion motors
and vapourexpansion turbines are of primary
interest. For performances of several hundred
kilowatts up to the VIW range, steam turbines
can be advantageously applied.
Figure 22 shows as an example a steam tur
bine of 3 MW rated power. This 18stage tur
bine achieves an excellent process efficiency.
For smaller performances simpler turbines can
be applied, but there is only a very reduced
number of turbines with good efficiencies
available on the market.
Fig. 22. GHH condensation steam turbine, rated
power 3 MW.
In the power range 50 300 kW, two or
threestage screw expanders operating with
steam seem t o be an attractive solution.
Figure 23 shows a twostage screw expander
of about 100 kW power out put .
The main advantages for a water steam
operated screw expander can be seen in good
machine efficiency, excellent part load behav
33
Fig. 23. Two-stage screw expander.
iour, low rot or speed and low fabrication and
maintenance cost.
The development of a two-stage screw ex-
pander in the 100 kW range shows very pro-
mising test results. A first solar operated one-
stage prime mover of the screw type will be
installed in the near future at the solar test
centre near Madrid. It will operate between
temperatures of 250 and 117 C with a later
second stage down t o 64 C and produce
35 kW shaft power with a machine efficiency
of 68%.
3. APPLICATION OF SOLAR FARM SYSTEMS
3.1. Process heat generation
The production of hot pressurized water or
steam for mainly process heat application
seems t o be a relatively simple, but neverthe-
less promising, application of solar concentra-
tors. Simple configurations consisting of the
major subsystems collector field including
pumps and control, heat storage and heat ex-
changer can be chosen t o fulfil this task.
Figure 24 shows a functional block diagram
of such an arrangement. The heat t o be gener-
ated is normally in the t emperat ure range
150 - 300 C, in which a large amount of pro-
cess heat is required. This heat can be used,
for instance, for desalination plants, climatisa-
tion or cooling equipment, and mainly for
industrial process heat which is used, for
example, in the chemical and textile industry
or food industry.
In the U.S.A. industry uses about one bil-
lion barrels of oil per year for process heat
generation; solar equipment, namely t he
JLUL
JUUL
-o-
1
o- I
COLLECTOR FI ELD
1Collector Module
2Hot storage
3Cold storage
i_ STORAGE SYSTEM i HEAT UTILISATION
Heat Exchanger
Fig. 24. Functional block diagram of a typical solar
process heat generator.
concentrating collector, can certainly help t o
reduce this enormous amount of oil.
In Spain about 39% of the total oil
consumption is used for process heat gener-
ation, where about 20% is used up t o temper-
atures of 180 C and 19% up t o temperatures
of 260 C. Studies have shown t hat about 15%
of this total amount seems t o be well adapted
t o solar energy utilisation.
Major industrial uses of process heat are:
food 50 t o 150 C
textiles 80 t o 220 C
pulp and paper 100 t o 160 C
rubber 100 t o 180 C
glass and ceramics 80 t o 5=260 C
chemicals 50 to 3*300 C
To produce process heat in t he range 150 -
300 C concentrating collectors with concen-
tration ratios of 20 - 40 and the use of good
absorber systems with selective surfaces seem
t o be opt i mum in order t o achieve efficiencies
of the order of 50 - 60% at full insolation.
The use of this technological standard should
also be optimum with respect t o economic
considerations, as efficiency drops quickly
with a reduced standard of technology, which
leads to larger collector and land areas and t o
increased maintenance effort.
Major inputs for the layout of a solar pro-
cess heat generator are geographical and cli-
matic data, the user' s profile including perfor-
mance and operational time, and the required
temperature level of the process heat.
For a process heat generator of a rated per-
formance of 2400 kW, Figs. 25 and 26 show
the daily performance and yearly energy out-
put. These computer calculated results have
been evaluated for a latitude of 20 nort h.
The system has a nominal out put of 2400 kW
at 210 C and is designed to an operational
34
100Z
50Z
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 M 16 18 20 22 24
Ti me of day [h]
Fig. 25. Daily performance of a 2400 kW process heat
generator.
profile requiring 100% performance between
6 h and 18 h and 50% performance between
18 h and 6 h.
The optimised temperature spread in the
collector field is about 80 for a summer
solstice as design day. Figure 26 shows the
strong influence of storage. Without storage
the required collector area is about 4000 m
2
;
the yearly energy yield is about 5300 MWh,
which corresponds to a solar supply of 35.5%
in relation to the total requirement.
If a thermal oil storage of 430 m
3
is used,
about 10 000 MWh energy can be produced
by a collector field of about 7700 m
2
. This
corresponds to a solar supply of about 67% in
relation to the overall requirement.
3.2. Electricity generation
Perhaps the most challenging application
of concentrating collectors is their use in solar
power stations. For small decentralised solar
power stations in the range 30 1000 kW the
solar farm concept seems to be the most
suitable ; for large power stations of 1 MW up
to several MW there might be some good pos
sibilities for solar farm stations. Primarily in
developing countries, solar farm systems can
be used for decentralised power production
in, for example, rural areas where energy
infrastructure is not available.
In India a great number of some 500 000
villages, and in Iran many of about 50 000 vil
lages, do not have electricity. Solar farm sys
tems could fruitfully contribute to the elec
trification and development of these areas.
About 2 million square kilometres, rep
resenting approximately 20% of the world's
usable land, are irrigated. More than 75% of
this area is in six countries with partly high
insolation: China, India, U.S.A., Pakistan,
U.S.S.R. and Iran. As well as those countries,
Iraq, Italy, Egypt, Spain, Turkey, Sudan,
Greece and Portugal have large irrigated areas
and high insolation. A Batelle Institute survey
recorded about 50 000 pumps in the U.S.A.,
most of them in sizes of 30 to 70 kW. The
coincidence of insolation, irrigation and
power requirements makes the use of solar
energy and solar farms for this purpose espe
Yearly energy out put
wi t hout storage
ruirrwy.

wi t h storage
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Fig. 26. Yearly energy output of a 2400 kW process heat generator without and with storage.
35
dally interesting, besides the fact that storage
problems can be solved relatively easily.
Solar farm systems can be operated in
combination with the grid, in insular opera
tion, alone or in combination with a fossil
operated power station, merely operating as a
fuel saver in the last case.
Figure 27 shows a typical block diagram of
a solar farm producing electricity. The system
consists of the major subsystems of collector
field, storage, power conversion and cooling
(also see Fig. 2).
storage P -_J/\ ~> f ^
e
"P
ande
'
cold I I ^ t
5, eam
y
W


Fig. 27. Block diagram of a solar farm for electricity
production.
Figure 28 shows a block diagram of a solar/
diesel hybrid station. This unique combina
tion has been developed for application in
Meekatharra, Western Australia. Figure 29 is
an artist's view of the power plant which will
be realised in the next two years.
collector field 200C !
"
1
&
Fig. 28. Block diagram of a solar/diesel power station.
In addition to the utilisation of solar ener
gy, the uptonow unused exhaust heat of an
existing approx. 500 kW diesel station is fed
into the storage system. The prime mover sys
tem, a twostage screw expander, can be
operated with solar heat and diesel exhaust
heat individually or together. This combina
tion improves the efficiency of the diesel sta
tion by about 10%, using the prime mover of
the solar station as a bottoming cycle. The
collector area of the solar station can be re
duced considerably, as heat production
requirements during bad weather periods or
Fig. 29. Artist's view of a solar/diesel hybrid power
station.
night time can be covered, at least partly, by
the diesel exhaust heat.
Figure 30 gives the power steps for the
Meekatharra station and shows the combina
tion of the solar and diesel power stations.
The size of the storage system can be reduced
accordingly. The solar station, which operates
as a double fuel saver (solar heat and diesel
exhaust heat utilisation), gains by this arran
gement considerably with respect to oper
ational flexibility and availability. Investment
and energy production costs will be far more
attractive than in a pure solar station.
diesel generator
Ek
I i steam generator genere
generator t ransf ormer
collector field
screw engine
T
[OD] net
output
864 kW
direct
insolated
212 kW
diesel
engines
exhaust
heat
9 kW
collector
field
thermal
output
internal
consumption
direct normal
insolation 900 W/ m
2
648 kW
steam
generator
thermal
output
Dry cooling of PCS
screw eng
mech.
124 kW
^ " r
J
' "
102 kW
el output
83 kW
Fig. 30. Power steps for a solar/diesel hybrid power
station.
36
Figures 31 and 32 show the daily and year
ly energy output for the Meekatharra plant
and give an impression of the system opti
misation procedure.
H oat
dissipt ed
by mot or |
1
I
}
'f

J
npu

1
Col
ou
ect(
tpu
I
' % stored
\
[
\
:

t;
100Z
50X
1000
em
em
m
200
0 2 4 6 10 12 14 IB 18 20 22 24
Ti me of day [h]
Fig. 31. Daily performance of a 75 kW solar/diesel
hybrid power station.
promising application of solar farms. The heat
of such a total energy system can be applied,
for example, to sea water desalination, aqua
culture or greenhouse heating or climatisation.
Figure 33 shows part of a block diagram of
a total energy plant which uses part of the
heat at 280 C for electricity production and
part of the heat at 130 180 C to operate an
ammonium cooling device for a food store.
The efficiency of such total energy plants can
be increased up to 20% and more depending
on the temperature level of the heat utilisa
tion system.

S
cold
storage
TTT

* 0
I 30I 80C
ommonum
cooling device
n
ft
steam
generator
screw
expander
air cooled
condenser
T = 38C

Fig. 33. Block diagram of a total energy plant.


Taking into account an operational profile
which requires a constant electrical output of
75 kW between 6 h and 19 h, an optimum
storage size of 22 m
3
using thermooil was
found. The collector area of 960 m
2
produces
a yearly net electrical energy of 303 MWh
during 3220 sunshine hours.
Besides the production of process heat or
electricity, the generation of electricity in
combination with the use of waste heat is a
4. ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY
4.1. Operational conditions
Owing to their power range, solar farm
plants are mainly used for the energy supply
of rural communities,' agriculture and small
industries. In these cases, mechanical energy
for water pumps, for example, and electrical
energy for communal and commercial con
Yearly energy out put
O a. a
^^
lipirii
II i ii
rtW''^
II
TifTflini

Jan Feb Mar May Jun Jul Aug Oct Nov Dec
Fig. 32. Yearly insolation and energy output of a 75 kW solar/diesel hybrid power station.
37
sumers can be offered from about 30 to
1000 kW. Process heat for cooling, desalina
tion, drying, etc., can be generated in the
range 100 10 000 kW. The extension of
this range seems to be possible.
Apart from very specific applications for
particular consumers, the communal power
supply of decentralised areas with little devel
oped infrastructure will be the focal point for
the application of solar farm plants. In this
field, the typical load profiles of the con
sumers are favourable for the use of solar
energy. Especially in the summer, in many
cases the energy demand during the day is
twice the demand during the night. The solar
power system can either cover part of the
peak load during the day, i.e. the energy
generation corresponds to the daily curve of
solar insolation (application as fuel saver), or
supply the whole consumer demand at the
design day. In this case shorttime storage will
be required.
Figure 34 shows a typical daily curve of the
power supply for a small country town in
Australia.
I
bOOn
(kW>
0

1 !
J
summer day

i
i
winter day
"
1
I
0 6 O 18 24
day time (h)
Fig. 34. Daily curves of a power supply for a country
town in Australia.
In winter, however, different profiles are
possible as their characteristic depends strong
ly on climatic conditions and other seasonal
influences.
4.2. Specific investment costs
Present specific plant costs and the
expected trend of costs for solar farm plants
for process heat and electric power are shown
in the following Figures. As a basis for the
cost calculation, a nominal thermal power of
1000 kW with respect to 100 kW of electrical
power was considered. According to the
above explanations the two cases,
operation according to the solar insola
tion as 'fuel saver',
operation with storage for 12 hours of
fullload during the day and 12 hours of half
load during the night,
are used as examples.
The local conditions of 20 latitude north,
a maximum solar irradiance of 960 W/m
2
and
3200 hours of sunshine per year result in
2330 hours of fullload per year operating as
'fuel saver' and 4360 fullload hours operating
with storage.
At the present plant cost situation a sys
tem price of 1300 DM/m
2
for the twoaxis
tracked collector was assumed. Costs for pip
ing and installation were calculated with 200
DM/m
2
. Land cost, civil engineering, insur
ance cost, etc., were taken into account by an
additional charge of 10%.
Figure 35 shows, with the above boundary
conditions, a specific system investment cost
of about 2900 DM/kW for 1979 conditions
for a plant operating as a fuel saver. Because
of mass production effects and possible tech
nical improvements a considerable decrease in
costs, especially for collectors, can be
expected. This should reduce the specific
plant cost to about 1200 DM/kW (cost basis:
1979) within the next decade.
For a plant operating with shorttime stor
age, the present specific plant cost of 6400
DM/kW has been calculated. A reduction
down to 2700 DM/kW can be expected for
the future taking into account efficiency
10000
8000
[ DM/kW]
6000
4000
a? 2000
1980 1990 2000
y ear
Fig. 35. Trend of specific system cost of solar farm
plants for process heat.
\
v
^with sior<
\ j 1 8 h
fuel
ge
f full load
desqn day !
~.
saver
..^
cost basis
1979
38
ameliorations and mass production technol
ogies.
For solar farm plants generating electricity
the specific system costs are at present much
higher than for conventional systems because,
owing to the achievable upper process temp
eratures of about 300 C, the efficiencies are
relatively low for thermomechanical power
conversion.
For the calculation of the specific system
costs illustrated in Fig. 36, the thermoelectric
power conversion cost was considered to be
10 000 DM/kW in addition to the solar part
which was calculated in the above way.
50000,
[DM/kW]
40000
"g 30000
O
20000
J r
.
>
\
\
\ w i t h
\ ( 1 8
Fuel Saver*
Storage
h full load al

\
Cost Bass
Design Day:
design day)
* . . ^
1979
21.6.
1980 1990 2000
Ye a r
Fig. 36. Trend of specific system cost of solar farm
plants for electric power.
The 1979 specific system costs are, accord
ing to the operational mode, between 29 000
and 53 000 DM/kW. The corresponding over
all efficiency of the plant is 9%. In the future,
a cost reduction of more than 50% will be
possible according to better efficiencies and
mass production technologies. However, dif
ferent local conditions, cooling conditions,
etc., lead to significant changes in plant effi
ciency and to considerable deviations from
the above cost.
4.3. Specific energy cost and economic
efficiency
The following operating economy calcula
tion only considers the essential cost factors
as investment and fuel costs of conventional
and solar energy plants. All further compo
nents are assumed to be negligible or of equal
order of magnitude. The investment calcula
tion is based on the net present value analysis,
i.e. all essential cost factors of process heat or
diesel power plants are converted into invest
able expenditure for the corresponding solar
plants.
In the present case (1) the investable
expenditure for fuel saving in conventional
plants and (2) the investable expenditure
for fuel price escalation during the lifetime of
the solar farm plant are taken into account.
For a lifetime of 20 years, an annuity of
10% and specific fuel cost of 0.06 DM/kWh
the present investable expenditure for solar
farm plants for process heat is, according to
Fig. 37, between 2600 and 4900 DM/kW. As
shown in Fig. 35, these values are reached for
a plant already operating as a 'fuel saver' in
the early 1980s, and for a plant operating
with storage a few years later. This means that
solar energy for the generation of process heat
under the above assumptions already reaches
economic competitiveness in the very near
future.
fuel pnce
escalation [%/yJ hours ol full load
4000,
3000
tossii process heat
6000 4000 2000 0 .05
[DM/kW]
* investable expenditure
.10 .15 .20
[DM/kWh]
spec fuel cost
al 2330 h/y full load duel saved
bl 4360 h/ y full load (with storage)
Fig. 37. Investable expenditure for small solar farm
plants for process heat.
For solar power generation, the circum
stances are at the moment less favourable be
cause of the already mentioned low efficiency
of the thermomechanical power conversion
system. As Fig. 38 shows, the investable
expenditure of between 6400 and 12 200
DM/kW is far from the present realisable sys
tem cost of between 29 000 and 53 000 DM/
kW in 1979 (see Fig. 36).
In this case, the cost equality will not occur
in the near future. In systems like the hybrid
solar/diesel stations or solar total energy
plants the discrepancies are certainly less than
39
luel pnce r
escalation V"''i
15000 10000
[DM/kW]
mvestable expenditure
15 20
[OM/kWh]
spec fuel cost
a) 2330 h/y Full Load (Fuel Saver)
b) 360 h/y Full Load I with Storage)
Fig. 38. Investable expenditure for small solar farm
plants for electric power.
the above factor of about 4. But despite the
smaller difference, these systems will not be
economically competitive in the near future.
The cost equality will possibly be achieved
sometime in the 1990s.
Besides the decrease in solar system cost,
the fuel price escalation is the dominant fac
tor. Based on an annual escalation rate of 10%
the trend of specific energy cost is shown in
Fig. 39.
cost basis 1979
[DM/kWh]
Fig. 39. Trend of specific energy costs of solar and
fossil plants at a fuel price escalation rate of 10% per
year.
For the generation of process heat, the
equality of specific energy cost occurs about
1985. Consideration by means of the net
present value analysis, however, leads to a
profitable investment even earlier. On the
same assumption, equality of the specific
energy cost for solar power stations and diesel
power plants can be expected in about 15
years. In this case competitive investments for
solar power plants should be possible at the
end of the 1980s.
The influence of the annual fuel price
escalation rates on the above results is very
considerable. As Fig. 40 shows, an annual
price escalation rate of 15% brings the equali
ty of energy costs for fossil and solar power
generation (cost basis: 1979) five years
earlier, namely about 1990. At an escalation
rate of less than 7%, equal costs will not occur
before the year 2000.
| , 0
[DM/kWh]
cost basis: 1979
Fig. 40. Trend of specific energy cost of diesel power
stations.
Considering the last few years, the increase
of crude oil prices from about 2 U.S.$ per
barrel in 1973 to 20 $ per barrel in 1979 (an
average increase of 39% per year) leads to the
assumption that even higher fuel price escala
tion rates than 15% might be considered.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 41 51
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
41
100 1000 kW(el) MediumPower DistributedCollector Solar System*
J. L. BOYMAR COTTE
Socit Bertin & Cie, 78370 Plaisir (France)
SUMMARY
A systems analysis of mediumpower 100
1000 kW(el) heliothermal stations was per
formed to minimize kWh(el) costs. The follow
ing design choices resulted:
distributed concentrating collectors;
collection of heat by organic heattransfer
fluid permitting storage at acceptable cost;
diurnalnocturnal storage topermit 24hour
generation of electricity from the heat ab
sorbed during periods of insolation;
a turbogenerator utilizing heavy organic
fluid wellsuited to the temperature of the heat
source (200 250 C) and the desired power
level.
Component development has given rise to
the construction and testing of prototype mod
ules of the collectors and to a pilot storage and
turbine installation. The test results compare
favourably with the theoretical performance:
the thermal flux at the ends of the collector
is equal to 40 50% of the incident solar flux
at an operating temperature of 200 C;
the mechanical energy produced by the
turbogenerator is greater than 20% of the ther
mal energy supplied to the heat engine.
Two direct spinoffs of this project appear
promising:
the collector and storage system together
form a mediumtemperature (100 250 C)
heat generator which should find applications
in the production of industrial heat, for exam
ple for foodprocessing plants;
the heat engine can be employed not only
with solar heat but also with heat recovered in
factories having excess heat at 100 250 C.
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
1. OBJECTIVES
Socit Bertin & Cie, in cooperation with
Renault Moteurs Dveloppement, the French
Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and
CERCA (PUK Group), is in the process of de
signing and building a prototype heliothermal
distributedcollector system. The prototype
will be used to test powerplant technology in
the 100 1000 kW(el) range and should be
operational by 1980.
. This type of system is designed to meet the
following basic requirements:
rugged construction and reliability to permit
operation with little maintenance support;
resistance to the elements (sand and wind);
price per kWh(el) competitive with electric
ity produced by independent diesel generators
in remote areas.
To meet these requirements, the following
design options have been chosen:
concentrating distributed collectors;
collection of heat by organic heattransfer
fluid permitting storage at acceptable cost;
diurnalnocturnal storage permitting 24
hour generation of electricity from the heat
absorbed during periods of insolation ;
a sealed turbogenerator utilizing a heavy
organic fluid wellsuited to the temperature of
the heat source (200 250 C) and the desired
power level.
2. CHOICE OF SYSTEM
Having outlined the objectives for this type
of installation, the following is the logical se
quence of technicaleconomic choices deter
mining the main design features aimed at min
imizing the ultimate kWh(el) price.
2.1. Choice of heatsource temperature
The existing possibilities for storing heat
over a 24hour period at a cost compatible
42
with the desired kWh(el) price limit the heat-
source temperature to between 200 and 300 C.
The method used is storage utilizing the sensi-
ble heat of an organic liquid at these tempera-
ture levels at atmospheric pressure. The cost
of these fluids increases by a factor of 3 when
it is desired to raise the temperature from 260
to 320 C without decomposition of the prod-
uct. The temperature has been limited to
250 C, since the gain in the efficiency of the
thermodynamic cycle operating at 300 C is
insufficient to compensate for the added cost
required to raise the storage temperature to
300 C.
Storage fluids having operating temperatures
limited to 250 C may be mineral oils or Gilo-
therm PW. In addition to their low cost with
respect to fluids stable at 300 C, they offer
the advantage of being less viscous at the am-
bient temperature. This permits their use as
heat-transfer fluids in the collection system
without requiring heating of the pipes for the
morning start-up.
What are the consequences of the choice of
200 - 250 C as the heat-source temperature
for the collectors and heat engine?
2.2. Choice of method and degree of concen-
tration of solar energy
The choice of the heat-source temperature
at approximately 200 C, with the purpose of
limiting the collector area and size of the heat
exchangers through high heat-engine efficiency,
eliminates flat collectors. It is thus necessary
to make use of optical concentrating systems.
2.2.1. Distributed collectors and tower col-
lectors
Three considerations determined the choice
of distributed collectors in which each mirror
is equipped with a receiver against the concen-
tration by radiation of a single receiver placed
at the top of a tower:
(1) the tower concept is better suited to
high power levels, of the order of several thou-
sand kW(el);
(2) in a field of distributed collectors, the
heat and pressure losses of the network of
pipes used to collect the thermal energy avail-
able at each mirror are less than 10% of the
energy collected up to power levels of the
order of lMW(el);
(3) the modular design of the distributed
collectors permits varying daily output accord-
ing to energy demand throughout the system's
life.
2.2.2. Mirrors with one or two radii of cur-
vature
Two types of mirrors can be envisaged for
the distributed collectors. The use of line-focus
mirrors with one radius of curvature yields
geometric concentrations of the light flux of
20 - 40. The thermal flux collected at 200 C
is 40 - 50% of an incident solar flux of 800
W/m
2
. Receiver thermal flux is of the order of
20 kW/m
2
: this low value avoids any risk of
decomposition of the organic heat-transfer
fluid. Furthermore, the sun is tracked by rota-
tion around a single axis; this results in light-
weight structures and a simple solar-tracking
system.
Bertin & Cie is developing solar collectors
of this type in conjunction with PUK. The
aluminium mirrors are mobile, and the receiver
tubes are stationary.
The CEA is developing line-focus solar col-
lectors using segmented mirrors. The station-
ary mirrors consist of glass strips bonded to
concrete, and the receivers are mobile in order
to track the sun.
The use of mirrors with two radii of curva-
ture produces geometric concentrations of
several hundreds. The structures are more dif-
ficult to build owing to tracking of the sun
along two axes, and special care must be given
to heat exchange in the receiver because of the
risk of a high flux density. However, the ther-
mal energy delivered at 250 C over a given
time is far greater than with line focusing: the
thermal flux collected is of the order of 70%
for an incident solar flux of 800 W/m
2
and a
clean mirror. The cost of manufacturing these
heliostats must be carefully analysed to take
advantage of their high output.
Such systems are now being developed by
the CNRS (THEK project) (Fig. 1).
The CNRS is also working on stationary
spherical mirrors and a mobile receiver (Pericles
project).
2.3. Choice of heat engine
The value of heavy organic fluids used as
working fluids in medium-power 100 - 1000
kW(el) engines has been discussed elsewhere.
However, it is worth noting that, at the
300 kW(el) level, initial sizing of a steam-
powered turbogenerator results in a turbine
43
Fig. 1. 50 m
2
parabolic dish (CNRS-THEK project).
with a dozen stages rotating at approximately
15 000 rev/min. In addition, since blade height
is very small, the expansion efficiency is far
below that obtained in conventional higher
power units.
Furthermore, screw- and piston-type steam
displacement engines cannot reach high expan-
sion ratios, and their efficiency rarely exceeds
60%. In addition, at a temperature of 250 C
problems of lubrication and limited service
life begin to appear.
For these reasons, in the power and temper-
ature ranges mentioned, Bertin & Cie has cho-
sen to use a heavy organic fluid expanded in a
turbine to obtain good cycle efficiency, expan-
sion efficiency of 80% and a simple mechanism.
were toluene, chlorobenzene, Fluorinol85and
Fluorinert FC 75.
For reasons of toxicity, flammability and
the lack of knowledge of their compatibility
with materials, toluene and chlorobenzene
were eliminated, despite interesting theoretical
properties in terms of cycle efficiency for
temperatures around 300 C. This advantage
concerning cycle efficiency over fluorine deriv-
atives, Fluorinol or FC 75, disappears below
250 C (see Fig. 2(a)).
Determination of the operating ranges of
Fluorinol 85 and Fluorinert FC 75 requires
further study of cycle efficiency, the heat
exchangers and the turbogenerator for both
fluids.
2.3.2. Analysis of the cycle
Two cycles of equivalent efficiency, slightly
greater than 70%, are possible from a primary
heat source at 250 C and a heat sink at 35 C
using either FC 75 or F 85.
The two cycles are seen in Fig. 2(b) in the
temperature-entropy diagrams of the two
fluids. In the case of Fluorinol 85, expansion
closely follows the saturation curve ; superheat-
ing is absolutely necessary to avoid any wet
expansion, contrary to Fluorinert FC 75. This
can restrict operating flexibility with F 85 in
the event of a variation in the temperature of
the fluid leaving the storage system.
2.3.3. Analysis of the heat exchangers
(Fig. 3)
The cycle using FC 75 requires a large recu-
perator which raises the cycle efficiency from
11% to over 20%. The surface area of the heat
exchangers using FC 75 is twice that required
with F 85; however, the operating pressure
for FC 75 is only 10 bar against more than 25
bar for F 85. This permits the use of less ex-
pensive methods for the heat-exchange system
with FC 75. For FC 75, compact heat-
exchanger technology can be used, in particu-
lar for the recuperator and condenser.
2.3.1. Possible working fluids
Given the high-temperature capability of
the concentrating collectors used in the project,
Freons limited to 150 C were eliminated. The
properties of four fluids stable in the 200 -
300 C temperature range were analysed. These
2.3.4. Analysis of the expansion engine
For Fluorinol 85 as for FC 75, the two
cycles chosen give expansion ratios exceeding
130. In both cases, given the low velocity of
sound in these heavy fluids, flow is supersonic
in the blading; the use of two stages limits the
44
Efficiency
Expansion efficiency 75 "/
Relative pressure loss of heat exchangers 5 V
Recuperator et' iaency 80%
Heatsink temperature 35"C
Fig. 2(a). Actual efficiency curves for Fluorinol 85, Fluorinert FC 75, toluene and chlorobenzene.
Temperature
20*C . l Obars
Temperature
233' C . 25 bars
35"C . .16 bar
Entropy S
Fig. 2(b). Comparison of thermodynamic diagrams for Fluorinert FC 75 and Fluorinol 85.
COLLECTORS STORAGE TANK POWER CONVERSION UNIT
heat transfer fluid FC 75 working fluid coolant
Fig. 3. 100 1000 kW(el) mediumpower solar system using distributed collectors.
45
Mach number in the first rotor to 1.35 and
gives the following features for 300 kW(el).
FC 75 F 85
Diameter (mm) 800 400
Rotative speed (rev/min) 3000 13500
Tip speed (m/s) 100 200
The use of FC 75 allows a 50 Hz generator
with one pair of poles to be driven directly,
whereas the use of F 85 requires reduction
gears or a high-speed generator and a frequency
converter.
The absence of an intermediate reduction
gear for 300 kW(el) with FC 75 permits the
construction of a compact, sealed turbogener-
ator unit. This is a decisive advantage in terms
of maintenance and reliability. At lower power
levels, 50 or 100 kW(el) for example, direct
generator drive is no longer possible, but the
rotational speeds are still low enough to permit
the use of conventional seals around the shaft.
Lastly, analysis of the rotor tip speed shows
that mechanical stresses are low, especially
with FC 75.
2.3.5. The heat sink
When water is available in sufficient quanti-
ties to cool the condenser directly or to use a
wet cooling tower, the condensation point is
set at 35 C, and the efficiency of the heat
engine exceeds 20%.
However, expansion can be limited by a
condensation point of 70 or 80 C. Heat from
the condenser can then be either rejected
through a dry cooling tower or used for do-
mestic or industrial applications (desalination
in particular) in a total energy system. The
mechanical energy produced is then 20- 25%
less than the mechanical energy recovered
when expansion is continued to 35 C and the
turbine only has a single supersonic stage.
2.3.6. Technological problems and price of
working fluids
FC 75 is not flammable. Air shipment of
this substance is authorized. F 85 has a flash
point but no fire point. Its combustion is not
self-sustaining. The two fluids are compatible
and non-miscible with certain oils. Their ther-
mal stability and compatibility with materials
are considerable. Tests are now in progress to
determine the possible operating range. In
addition, the influence of the cost of the fluid
on the per installed kW(el) price can be esti-
mated at 300 French francs for FC 75 and
150 francs for Fluorinol.
2.3.7. Applications of FC 75 and F 85
working fluids
Turbines using heavy organic fluids are par-
ticularly well-suited to the 100 -1000 kW(el)
power range for the following reasons:
cycle efficiencies are high for heat-source
temperatures of 200 - 250 C;
the low rotational speeds permit the use of
sealed turbogenerator units and reduce all the
mechanical problems related to these rotating
machines;
one or two stages, depending on the heat-
sink temperature, are sufficient to deliver the
enthalpy available in the fluid; this leads to a
simple, inexpensive engine;
even at 50 kW, with FC 75, blade size is
sufficient to avoid losses from boundary layers
which are too large with respect to blade
height;
lastly, FC 75, which is heavier than Fluori-
nol, is well-suited to the 50 - 500 kW(el) range,
and Fluorinol becomes attractive from 400
kW(el) to several MW(el).
2.4. System optimization
Optimization of the four main components
of the system, the collectors, storage unit, heat
exchangers and turbogenerator, based on the
design choices described earlier, has been car-
ried out by a complete computational model
of the plant. This permits the sizing giving the
best kWh(el) price to be obtained just by in-
troducing local insolation data and user's spec-
ifications.
Figure 4 shows the influence of the heat-
source temperature (on leaving the collectors)
on the per kWh(el) cost with a breakdown for
the four main components. Note should be
taken of the large share represented by the
heat exchangers and the discontinuity when
the storage temperature exceeds 260 C.
Beyond this temperature a far more expensive
storage fluid is required.
Finally, the optimum temperature of the
heat-transfer fluid on leaving the collector is
of the order of 220 - 250 C with a tempera-
ture difference at the ends of the collectors
and storage unit exceeding 70 C.
The relative costs of the system's four com-
ponents depend on the user's specifications.
The peak power demanded by the user deter-
46
TABLE 1
Relative cost of components Collectors
(%)
Storage
(%)
Heat
exchanger
(%)
Turbogenerator
(%)
Peak power 300 kW(el)
Production of 1400 kW(el)
per day including 700 during
hours without sunshine
Peak power 300 kW(el)
Continuous operation at
peak power
67
81
20
9.5 2.5
Relative cost of kWhe
Cost of collectors
Cost of heat exchangers
Cost of turbine
Heat source temperature
.250 of heat transfer fluid
I Gilotherm)
Fig. 4. Relative cost per kWh(el) and its structure
versus upper temperature of the heat-transfer fluid.
mines the size of the turbogenerator and heat
exchangers. The daily energy to be supplied
to the user determines the size of the collector
field. The storage volume is proportional to
the quantity of energy to be supplied during
periods without sunshine.
To demonstrate the influence of the user's
specifications, two examples of system opti-
mization are given in Table 1 for two different
assumptions of daily electricity production.
3. PARABOLIC CYLINDRICAL COLLECTORS
WITH MOBILE ALUMINIUM MIRRORS AND STA-
TIONARY RECEIVER TUBES
Solar collectors with mobile mirrors rotat-
ing around one axis allow collection of a quan-
tity of energy close to the maximum direct
solar flux available on a surface normal to the
radiation while using lightweight, inexpensive
structures. The elementary mirrors with an
aperture of 1 m, a focal distance of 0.25 m and
a length of 5 m consist of two parallel sheets
of aluminium, 1 mm thick, forming a torsion-
resistant trough. The rolled high-brilliance in-
ternal sheet is the reflecting surface protected
by a coating deposited on the aluminium and
by the glass cover. Although the glass intro-
duces an optical loss, at the operating temper-
ature of 200 C this loss is offset by the ther-
mal insulation against forced convection by
the action of the wind. The receiver tube,
coated with black chrome, is 14 mm in diam-
eter. This corresponds to a geometric concen-
tration of 23.
Installation of the elementary mirrors varies
with the locality. At high latitudes the mirrors
are placed side by side with their axis parallel
to the polar axis; an installation of this type is
seen in Fig. 5. At low latitudes the mirrors are
placed horizontally. This reduces the support
structure and connecting pipes ; an installation
of this type is seen in Fig. 6. The complete
module comprises 8 - 20 elementary mirrors,
5 m
2
in size, equipped with a single solar-
tracking system (solar sensor, electronics and
gear mechanism). In the polar installation,
solar-tracking movement is transmitted by a
rod which drives each mirror in parallel. In the
horizontal installation, movement is transmit-
47
Fig. 5. Parabolic cylindrical collectors northsouth installation parallel to polar axis.
Fig. 6. Parabolic cylindrical collectors horizontal
installation northsouth or eastwest, depending on
the latitude.
ted from one mirror to the next by torsion
through the mirror structure itself.
In both cases, the mirrors rotate around
stationary receiver tubes. This permits the use
of a heattransfer fluid piping with no flexible
or rotary type seals.
Normal to the incident solar radiation
s
,
the thermal flux collected, , is given by
= cos 77
opt
0
s
(i, T
2
)
i is the angle between the direction of the sun
and the normal to the aperture section; for a
polar installation cos i varies from 0.92 to 1
during the course of the year with an average
value of 0.95.
1
represents theflux loss from
transmission through the glass, reflection on
the mirror and absorption of the receiver tube;
the calculated and measured optical efficiency
is 60%. q(T
lt
T
2
) is the heat loss of the re
ceiver tube per square metre of aperture for
temperatures 2\ and T
2
of the heattransfer
fluid at the collector ends; for 7\ = 180 C
and T
2
= 250 C, q(T
u
T
2
) is less than 150
W/m
2
.
In other words, at 200 C the heat flux
available at the collector ends is greater than
320 W/m
2
for an incident flux of 800 W/m
2
.
48
Fig. 7. 3 m storage tank and 50 kW pilot turbine with heat-exchange system.
3000
2000
1000
0
Height of storage tank ( mm )
T ^ "
/ ^
f
^^ .'
-
t ; 2h 1 = 0
1
J
Temperature ' O
Fig. 8. Variation in temperature gradient in storage tank.
49
Fig. 9. O kW(el) turbine equipped with hydrodynamic bearings.
The important factor to be taken into con-
sideration is the ratio of energy collected per
square metre of aperture sectional area to the
cost per square metre of the same area. Al-
though their conversion efficiencies are small
compared with those of a paraboloid rotating
around two axes, parabolic cylindrical collec-
tors offer the advantage of low manufacturing
cost.
In effect, the mirror only weighs 12 kg/m
2
;
this means low materials costs, allowing the
manufacture of parabolic cylindrical collectors
at a price close to that of flat collectors today.
been chosen to minimize heat leakage through
the temperature front.
The rates at which the fluid enters and exits
have been chosen to avoid generating any con-
vection movement.
The variation in the temperature gradient
in the tank over 24 hours is seen in Fig. 8. To
within 2 or 3 C it follows the curve established
over 24 hours by pure conduction in the Gilo-
therm.
The storage-tank temperature difference is
70 C; this corresponds to the storage of 35
kWh(th) per cubic metre.
4. SENSIBLE-HEAT STORAGE
The possibility of storage using the sensible
heat of Gilotherm PW by stratification of the
fluid in a single tank has been confirmed using
a 3 m
3
model (Fig. 7).
The thickness of the storage tank walls has
5. BERTIN & CIE RANKINE-CYLE TURBINES
USING AN ORGANIC FLUID
The requirements specific to a solar-power
system have shown the value of employing a
turbine using a heavy organic fluid in the 100 -
50
^ ^ . " Wf r Wi : " ^
Fig. 10. The 50 kW(el) industrial unit.
1000 kW(el) range (cf. 2.3).
The choice of Fluorinert permits a rotative
speed of 3000 rev/min for a power of 300
kW(el) and 7200 rev/min for a power of 50
kW(el).
A pilot 50 kW(el) unit with Mach conditions
similar to those in the 300 kW(el) turbine was
designed and built. It has been used to confirm
the following two points:
(1) supersonic expansion with a pressure
ratio of 150 can be obtained with an efficiency
of 80% with respect to isentropic expansion;
(2) cycle efficiency, in other words the ratio
of mechanical energy produced by the turbine
to the heat supplied to the engine, is greater
than 20% for a 220 C heat source and a 35 C
heat sink.
Figure 7 is a general view of the test rig:
storage tank (3 m
3
), heat exchangers and tur
bine (50 kW(el)).
Figure 9 shows the 50 kW(el) turbine in
stalled on hydrodynamic bearings lubricated
with the working fluid. Figure 10 shows the
50 kW(el) industrial unit.
6. CONCLUSION
Optimization of the solar power system,
comprising a field of collectors, storage unit
and heat engine, is of capital importance in
reducing kWh(el) costs. The optimization
depends on the peak power and daily energy
demanded by the user; in the 100 1000
kW(el) power range, the optimum heatsource
temperature is between 200 and 250 C.
Testing of components under such optimum
conditions shows that linefocus collectors
convert 40 50% of the direct solar flux into
thermal energy and that a turbine using heavy
organic fluid converts over 20% of this thermal
energy into mechanical energy.
The ratio of electric power delivered to solar
power received is near 10% with a solar flux
51
of 800 W/m
2
.
The construction of a prototype solar power
system will permit the solution of the prob-
lems of combined operation of the collector
field, storage unit and heat engine.
Lastly, two spin-offs of this project appear
promising. First, the collectors and storage
system together form a medium-temperature
(100 - 250 C) heat generator which should
find applications in the production of indus-
trial heat for food-processing plants, for exam-
ple. Second, the heat engine, comprising the
heat exchanger and turbogenerator, can be
employed not only with solar heat but also
with heat recovered in factories having excess
heat at 200 - 450 C.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 53 64
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
53
Considerations on a Combined and Hybrid Solar/Fossil Fuel Cycle*
C. MICHELI
Snamprogetti S.p.A., Vie De Gasperi 16, S. Donato Milanese, Milan (Italy)
SUMMARY
In a solar power plant the total efficiency is
the product of three efficiencies, i.e. concen
tration, collection and conversion.
Owing to the high cost of the heliostat
field, the product of the collection (receiver)
and conversion (thermodynamic cycle) effi
ciencies has to be maximised, taking into
account the deep mutual interaction. The
principal aspects of the reciprocal behaviour
are underlined and some optimisation princi
ples suggested on the basis of development of
the basic concepts of Brayton and combined
cycles, study of the radiant losses of a simple
geometry receiver, and study of the influence
of a fuel integration.
CONTENTS
1. General
2. Brayton cycle
3. Rankine cycle
4. Combined cycle
5. Receiver
6. Hybrid cycle
1. GENERAL
The generation of electric power with the
highest efficiency compatible with the lowest
total production cost has always been the aim
of scientists and technologists. In the future
this trend will continue, combined, however,
with the necessity of the lowest consumption
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre
of the Commission of the European Communities,
Ispra (Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA
Courses, September 3 7, 1979.
or, possibly, no consumption of fossil
fuel.
Since the thermodynamic conversion of
solar energy into electricity will play a role in
this scenario, an understanding of thermodyn
amic heat transfer and flow dynamics
involved in solar systems is necessary.
I shall now present a survey of a solar sys
tem performed by a Snamprogetti team. Most
f the following considerations are with re
gard to a Brayton cycle combined with a Ran
kine cycle, with a solar receiver supplying all
the heat. This is a simplification of the pro
posed prototype, where fuel is also used to
boost up the working fluid temperature ob
tainable in the receiver.
Before going into the question of how the
Brayton cycle affects the whole system and
particularly the receiver, I wish to justify the
rationale behind the abovementioned system.
In my opinion the easiest way to introduce
the subject is to present a plot of efficiencies
versus cycle peak temperatures (see Fig. 1).
This plot presents the Carnot cycle efficiency
and those of the thermodynamic cycles which
have been used, or may be used in the future,
in the generation of electric energy in large
commercial power plants: the Rankine, the
Brayton and the Stirling cycles. The range of
efficiency values of each of these cycles lies
within certain limits which depend on attain
able peak temperature, design sophistication
and equipment size. In the case of the steam
water Rankine cycle all these features were
optimised some years ago. A most important
point is that attempts made in Germany,
U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. in the early 1960s to
increase steam superheating up to and above
600 C failed to show a promising increase in
efficiency beyond the present values, of say
42%, obtained with steam superheating and re
heating at about 520 C.
54
kJ;
2 00 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
Fig. 1. Plot of efficiencies versus cycle peak temper
atures.
kg
9 0 0
0 ,.l=oS|
0 (Roa)
L = L L. = CT,
[fBT.M]
ASSUMED: WORKING FLUID AIR

C =1080 J/. .
/kg =
f = 0 2 6
I,= 1225 K
T, = 290 K
^ , = ^ = 085
f , = 095 f
oP
Fig. 3. Bray ton cycle: L, Q
in
versus

at different re
generation ratios R.
/ k g
/ :
/ "
/ ' *
/ *
L = L,i,
I M
= ^ [ q,(T
3
T,)L
c
J
WORKING FLUID AI R: C=1080
kgK
J=0.26
I=1225K T| =290K "]=0.95
j>i=0.8f ^, =7C=0 95
Fig. 2. Brayton cycle (no regeneration).
55
With regard to more efficient working
fluids, apart from the mercury cycle which
raised some interest in the 1920s, and apart
from the still undeveloped potassium and
caesium cycles, much attention is being paid
at present to several organic fluids which yield
20 25% higher efficiencies than water steam
at the same peak temperature. Nevertheless,
the highest peak temperature attainable with
organic fluids being appreciably lower than
those experienced with steam, the maximum
Rankine efficiency obtained at present is still
only 42% of the watersteam cycle and, unless
a breakthrough occurs in the present technol
ogy, no better results can be expected in the
future.
The range of values of efficiency over
which the performance of a Brayton open or
closed cycle extends depends on working
temperature, size and design.
In the case of the open Brayton cycle a
high efficiency is obtainable, despite a high
heatsink temperature, contrary to the Ran
kine case which benefits from an easily
obtainable low and constant heatsink temper
ature, but suffers from peak temperature
limitations as discussed above.
The obvious conclusion is that by bottom
ing an open Brayton cycle with a Rankine an
almost ideal combination results.
In order to point out the features of the
solar system which affect its design and effi
ciency, it is necessary to examine separately
the subsystems of which it is composed.
For a correct understanding of the results
and to qualify the parameters to be used, it is
necessary to spend a few minutes on elemen
tary information which will be abbreviated as
much as possible.
2. BRAYTON CYCLE
Figures 2 and 3 present some features of a
Brayton cycle without and with regeneration,
neglecting pressure drops. The ideal transfor
mations which occur in the cycle are de
scribed by wellknown mathematical expres
sions, which will be put in a graphical form to
obtain a clear representation of some of the
developments.
From the equations, Qi and L
c
are straight
lines vs.

, whilst L
t
is a curve. The differ
ence between L
t
and L
c
is the net (massic)
work L, which is again represented by a curve
with two zero points (where L
t
= L
c
) and a
maximum.
The ratio L to Q^ is the efficiency, which
will again have two zero points (where L = 0)
and a maximum; however, for a given T
3
, the
maximum value of is not at the same
where L reaches its maximum (see Fig. 4, R =
0).
If we introduce, in the equation for Q^,
the term due to regeneration, it is interesting
to observe that a regeneration is possible only
if T
A
> T
2
, which, for each T
3
, is possible
only up to a certain value of .
In fact, if we maintain T
3
constant and
increase , the compression will terminate at a
higher T
2
, thus reducing the heat transferable
from 41 to 2 3; eventually T
2
will be higher
than T
4
and no regeneration will be possible
(no interrefrigeration is considered).
However, when considering a combined
cycle, one should not forget that such an
increase in efficiency of the Brayton cycle is
obtained at the expense of the amount of
heat transferred to the bottoming cycle and
possibly also at the expense of the efficiency
of the latter (lower working fluid peak temp
erature).
Another consideration is that the regenera
tion applied to the Brayton cycle decreases
Qin and consequently the heliostats needed.
In Fig. 3, for a T
3
value of 950 C, the
maximum

for which regeneration is no


longer possible is 2.15 and the corresponding
is about 19; Fig. 4 is a plot of vs.

at the
same peak temperature T
3
.
If we now draw a set of graphs 77 vs. , each
one for a given peak temperature and all pos
sible degrees of regeneration, and then take
the peak efficiencies, we shall obtain Fig. 5
which shows two sets of curves. The dashed
lines indicate the value of for which at a
fixed T
3
jT
1
the highest occurs (at a given
R); the actual value of can be obtained from
lines of constant 7?. It is confirmed that effi
ciencies are higher at higher T
3
/T
1
and easier
to obtain at higher regeneration degrees.
In addition, there is a dotted line showing
optimum vs. T
3
T
1
to obtain the maximum
massic work which is not a function of R. The
condition of optimal massic work has affected
the design of gas turbines up to now, in order
to decrease the weight of the turbines
designed for aeronautics and to decrease the
Fig. 4. Open Brayton, Rankine and combined cycle
efficiencies.
eompr. r at i o for max fi
Lines at di f f er ent R
compr. rat i o f or max L l i nes
const ant ef f i ci ency l i nes
FLUI D
:
AIR
Cp 1 0 8 0 j / k s K
% =7c=
0 8 5
: 0.95
: 0. 26
0 8 f
R=l
/
/
Fig. 5. Optimal for L
m a x
or TJ
max
versus T3IT1 at
different regeneration ratios R.
investment costs for turbines designed for
ground application. More interest will certain
ly be shown in solar systems having the
highest efficiency at the expense of the invest
ment costs for this item of equipment.
3. RANKINE CYCLE
If a Rankine cycle is topped by a Brayton
cycle, the heating of the working fluid occurs
as in a wasteheat boiler.
After adoption of a superheated steam
temperature compatible with the maximum
available gas temperature and a pressure for
the Rankine fluid, which also defines the
evaporation temperature, the pitch point is
defined. The heat contained in the gas at the
pitch point can be used only to the extent
needed to heat the Rankine working fluid up
to its boiling point. Consequently a tradeoff
is required between the optimal pressure and
peak temperature of the Rankine working
fluid and the temperature level at which the
Brayton cycle gas is discharged without
further use of its heat content.
The thermodynamic properties of the
working fluid have a major influence in lower
ing the temperature at the stack. Preheating
the working fluid via bleed steam from the
turbine is in general not recommendable be
cause the higher the temperature at which the
fluid is introduced into the heat recovery
boiler the higher will also be the stack losses
of the system, since no air preheating is re
quired or even possible in our case.
We can now calculate the gas maximum
temperature available for the Rankine cycle
for each point of Brayton maximum efficien
cy. By a procedure deriving from the above,
we can also design the corresponding best
compatible Rankine cycles.
Let us now examine in greater detail the
combined efficiency.
4. COMBINED CYCLE
In Fig. 4 we consider a Rankine cycle
topped by a Brayton one. Incidentally, the
results are also valid for different combina
tions of thermodynamic cycles. In order to
represent a more general case, external heat
AQin is added to that transferred from the
57
t op t o the bot t om cycle. The efficiencies of
the two cycles in separate operation are
Vi
=
Li/Q
inl
7?2 = L
2
/Q
in2
The combined cycle efficiency is defined by
L
1
+ L
2
Icomb
Qin
1 Qinl
L
2
Q
Ln2
(1)
Qinl Qin Qin2 Qin
where
Qin = Qinl + AQi
T?
comb
, expressed as a function of

and r?
2
, is
_ Qinl Qin2
^comb ^1 "TT"
+
1?2
Q QL
(2)
where it appears t hat 7j
c o mb
is not their plain
sum but something less.
However, t he combined cycle is still a
convenient one because, in t he case of sep
arate cycles, Q
i n2
would be an additional
amount of heat t o be supplied totally t o t he
system, instead of being transferred from one
subsystem to t he other.
The contribution of
1
is a maxi mum when
Qini
=
Qin> t hat i
s
when AQ
t a
= 0; in this case
their ratio is unity and the full weight of
x
enters into Tj
c o mb
. Since
Qi n2 =Qout i AQ
out
+ AQ
in
the contribution of r\
2
is a maxi mum when
Qtf is a maxi mum or, in ot her words, Q ^ =
Qouti (AQin supposed 0); or again, in other
terms, no regeneration is applied. However,
the maximisation of either partial will not
yield the optimal T?
comb
.
To better approximate general and actual
conditions, we shall look at t he contribution
of the heat added t o t he bot t om cycle and the
negative effect of t he stack losses. Equation
(2) can also be written in t he form
Q i n A Q t a .
Icomb Vl
+ T? :
Qin
Qout i + A Q
i n
A Q
o u t
Qin
(3)
For simplicity we shall write
AQ
i n
/ Q
i n
=9
z
and
AQo u t / Qi n = 0
a
Hence
/ =
? 1
( 1

) + ?
2
( ^^
3
+

* **in
Since
Qout i _ Qout i Qi nl
"O^ Qn7 OTnT
Qinl 1 Q i n " Qu,
(4)
Qinl Qin
= ( 1 T
? 1
) ( 1 0
I
)
we can write eqn. (4) as follows:
?comb = l ( l e z ) + T2[( l T?l ) ( l f l )
0
a
+ 0 J (5)
or
Icomb = Vi +V2riiV2niSz(lV2)
r)
2
e
a
(6)
which is a t hermodynami c efficiency, dis
regarding mechanical and electrical efficien
cies, ot her thermal losses, and parasitic con
sumptions.
The t wo expressions for Tj
c omb
are perfect
ly equivalent but require complementary
remarks.
Equation (6) contains t he term \
2
,
which, in an optimised combined cycle, is t he
major decreasing element of t he sum of t he
t wo separate efficiencies (supposing t he stack
losses can be kept sufficiently low compared
withrjxTjz).
Equation (5) also indicates t he negative
contribution of t he heat loss at t he stack; as
was t o be expected, it is proportional t o t he
percentage loss at t he stack (0
a
) and t o t he
efficiency of the bot t om cycle; actually it
increases for larger
2
, as does t he term TJ
1
T?
2
;
this is an indication t hat t he total combined
efficiency is subject t o decreases which be
come heavier for high single efficiencies.
The term containing

indicates t hat
apart from an obvious increase of
2
t he
total efficiency is penalized if part of the heat
is added t o the bot t om cycle only.
However, the administration of some heat
Q;,, may be advisable if the amount of Q
o u
t i
is appreciable but the peak temperature is t oo
low and causes t he efficiency of t he bot t om
cycle t o degrade.
58
Open Br ayt on + wat er st eam Ranki ne
Ambi ent . 15 C : 1013 bar
Cycl e = 9 8 ' / . pl us 60 mbar t ot al of suct i on
and di scharge
20 40 60 60
Fig. 6. Combined cycle efficiency versus regeneration
ratio at different top cycle peak temperatures and
compression ratios.
We can now appreciate for a given cycle
peak temperature :
the Brayton efficiency (at optimal com
pression ratio),
the Rankine efficiency (watersteam
cycle heated up to the end of the adopted re
generation) at optimal compression ratio for
the Brayton efficiency,
the resulting combined efficiency accord
ing to the equation (Fig. 4)
' comb
=
Vl +2 T7lT?2
It is notable how the combined efficiency
increases steeply beyond a regeneration higher
than 70%; however, the actual point of
change in steepness is influenced by the as
sumptions made for the losses and the conse
quent estimation of the top Brayton efficien
cies, as well as by the evaluation of the Ran
kine efficiency.
A more complete picture of the total effi
ciency as a function of Brayton compression
ratio, peak temperature and regeneration
degree is given in Fig. 6.
The above are expected efficiencies obtain
able with a watersteam Rankine cycle;
organic fluids would perform better. Figure 6
shows that we can increase the combined effi
ciency by increasing the peak temperature, or
the regeneration ratio, or both, and by
decreasing the compression ratio if the regen
eration is increased.
Figure 7 shows the case of no regeneration.
r?
comb
is shown as a function of both the peak
temperature and the equipment size. The effi
ciency of the Brayton/organic fluid Rankine
is also indicated, as well as that of a helium
Brayton closed cycle.
Finally, for reference only, the very high
efficiency obtainable with the combination of
two Rankine cycles is indicated, the top one
Fig. 7. Combined solar cycle gross efficiency versus peak cycle temperature.
59
being a (or Cs) cycle, bottomed by water
steam Rankine cycles. However, such a cycle
presents a number of problems which are still
unsolved.
5. RECEIVER
The parameters governing the Brayton
cycle also influence the Rankine cycle and
hence the combined cycle efficiency, but, on
the other hand, they also affect the receiver
which is placed between the compressor and
turbine.
In a hybrid fossilfuelled cycle, the Brayton
peak temperature may be higher than the
receiver outlet temperature, in order to alle
viate its operating conditions; unless stated to
the contrary, we shall suppose the two temp
eratures to coincide.
In the following we shall investigate the
influence of the Brayton cycle on the receiver
as well as on the total (receivercycle) effi
ciency which is the product of
(
. and r j
c o mb
(Fig. 8).
We can now examine how the heat migrates
from the cavity ambient into the working
fluid.
The heat impinging on the heattransfer
surface originates from the direct flux coming
through the aperture, plus internal reflections,
plus the IR radiation.
= f ( T, , T3. / . R)
The between the outer tube surface and
the bulk of the fluid flowing inside the tube
represents the driver of the heat transmission;
the ability of the fluid to take over the heat
depends on the mass flow and the specific
heat and results in an increase in its temper
ature.
The heat transfer across the tube is de
scribed by the equation
Atot = Tata +AT
W
<7
W
DJ2 D
e
=
+
<?w In
h k
w
Di
where q
w
= heat flux migrating through the
tube wall, fe
w
= tube wall thermal conductivi
ty, D
e
= external tube diameter, A = internal
tube diameter, and h = air film heattransfer
coefficient.
The expression for h is obtained by
comparing the expressions
Nu = /iDJfea
and
Nu = 0.023 Pr
0

4
Re
0

8
where Pr and Re are the wellknown adimen
sional numbers and fe
a
is the air thermal
conductivity.
The increase in temperature of the working
fluid along the axis of the tube is measured by
T o u t " Tin = 9 wwAZ/ mCp
where = tube axial length, m = mass flow in
side the tube, and C
p
= specific heat at
constant pressure. For the pressure drops
along the tube, the Krane correlation is used:
Ap=p\P

P
g
with
^ 2 1 o g
1 0
(

f + 2 1n

2.51
1/2
Fig. 8. Interrelation between efficiencies.
3.7 A Re Vn
= tube roughness, f = friction factor, V = gas
velocity, = specific weight, and g = accelera
tion due to gravity.
Figure 9 illustrates the heat transmission
versus air flowrate or air velocity in m/s at
10 bar; it also shows the pressure losses occur
ring at given mass flowrates and pressure.
60
s
" /ic.
TUBE I D : 42 mm
L/D 400
THICK 4 5 mm
L
!
_ _ " ROUGH 0045 mm
WALL COND 0OBW/ n f K
DW RATE Kg/
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Fig. 9. Tube performance at 800 C air bulk temperature.
AI R VE L O C I T Y AT I O b*r
With a given flow of air (in kg/s) we shall
have a much lower velocity (in m/s) and lower
with a higher inlet pressure. The pressure
drop also depends on the piping diameter.
Increasing the diameter decreases the losses;
increasing the diameter also increases the tube
heat exchange surface per unit length; there
fore, at a constant heat flux in the receiver,
higher regeneration degrees in the open Bray
ton and therefore lower working pressures
require shorter tubing with a larger radius.
On the contrary, the AT axial rise in unit
length of tube, at a given mass flow (and bulk
temperature), is only dependent on the avail
able heat flux and temperature difference be
tween the tube wall and the bulk of the fluid.
The tube performance at a different air
bulk temperature is similar to the one shown.
If we now remember that the receiver is
inserted in a Brayton open cycle, we shall
realise that the operating pressure is imposed
by compression ratio, which depends on the
degree of regeneration adopted. Then the
easiest way to obtain the highest efficiency
imposes a low working pressure and, conse
quently, a high pressure drop in the receiver
and low heat fluxes per unit area; this, in
turn, increases the size and cost of the
receiver.
In any case, it must be checked that the air
velocities are sufficiently below the sonic
velocities (to avoid compressibility effects,
noise, vibration and thermal blocks).
It is easy to demonstrate that, in a receiver
for constant ratio TOut/^uu the ratio
Z/D
i
Si
V,
will also be constant, where P
t a
is the fluid in
let pressure.
The heat balance between the heat migrat
ing through the tube wall and the heat carried
away by the fluid requires
g
w
^ffA = ' nCp( T
o u t
T
t a
)
We can therefore write
T
out
<z
w
ZA _

T
m
mCpTta
Since
m = Vip?/4
p=PJR*T
in
(which is the definition of density applied
the ideal gas law), we can also write
Tout _
1 +
Vin(i
= 1 + 4
Cp
QwZuDi
in/iTtaMZJ/^CpTta
<7w Z/Di
V
i n
x
in
t o
from which one infers that T
out
/T
in
depends
linearly on Z/D
x
and on 1/Pu,
Therefore the ratio q^l^m has the same in
fluence on Tout/T^ as on (/^/^.
At a low pressure the ratio T^JT^ is
much more sensitive to a small variation of
the heat migrating through the wall than at a
high pressure ; it is also more sensitive to varia
tion of velocity.
61
So much for the heat transmission in the
receiver, the efficiency of which will be
examined now.
For the sake of simplicity, we shall neglect
convection and conduction losses. On the
other hand, we intend to treat the radiation
losses with a certain accuracy and general
validity, although, again for simplicity, we
shall impose limitations on the cavity design
and make assumptions which will be illus
trated hereafter (see Fig. 10).
The cavity is composed of a hemispherical
portion and a truncated cone ending with the
aperture. The beam of solar flux (also conical)
entering the cavity, and the cavity itself, are
symmetrical about the same axis. The surface
A
3
is directly hit by the solar flux, which
does not strike the conical surface A
2
. The
cavity will see the field under angle 2a. Each
surface A
3
and A
2
is supposed to be perfectly
diffusing and isothermal, regardless of which
one is at the higher temperature. The emissivi
ties, both in the visible and in the IR range,
are uniform on each surface.
It is irrelevant whether the working fluid is
flowing in a jacket or in tubes and whether
both surfaces or either one are cooled by the
working fluid.
Under the above assumptions, the cavity
efficiency is given by
(B
2
F
12
+ B
3
F
13
) + (B
2
F
12
+ B
3
F
13
)
= 1
CI
The second term on the righthand side of this
equation is the ratio of radiosities multiplied
by their geometrical view factors to the
product of concentration ratio and solar flux.
Radiosities (in the visible and IR) are defined
in Fig. 11.
B* = RADI 0SI TY IN THE VI SI BLE
B, = ' " " IR
e* HEMI SPHERI CAL EMI SSI VI TY IN THE VI SI BLE
e, = " " R
0 = STEFAN BOLTZMANN CONSTANT
S = DIRECT LIGHT FROM THE SUN
F, ^GEOMETRI CAL VIEW FACTOR BETWEEN SURFACE j &
, = ( l e, ) S + ( l e , ) Hj
/ / * Hf * , F,, *
l l epSj
V
.''.V " e p H ,
T777777777777777777777777Z7&777777777777777777777~
// H
B, = e, oVl l e. Wj
H, = , Fj, B,
Fig. 11. Radiation heat transfer.
A, =
K-
A
3 =
oC =
G =
C =
1 =
7" tc
=
fpEC =
APERTURE AREA
NOT DIRECTLY LIGHTED WALL
DIRECTLY LIGHTED WALL
MIRROR BEAM SEMI APERTURE
A; * A3
A,
SOLAR FLUX CONCENTRATION RATIO
GROUND SOLAR FLUX
RECEIVER RADI ANT EFFICIENCY
( B + i y + ( B F , 2 + B3 Fol
1 C
Fig. 10. Receiver geometry.
Figure 12 presents a plot of the cavity effi
ciency, as defined above, as a function of the
two wall temperatures of the cavity. The plot
is valid for a ratio of G = (A
2
+
3
) = 20
and an insolation of 800 W/cm
2
; such a cavity
wall surface to cavity aperture ratio also
appears in the expressions for the efficiency
given by other authors.
The angle a is 50, a usual value for south
facing fields. The plot shows the degraded
cavity efficiency at very high temperatures.
The temperature level beyond which such a
decrease becomes considerable (at given G) is
controlled by:
the concentration C which at higher
values allows higher fluxes on the aperture, at
given solar flux, thus decreasing the impact of
IR losses on the total losses;
the IR emissivity of the cavity walls a
decrease of the emissivity, however, causes an
increase of the reflection losses which are a
function of 1 e* for e* = e;
62
600 700 BOO 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400
Fig. 12. Receiver efficiency.
the increase of reflection losses which
can be limited by using selective surfaces (e
e*) and/or by improving the design of the
cavity ; optical efficiency can be upgraded, for
instance, causing multiple reflections on ap
propriate specular surfaces;
the IR radiation which can also be en
trapped by proper use of the cells designed by
Professor Francia;
finally, it has also been suggested that a
grid of tubes at low temperature should be
placed in the cavity behind the aperture, hav
ing a high absorptivity on the surface facing
the heliostats and high reflectivity on the
back.
Figure 13 indicates the product of the
cycle efficiency and cavity efficiency (i?
tot
=
r?
comb
77
rec
) for different peak cycle temper
atures and regenerations, assuming the work
ing fluid attains the peak temperature in the
cavity. The interesting aspect of the plot is
that it shows how the decreasing efficiency of
the cavity overtakes, at rising temperature,
the increasing efficiency of the cycle.
Another way of emphasising the above is
by the table shown in Fig. 14, where we can
see the cycle, solar receiver and total efficien
cies for the considered peak temperatures and
degrees of regeneration. The cavity inlet
temperatures, which depend on regeneration,
WOT ' *
52
50.
48
46
44
42
40
38
36
34
32
0"~ 900 1000 1100 1200 ia 3 s 1600
T
/C
' *
52
50
48
46
44
42
36
38
34

900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600


T
/C
Fig. 13. Total efficiency versus peak cycle temper
ature at different concentration ratios.
63
C =1500. r X=50 , 1=800 w / m
z
TMrtX= Cycle peak ( out l et cavity) temperature
R = Brayt on cycl e regenerati on ratio
TtM = Cavity inlet temperaturef f ixed by R)
I i
"kc
" ? CD MB
" V TO T
( TOT

[COMB (f l EC
W>c\
950
1300
1600
0
386
.94
52 6
90
636
85
41
39
49
44
.54
46
30
369
94
474
90
559
.85
42
.39
50
45
.55
.47
50
397
94
504
90
587
85
.43
40
51
46
.56
48
75
475
93
618
87
731
.79
49
46
53
46
.59
47
100
749 54
91 49
1042 65
.81 .53
1292 .70
.62 .43
COUPLING WITH FUEL INTEGRATION
c
>
, c l e
=
1 3 0 0
C R = 7 5 V . < 1 # 05 3
Rec T1N = 618 C 7,^=950 C - nE c 0 92
ft,,
0

Cycle TM IX=I600 C R = 7 5 V . %s= 59
Rec T,h = 731C kf l300" C %[c =0 86
7 IO T = 0 5 '
Fig. 14. Cycle, cavity and total efficiencies.
6. HYBRID CYCLE
Apart from optimising total efficiency,
such a procedure can overcome the tech
nological problems of the receiver materials
which are and probably will remain so in
the future more sensitive to temperature
than those of the turbine.
To conclude, the heat administered to the
working fluid, from the outlet of the com
pression stage to the turbine inlet, in the pro
posed hybrid system would be given in three
stages :
first step, by regeneration;
second step, by solar energy reflected in
to the cavity;
lastly, by burning fuel.
Obviously, increasing the regeneration ratio
decreases the investment costs for the helio
stat field and fuel.
The ratio of heat from fuel to the total
absorbed heat depends on whether the pur
pose of the system is to maximise the fraction
of solar energy applied to the system or to
maximise the efficiency.
are also indicated since they concur, together
with the cavity outlet temperature, to build
up the cavity average temperature, which
controls the cavity efficiency, under the
known constraints.
It would be desirable to have :
a high cycle efficiency by means of a
high temperature and high degree of regenera
tion ;
a high cavity efficiency, which calls for
lower temperatures at the outlet and possibly
at the inlet too.
The compromise is a lower cavity outlet
temperature and the use of fuel to heat the
working fluid up to the cycle peak temper
ature.
If one also applies the results of Figs. 9 and
12, one appreciates that the cases tabulated in
Fig. 14 are also differentiated by operating
pressure, flux and flow levels and possibly
pressure losses in the tubes and/or their Z/D
ratio.
The table in Fig. 14 also shows the advan
tage of coupling a cavity outlet of 950 C with
a peak cycle of 1300 C, as well as a cavity
outlet of 1300 C with a cycle of 1600 C.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I wish to thank all the members of the
team who carried out this study. Special
thanks are due to A. De Benedetti, L. Cinei,
V. Grandonico, A. Galli and V. Guida.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
W. H. McAdams, Heat Transmission, McGrawHill,
New York, 3rd edn.
R. Siegel and J. R. Howell, Thermal Radiation Heat
Transfer, McGrawHill, New York, 1972.
H. C. Hottel and A. F. Sarofim, Radiative Transfer,
McGrawHill, New York.
E. M. Sparrow and R. D. Cess, Radiation Heat
Transfer, Brooks/Cole, Belmont, CA, 1967.
R. P. Bobeo, G. E. Allen and P. W. Othmer, Local
radiation equilibrium temperatures in semigray
enclosures, J. Spacecraft, 4 (8).
J. R. Gintz, Boeing Eng. & Constr., ClosedCycle,
High Temperature CentralReceiver Concept for Solar
Electric Power, EPRIER629 Jan. 1978.
64
J. C. Grosskreutz, Black & Veatch, SolarThermal
Conversion to Electricity Utilizing a Central Receiver,
Open Cycle, Gas Turbine Design, EPRIER652,
March 1978.
M. Becker, DFVLR, Durchfhrbarkeitsstudie zum
Centralrecewerteil eines Solarkraftwerks mit gas
frmigen Arbeitsmedium, Teil 1.
A. P. Fraas, Oak Ridge National Lab., Comparison of
helium, potassium and cesium cycles, 10th IECEC
Conference, University of Delaware, Newark, 1975,
IEEE, ref. pubin. . 75CH09837 TAB.
G. Francia, references cited by G. Francia in Solar
Energy, 12 (1961) 51.
J. Buxmann, Combined Cycles for Power Generation,
Von Karman Inst, for Fluid Dynamics, April 24 28,
1978.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 65 76
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
65
A Solar Farm wi th Parabolic D ishes ( Kuwai ti - German Project)*
G. SCHMIDT and H. ZEWEN
MesserschmittBlkowBlohm GmbH, Space Division, Postfach 80 11 69, 8000 Munich 80 (F.R.G.)
S. MOUSTAFA
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Solar Energy Department, P. O. Box 24885, Safat (Kuwait)
1. INTRODUCTION
Many Arab countries are engaged in solar
energy research, in particular Algeria, Sudan,
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait. The
priorities in solar energy application may vary
from one country to another, but the aim is
to harness the almost inexhaustible energy of
the sun, more of which this region receives
than anywhere else in the world.
For the Federal Republic of Germany solar
energy is becoming more and more important
with respect to bilateral technical and scientific
cooperation with other countries. Solar energy
is one of the topics of the EuropeanArab
dialogue in which the Federal Governments
participate actively.
In Kuwait the responsibility for research,
development and demonstration in solar en
ergy is delegated to the Kuwait Institute for
Scientific Research (KISR), where an active
solar energy programme started in September
1976. Since this period, projects related to the
following applications of solar energy have
been undertaken :
solar cooling and heating of buildings;
agricultural applications of solar energy such
as solar desalination, cooling of greenhouses
and integrated food/water/power complexes;
solar thermal conversion ;
photovoltaics.
In the Federal Republic of Germany, Messer
schmittBlkowBlohm (MBB) began the de
velopment and testing of solar power generat
ing systems 15 years ago, mainly in the field
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
of space programmes. Photovoltaic solar gener
ators had been the first point of activity in this
field. For the seven units of Intelsat V new
generation communication satellites, as well
as for the other flight units of applications and
scientific satellites, MBB is building the power
supply (Fig. 1). These experiences, together
with the activities on different areas of elec
tronic tracking systems for satellite ground
antenna stations (Fig. 2), and last, but not
least, the absorber knowhow derived from the
rocket propulsion systems form the technical
background for the solar energy utilization
programmes at MBB today:
domestic heating,
hot water preparation,
cooling,
lowtemperature process heat generation,
electric power generation by
farm systems (50 500 kW(el))
tower systems using steam and gas (1000
kW(el) up to several MW(el)).
2. PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES
In the area of thermodynamic power con
version KISR and MBB are developing, build
ing and testing together a 100 kW electric solar
farm system. The cooperative project started
in May 1978 and will be carried out in several
stages:
(1) development and installation of the
plant,
(2) testing and evaluation of the plant,
(3) application (waste heat utilization in a
total energy system).
The project is mainly funded by the Ku
waitian Ministry for Electricity and Water and
the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research,
but owing to the technical and political impor
66
Fig. 1. MBB solar generator for Intelsat V telecom-
munication satellite (power = 1742 W).
tance of the programme it is also supported
by the German Ministry for Research and
Technology. It is planned that the plant should
be operational in March 1981.
The main objectives of the joint project are:
to gain operational experiences with a solar
farm distributed absorber system, delivering
Fig. 2. MBB tracking antenna.
electric and thermal power at an isolated re-
mote site;
to evaluate the application potential of the
plant with respect to direct electric and direct
thermal applications;
to investigate and test thermal storage con-
cepts with suitable capacity;
to accumulate operational experience over
a period of several years with respect to
- cost of generated energy,
- plant reliability,
- critical components.
The participants involved in the project are
tabulated in Fig. 3.
3. SELECTION OF SYSTEM CONCEPT
For thermodynamic power conversion
plants a number of different technical solu-
tions are possible. Local site data and operative
conditions form one selection criterion. An-
other dominating factor is the power range of
the plant and last, but not least, is the technol-
ogy level acceptable for the infrastructure at
the site.
Within the framework of the Basic Energy
Research Programme, financed by the Govern-
ment of the Federal Republic of Germany,
MBB has performed a study to compare the
economics of the different concepts for solar
thermal power conversion in the range 100 W -
10 MW.
As a result of this study, Fig. 4 shows a
comparison of some selected system concepts
in terms of energy cost versus power range. It
shows that the farm concept, using concen-
trating collectors and Rankine cycle power
conversion, turns out to be the most preferable
solution in the power range 50 - 500 kW. This
holds especially if organic fluids are used in
the Rankine cycle (Fig. 5).
The main features of the system selected
(Fig. 6) are:
a distributed (farm) system,
two-axis guided point focusing collectors
(paraboloids),
heat transport by a synthetic oil,
a toluene turbine Rankine cycle.
All essential components of the power sta-
tion are based on running or already accom-
plished development activities:
the high concentrating point focusing col-
lector.
67
MINISTRY FOR RESEARCH
AND TECH NOLOGY
MESSERSCH MITTB LK OW
BLOH H GMBH
LOCAL SUBCONTRACTORS
STATE OF K UW AIT
MINISTRY FOR ELECTRI
CITY WATFR
KUWAIT INSTITUTE FOR
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
LOCAL SUBCONTRACTORS
Fig. 3. 100 kW pilot solar power plant participants.
10OW 1kW 10kV lOOkW 1MH 10MW
Sile of powef station
Fig. 4. Costs of electricity within the study (MBB Re
port UR31476).
too 500
TEMPERATURE "C
Fig. 5. Energy conversion efficiency as a function of
the working fluid and process temperature (shown for
toluene vapour and steam, assuming a simple Rankine
cycle without reheating; singlestage turbine).
*i!&*P
r
*^^?&&*
t
&**SM*?
n
Fig. 6. Artist's view of the MBB 100 kW(el) solar farm
plant.
the spherical absorber for the temperature
range up to 400 C,
the electronic tracking system for twoaxis
tracked collectors,
the organic Rankine cycle loop,
the master control for load and sun follow
ing at full and partial load.
3.1. System layout (Fig. 7)
The KISR/MBB solar farm concept is de
signed for the decentralized supply of energy
to small communities, with electric outputs
of about 100 kW. Concentrating paraboloid
collectors reflect the insolated energy to a
spherical absorber, located in the focus, where
a synthetic oil is heated up to a temperature
of 350 C. The collectors are computercon
trolled to track the path of the sun. A piping
system conveys the energy to a storage tank,
in order to bridge cloudy periods and to allow
for a limited power generation after sunset.
68
Coming from the storage tank, the heat trans
fer fluid is fed to a heat exchanger, where the
energy is delivered to the energy conversion
system. Here the thermal energy is converted
into mechanical and then into electrical power,
using a radial inflow turbine as prime mover.
Alternatively especially for the lower power
range a screw expander can also be used.
For heat rejection from the organic Rankine
cycle, an aircooled condenser is used, thereby
avoiding the need of cooling water. Later on
this condenser can be easily replaced by a
closed heat rejection system. The modular
design of the system therefore allows the plant
to be regarded as the nucleus of a total energy
system, generating not only electric energy
but also thermal energy for air conditioning,
cooling, water desalination and water heating.
The solar tarm concept
Electricity generation
Utilization ot waste heat
Cooling
Airconditioning
Water desalination
Water healing
Working medium store
Fig. 7. MBB solar farm flow diagram.
3.2. Basic performance and design data
Power output
Design concept
Type of collector
Land use factor
Type of absorber
Collector aperture area
Tracking
Heat transfer fluid
Energy storage
Energy conversion
Prime mover
Working medium
Type of condenser
Operability:
fully operational
reduced
survival
Plant control system
100 kW(el), 50 Hz
solar farm (distributed system)
point focusing parabolic dish
0.31
spherical surface
18.5 m
2
2 axes, open loop
synthetic oil (Diphyl)
fluid: synthetic oil
capacity: 100 kWh
organic Rankine cycle
1 stage, radial inflow turbine
toluene
aircooled
up to (j(wind) = 20 km/h
20 < u(wind) < 50 km/h
50 < u(wind) < 130 km/h
automatic (load or sun following)
3.3. System efficiency
A summary of the performance predictions
at nominal insolation conditions is shown in
Fig. 8, where the various subsystem losses
associated with the collector field, the turbine
cycle and the parasitic power demand are item
ized. The resulting available power at the right
hand side of the Figure corresponds to the
100 kW(el) system nominal design power out
put.
For the evaluation of the overall system ef
ficiency, the following three main subsystem
efficiencies are essential:
936 (KH)
DIRECT NOR
MAL RADIA
TED POWER
HB? IKH)
I 1
! HASTE HEAT
ABSORBER
THERMAL
INPUT
626 (KW)
STEAM
GENERATOR
THERMAL
INPUT
/ 149 >
ENGINE MECI
SHAFT P0WEI
GEARBOX
OUTPUT
I GENERATOR
OUTPUT
NET ELECTRIC
PI ANT f l t l TPl I t
Fig. 8. Power st eps of t he 100 kW(el) pi l ot solar power
pl ant .
69
(1) collector efficiency,
(2) Rankine cycle efficiency,
(3) prime mover efficiency.
The point focusing parabolic collector ef
ficiency was evaluated by tests. The demon
strated efficiency is higher than 72%. Owing
to the favourable thermodynamic properties
of the working fluid, the high process temper
ature and the precise design of the flow pas
sages of the turbine, a Rankine cycle efficiency
of more than 20% is achieved. Therefore, the
overall system efficiency (net electric output/
insolation) is expected to be at least 10.7%
(Fig. 9).
4. MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE SOLAR POWER
STATION
4.1. Collector module
The collector module (Fig. 10) uses a para
bolicshaped reflector surface, consisting of
small thin glass facets to concentrate the direct
normal beam onto a fixed spherical absorber,
located at the focus of the paraboloid. To
avoid flexible hoses, the absorber is attached
to the stationary structure of the collector
module, while the reflector dish is turned
around by a twoaxis drive system.
The heat transfer fluid is pumped through
the absorber and picks up the heat transferred
through the absorber wall. No selective coat
ing on the absorber is necessary owing to the
high concentration ratio of the collector.
A drive unit for each axis provides the steer
ing of the reflector according to the sun's posi
tion.
Following commands generated in the solar
plant master control system, the collector is
continuously tracked. The collector has a spec
ified 'stowage', or safe position, which may be
used during periods of maintenance, high wind
loads or at night.
The collector module consists of the follow
ing main components: reflector dish, support
structure, absorber and pipe connection, drive
units, tracking and foundation.
DIRECT SOLAR RADIATION
COLLECTOR LOSS 27 ,8 S > Absorber
Input
INSULATION LOSS 5,3 > Collector
x
Field
>
HASTE HEAT 5 1,5 I
Energy
Conversion
System
HECH, LOSS 1,1 I ~_> Gearbox
GENERATOR LOSS 0,3 i > Generator
FI FfTRiTAi nss 7,7 ^> Auxiliaries
V
10,7
MET ELECTRIC
PLANT OUTPUT
Fig. 9. Efficiency prediction.
Fig. 10. MBB high concentrating dish collector.
Technical data
General design data
Ground cover area
Height
Concentration ratio
Heat transfer fluid
5.5 m X 5.5 m
6 m
210
Thermooil (Diphyl)
70
Thermal power output
Efficiency
Dish assembly
Construction principle
Curvature
Dish diameter
Aperture area
Mirror area
Reflector material
Tracking
Encoder resolution
Encoder output signal
Accuracy
Absorber (see Figs. 12 and 13)
Type
Temp, resistance
13 kW
see Fig. 11
6 bolted sandwich segments
paraboloid of revolution
5 m
18.5 m
2
25 m
2
silverplated glass facets
8192 steps/360
0
13 bit/gray code
10'
spherical surface absorber
max. 450 C
Overall
elficiency
Mean operating
temperature
i k
T , _
1C
+ ,
2

^ ^
0 2C 0 3C 0 4C
^ ^
\ ^
" "
0
r
.o
Solar impact
_1000 W/m
800 W/rrv
~ 600W/ m
400W/ m
200 W.m
) C
Fig. 11. MBB high concentrating solar collector effi
ciency.
Fig. 12. MBB absorber for the parabolic dish collector
(without outer cover).
Fig. 13. MBB absorber in operation.
4.2. Heat transfer and working fluids
As heat transfer medium for the collector
field the synthetic oil Diphyl, an azeotropic
mixture of diphenyl and diphenyl oxide, is
used. This oil is thermally stable up to temper
71
atures of 430 C and, because of its low viscos-
ity, needs only small pumping power. Its low
vapour pressure allows the piping system to
be driven at a pressure level of less than 12 bar
up to temperatures of 400 C.
The nominal design data are:
Pressure in oil system 12 bar
Inlet temperature to absorbers 235 C
Outlet temperature 345 C
As working fluid for the energy conversion
system the organic medium toluene is used.
This medium was chosen because its special
thermodynamic properties provide a high ther-
modynamic efficiency. Steam would need a
150 C higher process temperature under
equivalent conditions (Fig. 5).
Toluene is a low-cost aromate and is pro-
duced in the petrochemical industry at a high
rate of production and is used in industry
under process pressures and temperatures con-
siderably higher than the pressures and tem-
peratures specified for this thermal power
plant.
4.3. Energy conversion system
The energy conversion system, which con-
verts thermal energy to mechanical power, is
designed as an organic Rankine cycle (ORC)
(Fig. 14). The liquid toluene is pressurized by
a centrifugal pump and then ducted to a regen-
erator, where it takes most of the energy of
the turbine exhaust. Subsequently, the organic
working fluid is fed to the preheater, the vapor-
izer and the superheater, where the energy
from the collector field is imparted. The super-
heated vapour is expanded in a single-stage
radial inflow turbine which has an integrated
gear, so that the shaft speed is 3000 rev/min.
The turbine (Figs. 15 and 16) is fabricated
by the German subcontractor Linde. This type
of turbine was developed for waste-energy re-
covery, where gases are available at pressures
and temperatures suitable for production of
energy. Continuous development has led to
a high standard of efficiency and reliability.
High efficiency is obtained by precise design
of the flow passages and minimization of insu-
lation losses to the cold parts of the machine.
The turbine is supplied as a complete unit. The
turbine, the oil supply system, the turbine
control panel and the generator are mounted
on a common base plate. The gas mass flow is
continuously controlled by means of variable-
area nozzles, thereby providing a high partial
load efficiency.
During plant start-up the turbine can be
overloaded to achieve normal operating condi-
tions within a few seconds.
The turbine exhaust, still overheated, is
ducted through the regenerator, where the gas
is cooled down towards saturated conditions
and where it exchanges a considerable part of
its energy with the liquid toluene (Figs. 17 and
18). The gas, cooled down to saturation con-
ditions, is finally liquefied by a condenser.
Using a single-stage turbine and an air-cooled
condenser, it turns out that the optimum con-
densation temperature is about 80 C. This
temperature level is favourable for the possible
use of waste heat for air-conditioning, drying
and cooling and other thermal applications
later on.
Fig. 14. Schema of a superheat regenerative Rankine cycle.
72
Fig. 15. Single-stage radial inflow turbine with integrated gear.
Fig. 16. Turbine after assembly.
Fig. 17. Energy conversion system.
Nominal design data of the ORC:
Turbine inlet pressure 14 bar
Turbine inlet temperature 320 C
Condensation pressure 0.35 bar
Condensation temperature 78 C
Thermodynamic efficiency 31%
Turbine efficiency 75%
Fig. 18. Heat exchanger group.
The temperature enthalpy diagram of the
energy conversion process is depicted in Fig.
19.
4.4. Thermal storage
The integration of energy storage is one
of the most important features of small solar
power plants because for most grid-indepen-
dent applications it is necessary to decouple
energy input and output. Because the plant
described here is designated not only for pro-
duction of electric energy but also to provide
energy for thermal applications, a thermal
store is envisaged for energy shifting. For emer-
gency operations, of course, a small battery
store is also provided in order to overcome any
emergency situation and to set the plant to
safe conditions.
For thermal storage in the temperature
range of this plant, the following solutions are
possible:
73
t-
Enthalpy Ik) / k g]
-600 -SOD -400 -300 -200 -100 0 +100
Fig. 19. Rankine cycle process in the temperature-
enthalpy diagram.
(1) direct integration of a Diphyl-buffer
tank, making use of thermal stratification;
(2) direct integration of a buffer tank, using
a filler material like iron, rocks, etc;
(3) a separate storage loop, using latent heat
and/or filler material.
It is obvious that the straightforward solu-
tion is the thermally stratified Diphyl tank. It
avoids any contamination of the collector loop
by iron or rock particles. This is important
with respect to proper absorber function be-
cause all absorbers are arranged in parallel con-
nection. Furthermore, it avoids the tempera-
ture drop of a heat exchanger and the power
of an additional pump.
It is planned, however, to test other types
of store in an additional programme later on.
The size of the Diphyl store, therefore, was
kept to a minimum and was defined by the
requirements not to spill any incoming energy
during operation in summer and nominal
power output.
The size thus defined amounts to 15 m
3
net volume, which corresponds to an electric
storage capacity of slightly more than 100
kWh or one hour of full power output, using
energy only from the store.
4.5. Stand-alone capability
For demonstrating stand-alone capability
in remote areas, the plant incorporates auxil-
iary power equipment for start-up, emergencies
and shut-down (battery set and emergency
diesel).
Furthermore, an oil-fired heater (Fig. 20)
can be added, which can deliver the nominal
thermal input to the ORC so that the energy
conversion system can work in hybrid opera-
tion (solar/fossil) if desired.
4.6. Cooling system (Fig. 21)
In order to ensure complete independence
of the power plant, the heat rejection is based
on air-cooling. No cooling water is required.
4.7. Electric power generation and distribution
system
The electric part of the power plant consists
of the following components which are com-
mercially available:
3-phase generator, 380/220 V, 50 Hz,
battery set,
control units (high voltage, start-up and
monitoring),
Fig. 20. Oil-fired heater.
74
Fig. 21. Cooling system.
distribution system for external users
(loads),
synchronization module for grid-connected
operation.
4.8. Master control system (Fig. 22)
The master control system coordinates the
subsystems of the plant: collector field, energy
conversion, electric power generation, power
distribution and thermal storage. For grid-
Fig. 22. Plant control room.
connected operation, balance between power
generation and consumption is controlled, as
also is the quality of the electric energy, i.e.
constant voltage and frequency. During stand-
alone operation the condition of the storage
is monitored by the control system. If the
store is fully loaded and the energy demand is
lower than the input, the mirrors are slightly
defocused automatically.
The control system, furthermore, automat-
ically controls the transition phases from
'zero output' to full loads as well as normal
shut-down and emergency shut-down of the
plant.
The operational and control instrumenta-
tion is centralized in a control room. The
power supply to this facility is redundant, so
that the instrumentation functions under all
emergency situations.
4.9. Location of the site
The operating site for the solar farm will be
in the region of Sulaibiyah, 35 km south-west
of Kuwait City, in the agricultural area of the
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (Fig.
23). This region offers favourable meteorolog-
ical conditions in terms of yearly average dura-
tion and intensity of insolation and low rain/
cloud cover probability.
5. MULTIPURPOSE APPLICATION PROGRAMME
All Middle East countries fall within the
sunny region, at latitudes 0 - 40 N. This region
receives a high level of solar radiation, but has
low rainfall and sparse natural vegetation. As
a result both the percentage of land under
cultivation and the overall food production is
well below the world average, which empha-
sizes the problems in this region. Plants can be
produced under such desert conditions using
either extensive irrigation systems or on a
smaller scale in a controlled environment using
greenhouses. The problem of the region is
lack of water combined with excess heat.
At Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research,
research is underway to develop greenhouses
specially suited to hot climates. Such green-
houses employ passive features, thus allowing
for low cooling loads in the summer and no
heating needs in the winter. They have the
added advantage of low irrigation water needs
in the summer. The greenhouses, together with
75
e ^ N^ A^ L ^ ^ j f c ^ f
t.aTS^i&w'^SM^""^^. - ! _^_
ov
". I
S R H G
1
I ^? = ^ _
Fig. 23. Site of the solar farm in the region of Sulaibiyah.
an electric power plant and desalination system
utilizing the waste heat from the power plant,
would provide the major components needed
for a settlement in an isolated desert commu
nity.
The site for this project, Sulaibiyah, offers
all the necessary conditions for evaluating the
application potential for such an integrated
power/water/food system. This solar system,
equipped with a fossiloperated secondary en
ergy source, is reliable enough for operation
in remote areas. With its modular design, the
entire automatically controlled installation
forms the basic block in a 'total energy
system', in which not only electrical energy
but also thermal and mechanical energy is
provided for multipurpose applications.
The 100 kW solar power plant was designed
from the very beginning with special regard to
future utilization in an integrated total energy
system.
The condensation temperature level is suf
ficiently high to use the rejected heat for vari
ous thermal applications. Furthermore, in
principle, it is possible to take thermal energy
at 200 C from the regenerator between the
turbine outlet and condenser if energy at this
temperature level is desired.
KISR and MBB intend to adapt the instal
lation to real users and to test the application
potential with respect to the following users
(Fig. 24):
Electrical users
Water pumping
Airconditioning systems (homes, offices)
Workshops
Lighting, appliances
Greenhouse systems
Auxiliaries
Thermal users
Multistage flash desalination unit
Absorption cooling device
Heating
Domestic hot water
Rankinedriven reverse osmosis desalination
Three specially designed types of green
house were constructed at Kuwait Institute
for Scientific Research ; they have substantially
reduced cooling loads in summer and no heat
ing needs in winter. Greenhouse type No. 3 is
shown schematically in Fig. 25. The important
feature of the greenhouse is that it is partly
sunken into the ground, so that the cooling
load can be drastically reduced as compared
with that of a conventional greenhouse. The
preliminary test results of the new greenhouse
show that it is welladapted to an integrated
food/water/power system.
Solar power generation is still expensive.
The KISR/MBB application programme with
76
sni AR PHWFR PI ANT
W A S T E HEAT = i)87 KKh
1 MAT I SAT I ON
COOLING y ABSORP.COPI .DEVICE
TAP W ATFR H EATING
BRACK ISH W ATFR PRFPARAT11N
EL, POWER = 100 KWe]

r^

i
u
MOBILE TRAILERS
Air Cond Llqht K itc hen Communie.
W ORK SH OP
Llqtit I Equlpm, |
i
IRRIGATION
W ater Well Pumos riK trlhutlnn
Al IXII lARY FOIIIPMFWT
ConiIna nesallnar Inn
Fig. 24. Sulaibiyah solar power plant: utilization as a food/water/power system.
Glass
0.30
> * v '
Auxi l i ary -<z.
Out l et #2 ~**
Adj ustable Louvers
. Plastic Li ni ng.
^NkAuxi l i ary f"
' Ai r Outl et #1 V
2. 44 m, 8
I . .f
1
* i n , o r J
Soil Mi xt ure
Ground
"' '' * Level
Fig. 25. Schematic diagram of KISR greenhouse.
the solar farm, integrated with a food/water/
power system, will show where improvements
can be made in order to increase the overall
efficiency and by what means the cost can be
reduced. The application potential of the solar
farm is very attractive, especially in remote
areas, but a considerable cost reduction has to
be achieved in order to be competitive with
other sources of energy and before such a
power station can be commercialized. This
may happen, perhaps, in the not too distant
future.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 77 89
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
77
The Heliostat Field Layout of the EEC Experimental Solar Power Plant* A
V. HARTUNG, J. HOFMANN and CHR. KINDERMANN
MesserschmittBlkowBlohm GmbH, Space Division, Postfach 8011 69, 8000 Munich 80 (F.R.G.)
SUMMARY
The heliostat field layout calculations for
the EEC experimental solar power plant are
presented. A short survey of the theoretical
background is followed by the description of
numerical procedures. The optimization pro
cedure for the field is discussed in detail, and
numerical results are given for the behaviour
of the heliostat field over days and seasons.
1. INTRODUCTION
Solar thermal power stations of the central
receiver tower type, like those which are under
development now in the U.S. and in Europe,
are highly complicated and complex technical
systems. The overall efficiency depends on the
quality of many individual subsystems and on
the interaction of these subsystems. Two of
the most important parts of a solar thermal
power station, because of their high contribu
tion to the overall cost of the system, are the
heliostat field and the receiver, mounted on
top of the tower. In order to arrive at a mini
mum cost per kWh of generated electric energy,
parameters governing the efficiencies of these
subsystems and the interaction between them
should be carefully studied so that a set of
parameters which is optimal in the sense of
minimum cost per power output can be
chosen.
The description of a complex system like a
heliostat field requires many parameters and
complicated functional connections between
them. The overall calculations or optimization
procedures for such structures require com
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7 , 1979.
puter programs which can perform such calcu
lations, and, in addition, perform them very
quickly. This latter point is very important,
because only if there is a fast computer
program, consuming only a small amount of
computer time, can comprehensive parameter
studies be completed. MesserschmittBlkow
Blohm (MBB) has developed, and is still
developing, such a program package. The
numerical examples given in the following
paragraphs are done by these computer pro
grams.
The theoretical background to field layout
calculations and how to translate them into
numerical mathematics will now be discussed.
The field layout of the EEC experimental
solar power plant will then be studied in some
detail.
2. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND FOR FIELD
LAYOUT CALCULATIONS [1 3 ]
Before doing any calculations or optimiza
tion for field layouts, we must know the input
parameters, variables and equations describing
our problem. Therefore a short survey will be
presented of the most important parameters
determining the efficiency of the heliostat
field and the power delivered to the receiver
(Fig. 1).
Starting with energy input, we need a de
scription of insolation, which depends on date
and hour and on atmospheric effects. The
latter may also play a role in giving rise to
optical losses for the light going from the
heliostat to the receiver.
The intercept of the heliostat field with the
receiver is governed by the geometric data of
the receiver, which we can divide into position
data, like x, y, 2coordinates and the direc
tion of the vector normal to the receiver
aperture, and into shape data, describing the
78
Reduced
eom era i nf i or i
( Cosine Effect I
W f <
Qprraticwl [ondidoHj
I Wind )
I Turbidily of tmaifitiere|
Helioslat Imperftctiar
and optical Errors
Shading
Fig. 1. Radiation power collected in a central receiver.
size and shape of the aperture. In addition
there will be boundary conditions arising from
the thermodynamics.
Next we have to describe the heliostats and
their arrangement in a heliostat field. Of
course we need geometric data for the dimen
sions of the heliostats and for their position in
the field. The field location of the heliostats,
together with the position of the sun in the
sky and the coordinates of the receiver, give
rise to blocking and shading effects; the mean
ing of these phenomena becomes clear from
the Figure. In addition, there are optical
losses, depending on the reflectivity of the
mirrors, the quality of the glass, the accuracy
and shape of the mirrors, and of their align
ment in a heliostat structure.
The light reflected by all the heliostats in
the field is distributed in its intensity at the
receiver aperture. This power distribution is
influenced by all the parameters just discussed.
There will also be others.
So the position of the field focus depends
on the precision of the heliostat control, the
alignment accuracy for the heliostats, and on
the stiffness of the heliostat structure. For the
lastmentioned, we should consider the inter
actions between wind and the heliostats.
Further effects to be studied are aberration
and cosine losses. The cosine effect results
from a reduced beam crosssection, if the
incident beam is not orientated perpendicular
to the mirror crosssection.
We are especially interested in a field layout
being optimal in some sense, therefore we will
not go through all of the parameters in our
calculations. We make the following restrictive
assumptions:
(a) Optical losses are considered to be equal
for all heliostats and to be independent of
time or sun position.
(b) Only adjacent heliostats show the effect
of shading and blocking.
(c) Deviations from perfect positioning, the
field focus and imperfections of the mirror
elements are assumed to produce a Gaussian
like intensity distribution around the ideal
direction of reflection with a 1 value of
4 mrad.
(d) We shall not take into account weather
phenomena, e.g. clouds; however, scattering
of light, especially in the morning and in the
afternoon, is considered.
(e) Arrangement of heliostats throughout
the field has priority in optimization with
respect to other parameters like tower height
or receiver characteristics.
(f) Parameters of the field site are those of
the EEC experimental solar power plant in
Sicily, but can be varied for other applications.
The subsystem receiver/heliostatfield con
sists of the absorber, with a rectangular or
circular shaped aperture, and the field of
heliostats.
The receiver is defined by its coordinates
and the lateral lengths or diameter of the
aperture and, in addition, by the vector normal
to the aperture plane; the latter is assumed to
be an ideal absorber.
The MBBheliostats consist of 16 plane
mirror elements, the normals to these mirror
elements intersecting in one point, and the
distance between that point and the mirror
elements being twice the distance between the
mirror elements and the centre of the receiver.
In other words: the receiver is always within
the focal region of the mirror group, provided
that the mirrors are aligned properly. On the
other hand, for convenience, for the compu
tation of shading and blocking losses we con
sider the group of mirror elements as a plane
rectangular. Further on we assume the track
ing apparatus to provide an alignment of the
heliostat so that its axis bisects the angle
between the direction of the sun and the line
between the centre of the heliostat and the
centre of the receiver.
As for a real heliostat, certain state para
meters are known only in the form of proba
bility densities; we calculate the collective
performance of a single heliostat by a descrip
tion using light intensities.
Fig. 2. Intensity of reflected light.
Taking an element dF' of the mirror area
and an element dF of the absorber aperture,
for the intensity of light reflected from di "
to dF (Fig. 2) we have
1
~2 q(u,) cos cos y dF dF'
(1)
where r is the distance between dF' and dF,
q accounts for the intensity distribution of
the incident light and for the alignment and
surface errors of the mirror element dF' . is
the angle between the normal n' to dF' and
the direction p' from di " to dF. is the angle
between the direction of ideal reflection and
p', and gives the angle between p' and the
normal to dF.
Integrating eqn. (1) over the mirror surface
F' and dividing by dF we get the intensity of
light at a point within dF reflected by a helio
stat.
To calculate blocking and shading effects,
we regard all heliostats in a group as aligned
in the same direction. We then obtain the
shadow of a mirror S' on a mirror S by a
parallel projection of S' onto the plane of S.
The direction of this projection is the direction
of the sun. In a similar way we get the region
of S blocked by S'. Doing this with all mem
bers in our heliostat group we obtain a pattern
of overlapping regions in the plane of S. We
define as a measure for blocking and shading
effects the fraction
f = F
t
/F
t
(2)
F
f
is the area of that region neither blocked
nor shaded, and F
t
is the total area of mirror S.
Proceeding further we need to calculate
intersections of overlapping regions. We sym
bolize the region occupied by S by 0, and
arbitrary other regions by 1, 2 ... . Let i ^ be
the content of the intersection of the areas 0
and i:
F, = C(0 i)
79
(3)
For multiple intersections we then get
F
u
= C[(0 ,) j] (4)
If there are arbitrary regions in the plane of
S, then the area within S, which is covered at
least by one of these regions, is given by
^ = ^
,
, ,
2
+ */ , , / , +
(2) (3)
+ ( D" 1'
1
,...
+
(
1
>
, , +1 ,
,...'
(n) ( 5)
Because F = F
t
F
c
we can now calculate f in
eqn. (2).
After adding some algebra and analytical
geometry we are able to produce a nice com
puter program and do all the calculations
necessary for field layout and many other
things.
3. NUMERICAL APPROACH PROGRAM PACK
AGE FAUST [4, 5]
Doing numerical calculations for the collec
tive performance of a single heliostat we get
intensity distributions of the reflected light in
the receiver plane, or some other, and these
distributions can be approximated by func
tions of the type
y = a exp [(bx)
c
]
(6)
Such a numerical fit leads to a considerable
reduction in computer time when calculating
optical performance for a great number of
heliostats in fields.
For power stations much larger than the
EEC power plant, e.g. with a power output of
10 20 MW(el), we need some thousands of
heliostats. In such a case, we arrange the
heliostats in socalled field unit cells, each cell
comprising 20 to 50 heliostats. Doing calcula
tions for one sample heliostat of a unit cell,
instead of for all heliostats, gives a rather good
first approximation and helps us to save quite
a lot of computer time. For detailed computa
tions we do calculations for each heliostat. If
we lay out rather small fields like the EEC
heliostat field, we would use single heliostats
from the beginning.
80
Of course we can do calculations with more
than one receiver, and the shape of the receivers
may be rectangular or circular. User-supplied
restrictions on the field geometry, e.g. streets
for maintenance, buildings, and so on, are
also easy to handle. A somewhat shortened
flow chart of the MBB program package
FAUST is shown in Fig. 3.
If we have more than one receiver, the sub-
fields give the sections of field belonging to
one of the receivers. Collective performance
and blocking and shading effects have already
been discussed. Total efficiency results from
multiplying together the collective perfor-
mance, blocking and shading efficiency (eqn.
Program Start:
set up, verify or change input data
find sun direction and flux
field unit cells?
subfields?
Collective Performance
for each heliostat (or sample heliostat
in connection with the related receiver
Blocking and Shading Effects
for each heliostat
Total Efficiency
for each heliostat
Classification of heliostats
by their efficiency
Total Power in each receiver aperture
Intensity Distribution
Directional Distribution
for each receiver aperture
Output:
lists of heliostat efficiencies,
power distributions
plots of field geometry,
blocked and shaded areas
equipotential lines of efficiencies
and power distributions
(2)) and the reflectivity of the mirrors (MBB-
EEC: 0.85).
By summing the power supplied to a re-
ceiver by the most efficient heliostats, we get
the total power in each receiver aperture. This
total power is somewhat distributed in inten-
sity over the receiver aperture. If we have a
cavity-type receiver, we are also interested in
the direction in which each heliostat gives up
its power to the receiver; we call this an inten-
sity and directional distribution. As an exam-
ple of an intensity distribution, and also of
plot output, the equipotential lines of power/
m
2
in the receiver aperture of a 20 MW(el)
power station, the receiver facing north, are
shown in Fig. 4; for this case the intensity
distribution is nearly circular in shape. For
the same power station the equipotential lines
of heliostat total efficiency are shown in Fig.
5. Here we have chosen two receivers, one
pointing north-west, the other north-east.
The layout procedure for the EEC solar
power plant will now be discussed in some
detail.
4. THE LAYOUT PROCEDURE FOR THE EEC
SOLAR POWER PLANT [6]
The layout point for the heliostat field of
the EEC solar thermal power plant was
chosen to be equinox noon. The aim of the
optimization was to get the required thermal
Fig. 3. Flow chart of program package FAUST.
Fig. 4. Intensity distribution in receiver aperture.
81
MBB CETHEL
Tower Height:
Receiver Aperture: quadratic 4.5x4.5 m' 4.5x4.5
Inclination of Optical Axis of Receiver: 110
50 m 5 0 in
2 .... c _2
no"
Mirrors :
height
width
surface
nearest distance xdirection
nearest distance ydirection
(S
(E
distance of 1st row xdirection
distance of 2nd row xdirection
distance of 1st row ydirection
reflectivity
number
Optimization Time:
Normal Direct Insolation:
Geographic Coordinates:
Inclination of Field Area:
Starting Values for Optimization
(number of mirrors)
.
N)
W)
5.0 m
5.5 m
23.0 m
2
10.1 m
7.7 m
14.9 m
25.0 m
9.S m
85 %
147
equinox
1O00
37
7.3 m
.5 m
51 .8 m
2
11.5 m
11.5 m
13.5 m
25.0 m
0 .0 m
0 %
85
noon
W/m
2
5
5 % from to S
16x16 13x13
Fig. 5. Equipotential lines of heliostat total efficiency.
Fig. 6. Input parameters for field layout procedure
(final values are slightly modified, with a negligible
effect on the equinox power output).
power of at least 4800 kW in the receiver
aperture at the layout point. Further boundary
conditions were a fixed ratio of Cethelmirror
surface to MBBmirror surface, and a fixed
power ratio. We also chose fixed receiver aper
ture height and fixed normal vector: for the
first calculations we took 50 m for the tower
height, the receiver was directed north, and
the elevation angle of its normal vector, mea
sured with respect to the vertical direction,
was 110.
Other input parameters are listed in Fig. 6.
Normal direct insolation was assumed to be
1 kW/m
2
, which is a rather optimistic value,
but we shall see later on how to change this.
There were also some restrictions on field
geometry, caused by maintenance necessities,
sites for buildings, heliostat geometry, and so
on. These restrictions give us minimum dis
tances of the heliostats in the field.
If the distances between heliostats and re
ceiver become larger and larger, we must in
crease distances between neighbouring helio
stats in the northsouth direction to keep
blocking effects to a low level. On the other
hand, collective performance will be better at
small distances between the heliostats and
receiver. So we take the following setup for
the coordinates (x, y) of the heliostat (, J):
x(I, J) =
/ < / n
L
( J - l ) * i +! ( / - / o ) ( / - /
0
- l ) A* I>I
0
y(i, J) = y
0
+(J-i)yi
(7)
The point (0, 0) is identical with the tower
foot point. The x-axis points directly north,
the y-axis east. The meaning of the parameters
I
0
, x
lt
Ax and y
a
will become clear if we take
the differences :
*i / < I
0
x(I+l,J)-x(I,J) =
! +(
0
) I> I
0
y(I,J+l)-y(I,J)= y J,
(8)
82
In other words, beginning with the row num
bered I
0
+ 1, we increase distances by
between each following row. x
1
and y
x
give us
the maintenance distance in the northsouth
direction and the minimum distance in the
eastwest direction, respectively.
We vary I
0
and Ax with the aim to get the
required thermal power of 4800 kW for the
receiver with a minimum number of heliostats.
This procedure is done for both parts of the
field, Cethel and MBB. For the Cethel helio
stats we assume the same intensity distribution
as for the MBB heliostats; this may be taken
as a first approximation. In the following, we
show results for the MBB part of the field; the
Cethel part behaves in a similar way.
Performing the variation described above
we plot the number of heliostats over the two
variation parameters I
0
and Ax (Fig. 7). Values
between integral numbers of heliostats we get
by interpolation with regard to the thermal
power supplied. Optimal parameters for the
field are given by the minimum of this func
tional surface. From this first calculation we
get a field form, shown here in a computer
plot (Fig. 8). Around the tower, a circle with
a radius of 25 m was kept free from mirrors.
The dashed line limits the field necessary for
the required thermal power. The full line
gives the heliostats, ordered by their efficiency
up to a maximum of 147 heliostats, which
corresponds to the MBB part of the total
mirror surface.
An important point of this optimization
procedure is that we are not optimizing ac
Fig. 7. Optimization surface.
Fig. 8. MBB part of EEC heliostat field.
cording to 'no blocking and shading', but we
have some blocking and shading left (up to
3.4%) in order to obtain an optimal total
efficiency. Partitioning of mirror area between
Cethel and MBB is not 50:50, therefore to get
a nearly symmetric power output of the field
at equinox noon the border between the two
parts of the field was slightly shifted to the
east. At least one MBB heliostat was positioned
on the northsouth axis for experimental
purposes. Doing the same calculations as
discussed above, we arrive at the field configu
ration shown in Fig. 9. The dashed line has the
same meaning as in Fig. 8. Heliostat distances
are increased, beginning at the sixth eastwest
row for the MBB part of the field. The opti
mization for the Cethel part of the field was
not done by MBB, but by Cethel.
In the meantime, there were some further
changes in this field configuration minimum
distances between MBB heliostats were in
creased somewhat, the receiver height above
ground was chosen to be 55 m, and elevation
angle was changed from 110 to 114; the
" J? ^

""

D
L__J
LJ I J L
LJ __j
D D D D D D D


D D D D D D D D D
D D D D D D D D D
DDDGDDDDDDpGD ""
'."

:.1 !
] | ;
DI DDDDDDDD !
!

D D D D D D

D D D


DGDD DD
e
* i
s
Fig. 9. Heliostat field of EEC solar thermal power plant.

R' e s g g
83
receiver was now circular in shape with a
diameter of 4.5 m. Calculations show that the
optimum we reached was reasonably stable
for small changes in the parameters: the out
put power of the field changes by an amount
of less than 1%, when the input parameters
are changed in the above way.
5. THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE HELIOSTAT FIELD
OVER DAYS AND SEASONS [7]
In order to optimize management of the
whole solar power plant over the year, we
must have data for power output and efficien
cy of the heliostat field over a whole working
period, i.e. over a year, beginning at layout
day and time, which was chosen, we remember,
at equinox noon.
Because our computer program is so fast,
we were able to perform many calculations
(Fig. 10), spending only a small amount of
computer time. At the winter solstice we
started our calculations at nine o'clock in the
morning, in order to get a big enough sun
elevation angle. To separate the plant behav
iour produced by parameters inherent in the
heliostat fieldreceiver subsystem from that
produced by the diurnal and seasonal solar
flux variations, we performed calculations for
an incoming 'ideal' solar power density of
1 kW/m
2
and for direct insolation (Fig. 11),
based on data at Catania airport (M. Margulies,
MBB, personal communication).
Figure 12 shows the efficiencies (optical,
blocking and shading, total) of the MBB part
of the field over a day for the equinox, sum
mer solstice and winter solstice, respectively.
Because the MBB heliostats are located in the
eastern part of the field area, the plots are not
Time
8.00
9.00
10.00
12.00
14.00
15.00
16.00
Date Equinox
.


'
Summer Solstic e
.




W inter Solstic e
Fig. 10. System studies calculations.
84
W/m
2
000
500

;

Direct Insolation (
/ /
/
'
S
\ \
' / '

\
/ ; \ \
,
S5,
Wsl
\
\
\
Fig. 11. Solar flux data direct insolation (E, equi
nox; Ss, summer solstice; Ws, winter solstice).
symmetric with respect to 12 o'clock. Shading
and blocking efficiency is best at the summer
solstice because sun elevation is greatest at
this date, and worst at the winter solstice.
The collective performance is best for the
winter solstice, and worst for the summer
solstice. This can be explained by regarding
the differences between the elevation angles
of the sun and of the vector normal to the
receiver (Fig. 13). The fact that for the winter
solstice we have the smallest difference
between these two angles mostly contributes
to the improvement in collective performance.
The total performance, which is the product
of collective performance and blocking and
shading efficiency together with a reflectivity
of 0.85, is also shown in Fig. 12. The bars at
selected points of the curves give the values
for the best and worst heliostat in the field.
A common trend is that for the worst total
^ " " " ^ ^ ^ Dat e/ 12. 00 h
Angl e (Ueq. )
d B
*r
100 s rfr
t . qi mi ox
I.b
114.0
28.S
. ummer ' o l s t l c c
14. 2
114.0
bl . B
Wi nt er o l
1. 1
1 14.0
4. >
M 1 c o
A : Sun Elevation Ang le
o(. : Receiver Elevation Ang le
Fig. 13. Sun and receiver elevation angles.
efficiencies, the differences between best and
worst heliostats are greater.
Including the Cethel part of the field, we
arrive at Fig. 14, which shows data analogous
to Fig. 12, but now for the total field. Con
clusions drawn from these data are similar to
those from Fig. 12. There is slight asymmetry
over the day, because of the slightly different
behaviour of the two parts of the heliostat
field.
To get some more insight into the data
presented up to now and to show how the
behaviour of the field as a whole depends on
that of single heliostats, some examples are
now given of the geometric distribution of the
total efficiencies of the heliostats in the field
in a qualitative, but nevertheless informative,
way. Figures 15, 16 and 17 give an impression
of what the field is doing during a year. The
shading varies from the most efficient helio
stats to the 'coldest'. For a scale see Fig. 16.
The best results we get are those of the layout
point (Fig. 15). At the summer solstice the
best heliostats are located at the southern edge
of the field, at the winter solstice they are
distributed in the centre of the field. This
Equinox IE) Summer solstice (Ss) Winter solstice (Ws)
0.5"
8 12 16/8 12 16/8
Efficiencies MBB f i el d ( : total , : OP, :BS)
Fig. 12. Efficiencies of MBB part of heliostat field (OP, optical performance; BS, blocking and shading).
85
8 12 16/8
Efficiencies total field I
12
: total ,
16/8 16 h
:OP, :BS)
Fig. 14. Efficiencies of EEC heliostat field.
4
" " " D n D G D L T J n
_ I I I I I I I G Q ; : :
!
I I G G
!
' ]
r
:
, _ i
flIii
i|i|mm
.
T
,
! ' : : . : ;
i z : :
' M B
l l f f i l l ?
'_. ." :
' * . * .
m.MM m _.
E P .;;
Fig. 15. Geometrie distribution of heliostat efficiencies at equinox noon.
follows from the cosine losses, governed by
the differences in elevation angles. At the
winter solstice, blocking and shading has a
greater effect too, because the sun stands
rather flat over the horizon.
In the same way we show in Figs. 18, 19
and 20 the behaviour of the field during the
winter solstice day. The efficiency scale is
somewhat lengthened (Fig. 18).
The 'hot spot' of the field travels from the
western corner of the field (9.00 h, Fig. 18)
to the eastern (15.00 h, Fig. 20). At 12.00
o'clock we get the most power, because the
sun stands highest in the sky. By multiplying
the total efficiencies of Fig. 14 by the incom
ing solar power per m
2
, we get the total ther
mal power in the receiver aperture, supplied
by the whole field. We take an incoming
insolation power of 1 kW/m
2
to describe the
'ideal' behaviour of the heliostat field, not
influenced by sun flux variations (Fig. 21).
We get the most power for the winter solstice
(remembering the discussion on cosine losses
above). Taking into account solar flux varia
tions (Fig. 11) reduces the power in December
and raises it in June (Fig. 22), but the good
86
. :..::" .: na ia ..., ..
i rri
II BEBUEI J' U
" " ' I.'II'JDBESBIElflfl
H. KJ
' L" ~I !1~! ES 39 9 Q .!::
i ' o. BHUi j r:
^ .. ... ^ 1 i i i i
i
; j n : j
" " f D r : m i i i i i i H " H H H n
. <

| | | | r
: J I I I I I D B
_ _ ' .
I B 1 B J D
I I I U I I
' ' " ! ! _. : . } >
MMW m / : .
1
. i t t ' ' < ' , . r , , . , . .
t i ' *
J
- - V ' i , S
Fig. 16. Geometrie distribution of heliostat efficiencies at summer solstice noon.
D
4
mmmm^m.
r' j i nn" : u! . ]
'.; :::
I I I R I I I I
@


I B I :
B S I I I I I I I I
mmm
aBB:
fluidi iie.i
raca
:::
.::::
B B ~G
? * <
* ". '
tac
Fig. 17. Geometrie distribution of heliostat efficiencies at winter solstice noon.
collective performance of the field at the
winter solstice helps to stabilize the power
supplied in some sense.
To get a survey over the whole year, we
draw the power surface of the plant. We
assume direct insolation and plot the thermal
power in the receiver aperture (Fig. 23). Of
course, the power calculated in this way gives
too optimistic a value. There will be clouds
and other weather phenomena, decreasing
87
4 :
E i ^ P Q i l
Hf l BBRI BHB
D iieii
D D D D QC Ui ]
;~:::;:
L
B B B B B B B B B [
I I I I I I I G n "
l l l l l l l l l l ' i r i G
II wtm '.:
i s i i B E i i u : :
I S B i a O Q O I I J "
: : :
B i i i O QE L l D '"
l i B D D C a
: : J M
D
_ 9"
i .. J * .
$ i s s
< . ? ' fc s fc 3
o. . ? " ' f
Fig. 18. Geometrie distribution of heliostat efficiencies at winter solstice, 9.00 h.
g g e s g E
I
K K l S I l ^ S
8 BBHMBHBi
i i i H i i i i B : : , : :
S f l S S f l S S HBIIBB::!::
1 2 1 3 ^ 1 1 5 1
B l B B B S l R B B i
i^ejraon^nas
IBIIIIIIBBD;
I S I S E BIICSIIBBIJ;
I S P S i l i l R B ' : '
BBBBE3BE0" J
iWmmmmmii -..
B B B B i B i : . : :
' ,
I I E D B f l i i i ; , n
o n
Fig. 19. Geometrie distribution of heliostat efficiencies at winter solstice, 12.00 h.
D
?
. ' / '
output power even more. These phenomena
can be included only in an approximate and
statistical way.
From the power yields calculated above,
we get the thermal energy the heliostat field
supplies to the receiver during some time
interval by integrating over time. Taking the
time interval to be one hour, we get a plot
like Fig. 24. We do the integration for the
equinox, summer and winter solstice, and in
88
+

I
ii: iij ; : : ]
;~] ::: m
:


I MI
l i
3
!
i n n i !
HB
!
!
i a i B
a

M B H
^ I J I J . J GL. . ] .]
I t l l l ' I C
HHBBBHBCI JCG
:::
: ir.
I H B I " : G
1
i 'f m '- 1\ - ' ' '
Fig. 20. Geometrie distribution of heliostat efficiencies at winter solstice, 15.00 h.
3'
" ideal" Thermal Power
in Receiver Aperture
total field
S s,
:Ws)
8 12 16 h
Fig. 21. ' Ideal' thermal power in receiver aperture.
" direct" Thermal Power
total field
: E,
S s,
: Ws)
8 12 16 h
Fig. 22. 'Direct' thermal power in receiver aperture.
this way get an upper boundary for energy
gain. Summing over the individual hours gives
us the energy gained in a whole day (Fig. 25).
Only one step is left: summation over the
whole year. Doing this, we get a maximum
value of 10 300 MWh.
6. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK
From the results of the last section, we saw
that choosing equinox noon as layout point
for the heliostat field is in fact a good first
choice. There are a lot of selfstabilizing effects
in such a procedure, which help us to hold
power output of the field on a certain level.
Nevertheless, there will be further improve
ments by doing an optimization procedure
over a whole year. There should be no diffi
culties in doing this with our fast program
FAUST.
A particular aspect of our future work is
the study of MBB heliostats in order to verify
theoretical predictions of the heliostat perfor
mance by experiments and, vice versa, to con
trol hardware by crosschecking with the
predictions of theory.
89
Fig. 23. 'Direct' thermal power surface.
MWh
5
4
3
2
o
Thermal Energy per Hoi

Receiver Aperture
(direct insolation)

....
~H
1

'
E,
Ss,
Ws)
12 16 h
Fig. 24. ' Direct' thermal energy per hour.
Interesting problems will also arise in plant
management. Extending our calculations be
yond the heliostat fieldreceiver subsystem,
we are able to evaluate certain strategies for
subsystem coupling and system management.
The calculations presented here are a first step
to finding an optimal process control method.
Of course there will be further field layout
calculations, especially for larger fields, and
in connection with these tasks we shall opti
MWh
30
20
10
0
Thermal Energy per Day
in Receiver Apert ure
[direct i nsol ati on)
/
//
/ /
//
//
1/
1/
//
1
I /
/
/ '
1 / '
/ '

l '
'
/
1/ /
f / ( ,
// / : Ss,
/ / ^iWs)
1<- 1 1
8 12 16 h
Fig. 25. ' Direct' thermal energy per day.
mize our computer program with respect to
storage need and computer time consumption ;
though it is already very fast in field layout
calculations, we think that it can be even faster.
REFERENCES
1 J. Hofmann and Ch. Kindermann, Heliostat fields
for centra] receiver solar power plants in the 1MW
range, DFVLRInternational Symposium on Solar
Thermal Power Stations, Cologne, April 11 13,
1978, DFVLR, Cologne, 1978, p. 7.
2 L. L. VantHull and A. F. Hildebrandt, Solar ther
mal power systems, based on optical transmission,
Solar Energy, 18 (1976) 31.
3 J. Hofmann, Heliostat field specification, MBB
Doc. No. 6159.22001, and literature therein.
4 V. Hartung and Ch. Kindermann, Programm
beschreibung Heliostatfeldauslegung, MBB TN
RT3 211/79.
5 E. Plies, Berechnung der von einem Heliostaten
feld an einen runden Absorber abgegebenen
Leistung und Bercksichtigung des Spiegelver
satzes fr einen rechteckigen Absorber, MBB
TNRT3212/79.
6 V. Hartung and Ch. Kindermann, Report of
optimization of the EEC heliostat field, MBB
TNRT3211/78.
7 V. Hartung, The behaviour of the EEC 1 MW(el)
heliostat field during days and seasons, MBB
TNRT32110/79.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 91 97
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
91
Mirror Fields f or Tower- Type Solar Power Plants*
The late GIOVANNI FRANCIA
C.N.R., Istituto di Meccanica Applicata, University of Genoa, Via Casaregs, 34, Genoa (Italy)
SUMMARY
To obtain, in a receiver C, a point image of
parallel rays tilted at an angle with respect
to the normal at the mirror centre S, the mir
ror surface must be a portion of a paraboloid
having its focus in C, and its axis directed to
wards the sun and passing through S.
Since this paraboloid will change with the
sun's position, such a mirror is impossible. In
this paper, it is suggested that the various para
boloid sectors should be replaced by double
curvature mirrors, driven in such a way as to
maintain the minimum mirror curvature in
the sunmirrorreceiver plane.
The results thus obtained are compared
with those obtained using a spherical mirror.
Finally, the procedure used to determine the
actual mirror field for a receiver, when the
diameter of the aperture, the height, and the
inclination of the axis are given, is reported.
Part I. Caustics
1. INTRODUCTION
Let us consider a solar power plant, as indi
cated schematically in Fig. 1. C is the centre
of the receiver and S the centre of a mirror;
is the normal to the mirror at S and d the
distance SC;

is the sun's ray (assumed to be


punctiform at infinity) reaching S, forming an
angle with n; r is the ray reflected towards
the receiver; thus sr = 21//.
The mirror AA'BB' (Fig. 2) reflecting at C
the image of the sun should be a portion of
the paraboloidal surface of circular section
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
Fig. 1. Diagram of a power solar plant. The mirror
field lies in the xy plane; the boiler lies at point C; d
is the distance between the mirror S and the boiler
and at the same time gives the direction of the re
flected ray. is the sun's ray inclined by with res
pect to the mirror normal n.
Fig. 2. Paraboloidal mirror AA'BB' reflecting from S
upon the boiler C. This is a part of the paraboloid
having a focus at point C, axis parallel t o the sun's
rays and passing through the mirror centre S. The
paraboloidal mirror AA'BB' can be replaced by a mir
ror having two curvatures coincident with the main
paraboloid curvatures: AA' on the section with the
plane and BB' on the section containing the nor
mal n.
having its focus at C, its axis towards the sun
and passing through S.
However, since the paraboloid changes with
the direction of the sun, the construction of
such a mirror would be difficult and expensive.
Let a be the sunmirrorreceiver plane. This
plane will intersect the paraboloid according
92
Plane oi
r C ,. *y ^
d
O
A S A '
Fig. 3. Section of the plane a (sunmirrorboiler) of
Fig. 2.
to the first main curvature corresponding to
the mirror arc A A' (Figs. 2 and 3).
Let be the plane passing through r and
perpendicular to a (Fig. 2). a_contains the rays
reflected by the mirror arc AA'. Let us assume
(with an approximation of a few cm for 10 m
mirrors) that contains the rays reflected from
the BB' mirror arc corresponding to the sec
ond main curvature of the paraboloid in S
(curvature at the vertex of the ellipse in Fig. 2).
Theoretically, the mirror should be an ele
ment of the paraboloid, but for practical pur
poses we shall replace the paraboloidal mirror
by a dualcurvature mirror^corresponding to
two mirror arcs AA.' and BB', defined in the
following section.
2. PARABOLOIDAL MIRRORS; DOUBLECURVA
TURE MIRRORS
In the ,, system of coordinates shown
in Figs. 2 and 3, the equation of the parabol
oid is u
2
+
2
= 4d cos
2
w; the radii of the
main curvature at S are:
R ' = 2 d/cos for the section with plane a
R " = 2 d cos for the section with the ellip
tical plane reported in Fig. 2
(1)
For a given mirror the angle will vary,
according to the hour of the day and to the
day of the year, from a minimum value i//
min
to a maximum value max Let () be the
amount of energy reflected during a year by a
mirror with an angle between and i//
min
.
Obviously (

) = 0 and ( ^
ma x
) = total
annual energy. The density, with respect to ,
of the annual energy reflected by the mirror is
() = ()/. Let us call
5
the angle that
maximizes () .
Substituting by
s
in (1) and taking the
values thus obtained as radii of the circle arcs
AA' and BB' respectively, we obtain:
R' = R
a
= 2d/cos s
2BB' = R
13
= 2d cos
s
(2)
3. THE MOVEMENT OF DOUBLECURVATURE
MIRRORS
All the foregoing statements ^re based upon
the assumption that the arc AA' is in the
plane and the arc BB' in the plane. This means
that, while moves to follow the sun, the mir
ror is revolving suitably around n.
Let us consider an axis g, coincident with
the tangent at S to BB' and rigidly connected
to a. The most general displacement of
around S is the vector sum of rotations around
g and r. The rotation around g changes a into
itself and rotates AA' around S m a. A rota
tion around r rigidly moves a, AA' and g so
that they will maintain their reciprocal posi
tions, i.e. AA' in a and BB' perpendicular to
a. The required conditions are thus met by
two movements only.
Technically, this resolution of motions is
obtained through a universal joint having one
of its axes parallel to or coincident with r and
the other coincident with g (Fig. 4); M
x
and
M
2
are the motors which keep equivalent to
the bisecting line.
Using the miniaturized universal joint of
Fig. 4 it is possible to obtain the rotation of
the mirror around its normal by a mechan
ical or electrical connection, as shown sche
matically in Fig. 5.
3.1. Caustics in the a and planescompar
ison with a spherical mirror
It is well known that when the incident rays
in a doublecurvature or spherical mirror are
inclined with respect to the mirror axis, the
image of parallel rays is no longer a point but
Less simply, but with advantage,
5
could be de
fined as follows. Let us consider the range 5,
+ 5. The energy reflected in a year by the mirror
within this angular range will be
+5
()
ii - 5
We define i/'s
a s
the value maximizing this integral.
Fig. 4. Universal joint having one of its axes parallel
to or coincident with r and the other coincident with
g\ Mi and M
2
are the motors to keep equivalent to
the bisecting line.
Fig. 5. Control of the rotation of a mirror around its
normal by a miniaturized drive as shown in Fig. 4
with mechanical or electrical connection to the mirror.
a complex figure called a 'caustic'. The inter
section of the caustic with the plane at vari
ous values of is shown in Fig. 6, where, ob
viously, the measures are greatly altered. The
focal lines are on the circle passing through A,
A' and F^; when the radius is large with res
pect to AA', this circle will coincide with the
circle of diameter SF
a
. The focal length of
F$ is
SF$ = (R
a
/2) cos = d cos /cos
8 (3)
In the plane (Fig. 7) the focal lines can be
focused at point F(j, located on the straight
line through F", parallel to AA'. The focal
length of F$ is
93
Fig. 6. When the incident rays in a doublecurvature
or spherical mirror are inclined v/ith respect to the
mirror axis, the image of parallel rays is no longer a
point but a complex figure called a 'caustic'. The
intersection of the caustic with the plane a at various
values of is shown in the Figure, where obviously
the measures are greatly altered. The focal lines are on
the circle passing through A, A'^and F ; when the
radius is large with respect to AA', this circle will
coincide with the circle having a diameter SF .
Fig. 7. On the plane, the focal lines can be focused
at point F\i, located on the straight line passing
through F", parallel to A' . The focal length of F is
SF^, = (R
p
/ 2) cos = d cos i//
s
/cos .
The caustic of the ' arc for rays having
an angle of inclination intersects the plane
through C and perpendicular to r along the
segment (
1
0
2
) (Fig. 8). The segment gives
the widening, in the plane a, of the sun's image
on the receiver. Thus it is found that
(Ci 0
2
) = a Icos
5
cos (5)
This widening is zero when =
5
.
The caustic of the arc BB' intersects the
same plane along the segment (0") perpen
dicular to the previous one; it gives the widen
ing, on the plane , of the sun's image on the
receiver. Thus,
SFj, = (R

/2) cos = d cos i//


s
/cos
(4)
(C'C'% = a l
eos
cos
s
(6)
94
Fig. 8. The caustic of the ' arc for rays having an
inclination angle intersects the plane through C
and perpendicular to r along the segment C
1
C2. This
segment gives the widening, in the plane a, of the
sun's image on the receiver. The caustic of the arc
BB' intersects the same plane along the segment
(C' C")^ perpendicular to the previous one; it gives
the widening of the image of the sun on plane .
This widening is zero also when =
5
.
These results must be compared with those
of a spherical mirror of radius R = 2d. The
eqns. (5) and (6) are still valid, but with
cos
s
= 1. The widenings in the solar image
are now given by two identical segments:
(<^0>)

=(1 cos )
(C' C' % =( 1 )
(5)
(6)
These widenings (5) and (6) vanish when =
0, the value of the minimum average energy
density per year.
A comparison between (5), (6) and (5), (6)
clearly demonstrates the importance of the
double curvature. It is interesting to point out
that the widening of the image does not de
pend upon the distance d but only on the di
mensions a of the mirror and on . The widen
ing C!C
2
is not symmetrical with respect to
C*, although this asymmetry is in practice
negligible; furthermore it depends on the cen
tre of rotation of the mirror and can be an
nulled by its suitable choice.
Tables 1 and 2 respectively compare the
image widenings for a doublecurvature mirror
having a = 10 m, any dimension for d, i//
min
=
10,
3
= 28 and <//
max
= 45, and a spherical
mirror having a radius of 2d. Figures 9 and 10
plot the corresponding curves.
*We find
(CiC),^ = a Icos s cos I +
2
sin cos
8
/4
CC
2
= Icos
8
cos I a sin cos i//s/4d
The asymmetry decreases quickly with a
2
/ 4d and
becomes negligible when d is large with respect to a ,
as happens in practice.
TABLE 1
Widening of the image on a (a = 10 m; d = any value)

10 15 20 28 35 40 45
Double
curvature 1.02 0.83 0.56 0 0.64 1.17 1.76
Spherical 0.15 0.34 0.60 1.17 1.81 2.34 2.93
TABLE 2
Widening of the image on (a = 10 m; d = any value)

10 15 20 28 35 40 45
Double
curvature 1.15 0.94 0.64 0 0.72 1.32 1.99
Spherical 0.15 0.34 0.60 1.17 1.81 2.34 2.93
Fig. 9. Comparison between the image widening on
plane a obtained by doublecurvature and by spher
ical mirrors (see Table 1). = 28 corresponds to the
maximum average energy density per year.
Plane >
Fig. 10. Comparison between the image widening on
plane obtained by doublecurvature and by spher
ical mirrors (see Table 2). = 28 corresponds to the
maximum average energy density per year.
Owing to these widenings, the receiver has
to be bigger than necessary to take into ac
count the image of the sun and the tracking
errors. Since the widening does not depend on
the distance d, it will be assumed to be equal
95
to a portion of the mirror dimension a: we
choose this portion as a compromise between
the cost of the increase of the receiver dia
meter, and the cost of the wasted energy.
Referring to Figs. 9 and 10 and with mirrors
of dimension 10 m, 1 m widening of the
image diameter will have the following conse
quences*. Plotting this 1 metre on the ordinate
axis and drawing a dashed line parallel to the
axis (Fig. 11), the points of intersection with
the widening lines will delimit the values
for which the image increases by less than
1 metre.
Plane (
Fig. 11. Intersection of the widening curves with the
straight line corresponding to an image widening of:
1 m (doublecurvature mirror, 10 < < 38.5, plane
a) ; 1.4 m (spherical mirror, 0 < < 31).
Fig. 12. Intersection of the widening curves with the
straight line corresponding to an image widening of:
1 m (doublecurvature mirror, 13.5 < < 37.5,
plane ); 1.4 m (spherical mirror, 0 < 31).
A 1.4 m widening is represented in Fig. 11:
the useful range for (0 < < 31) is always
worse than that obtained by a 1 m widening in
the doublecurvature mirror but it is an accept
able compromise with the receiver diameter.
Following the above procedure, we can now
determine the mirror field for a receiver, when
the diameter of the aperture, the height, and
the inclination of the axis are given.
By iteration for different positions of the
receiver, it is possible to find that which gives
the optimal mirror field.
Doublecurvature mirror
Figure 11 shows that in the plane a, for the
mirror arc AA', the intersection gives a seg
ment (I) , i.e. 10 < < 38.5; Figure 12
shows that in the plane , for the mirror arc
BB', the intersection gives a segment (2) , i.e.
13.5 < < 37.5.
Spherical mirror
The image widening of 1 m corresponds to
segment ( f ) , i.e. 0 < < 23, which does
not even include the value
5
of maximum
average energy density per year: for the spher
ical mirror, 1 m widening is therefore quite
insufficient.
'Image' means the figure formed by the caustic and
a plane through C normal to SC. To pass from the
image to the boiler aperture it is necessary to divide
by cos .
Part II: Useful Areas
Let us define a coordinate system x,y,z as
follows: is the vertical axis through the cen
tre C of the boiler aperture; xy is the plane
coincident with the mirror plane; zy is the
plane coincident with the meridian plane of
the site (y is oriented to the North). Let the
boiler axis, CM (Figs. 13 and 14) be in the yz
plane, facing the North, and inclined by
with respect to the vertical ; let h be the boiler
height above the mirror field (see Fig. 14).
Let us consider a cone of revolution around
the boiler axis having a semiaperture ; this
cone intersects the xy plane according to a
conic which, in Figs. 13 and 14, is an ellipse
whose longer axis is A'. The rays reflected
by the mirrors lying on this ellipse reach the
boiler with an inclination with respect to
the boiler axis.
96
^/

\ /

(


0
Fig. 13. In the yz plane C is the boiler, h is its height,
CM its axis, and the inclination of its axis with res
pect to the vertical. The reflected rays reaching the
boiler with an inclination with respect to the axis
form a round cone whose generating lines in the plane
of the Figure are CA and CA'. The cone cuts the xy
plane (not indicated) in a conic: A A' is its length and
is a point.
%
Fig. 14. This is the axonometry of Fig. 13. The Figure
shows the conic y and two points S spaced by d and
di from C and O respectively, d (see eqn. (7)) is the
maximum distance at which the mirror S reflects the
whole energy in the boiler when the sun's inclination
with respect to the mirror normal i s O< < 31.
This also applies for all points of the arc SAS. Equa
tion (8) gives d j , which is used to find the point S.
Let S be a mirror on the ellipse (Fig. 14), d,
as usual, the distance SC of the mirror from
the boiler and the angle between the solar
ray and the normal to the minor. The sun's
image reflected by S on a plane through C and
normal to the reflected ray is a circle of dia
meter 0.01 d (0.01 rad is the apparent magni
tude of the sun); assuming an error of 0.004
rad, the sun's image will be within a circle of
diameter (2 X 0.004 + 0.01) d = 0.018 d.
This value does not take into account the
image widening due to the inclination of the
sun's ray with respect to the mirror normal.
We have seen that this widening is independent
of the distance d but is proportional to the
side of a square mirror (with obvious exten
sion to rectangular or round mirrors). In the
example given at the end of the first part of
this paper, particularly in Figs. 11 and 12, we
have seen that, for doublecurvature mirrors,
with target widening of 1 m, we have a useful
interval of 10 < < 38.5 in and of 13.5 <
< 37.5 in around the point of maximum
yearly energy density,
5
= 28.
To get the same useful interval of with
the spherical mirrors, it would be necessary to
approximately redouble the sun's image widen
ing, which would be incompatible with the
boiler aperture diameter, assumed to be 4.5 m.
By way of a compromise, we shall adopt a
widening of 1.4 m. That means that the sun's
image may be included in a circle of diameter
0.018 d+ 1.4.
As stated in the foregoing, if d is large the
asymmetry is negligible. Calling D the boiler
diameter, for rays inclined by with respect
to the axis, we have
0.018 d + 1.4 < D cos >
i.e.
d<
D cos 1.4
0.018
(7)
Let us now consider Fig. 13. Let M, on the
positive semiaxis x, be the intersection of the
boiler axis with the mirror plane; let A and A'
be the jcaxis intersections with the round cone
having an axis coincident with the boiler axis
and a semiaperture angle .
Depending on the and values, the cone
intersection with the xy plane can be an ellipse,
a hyperbola or a parabola.
In Figs. 13 and 14, the intersection is an
ellipse of length AA' and breath
MNX AO
[(AC)
2
(OM)
2
]
1/ 2
All mirrors lying on the ellipse reflect the
sun on the boiler with an inclination with
respect to the boiler axis; taking into account
the errors and the widening, the sun's image
enters the boiler if condition (7) is met. This
gives an easy geometrical procedure to locate
the useful part of the ellipse. Figure 14 shows
an axonometric projection of the procedure.
By all the mirrors lying on the conic, the
sun's rays are reflected towards the boiler C
with an inclination with respect to the boiler
axis CM; but only the mirrors whose distance
d from the boiler satisfy condition (7) give
97
Fig. 15. This is an application of the operation des
cribed in Fig. 14. It is used to find the ends of the
cone arcs from which the reflected ray still enters the
boiler. By connecting these ends, we can find the area
over which the mirrors reflect, with 0 < < 31, the
whole energy upon the boiler aperture.
when 0 < < 31 (Figs. 14 and 11). This por
tion is shown in the Figure. By repeating this
procedure for other with the c^ deduced
from (8) and (7) we find many conic arcs
for which the whole sun's image enters the
boiler with 0 < < 31.
By connecting the ends of these conic arcs,
we find an area in all points of which the
whole energy reflected by the mirrors enters
the boiler. These operations are shown in
Fig. 15.
By this technique, we find the mirror field
suitable for the boiler at height h and having
an inclination .
It is necessary to change the inclination
and, as far as possible, the height h of the
boiler and to repeat the whole construction,
finding the corresponding field. With a few
operations of this type, we find the best useful
field in respect to the required area, the ground
undulations, if any, and the cost.
an image which can enter completely into the
boiler aperture of diameter D. Let
d
x
= (d
2
h
2
)
112
(8)
be the projection of d upon the xy plane: the
portion of the ellipse satisfying OS < d
x
con
tains mirrors whose image enters the boiler
BIBLIOGRAPHY
1 G. Francia, Sur les courbures d' un miroir qui con
centre la lumire solaire vers un point fixe, Bull.
C.O.M.P.L.E.S., Marseille, n. 8, 1965, pp. 94 100.
2 E. A. Igel and R. L. Hughes, Optical analysis of
solar facility heliostats, Solar Energy, 22 (3) (1979)
2 83 2 95 .
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 99 - 109
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
99
The Influence of the Heat Transfer Fluid on the Receiver Desi gn*
MICHELJ. BIGNON**
Project Manager, CETHEL, 63 rue de Villiers, 92200 Neuilly (France)
CONTENTS
1. Solar receiver purpose, specifications
1.1. The heat flux
1.2. The losses
1.3. The transmission to the fluid
1.4. The location of the receiver
1.5. The heat transfer fluid
2. General process specifications
2.1. Working cycle
2.2. Storage loading
2.3. Combined efficiency
2.4. Transfer fluid specification
3. Relations between receiver and fluid
3.1. Flux absorption mechanism
3.2. Flux transmission mechanisms
3.3. Forced convection transfer to a fluid
in a pipe
3.4. The nucleate boiling case
4. Receiver designs for the various fluids
4. 1.
4.2.
4.2.1.
4.2.2.
4.2.3.
4.2.4.
4.3.
4.3.1.
4.3.2.
4.3.3.
Gases
Liquids
Pressurized water
Combined water/steam
Organic fluids
Single-phase medium and
film temperature
Solids
Sodium
Molten salt-nitrite/nitrate
Molten salts the future
maximum
The topic of the present paper is rather
narrow and specialized and it cannot be treated
*Paper presented during a Course on Solar Ther-
mal Power Generation held at the Joint Research
Centre of the Commission of the European Commu-
nities, Ispra (Varese), Italy, in the framework of
ISPRACourses, September 3 - 7, 1979.
**Now retired 23 Les Chardonnerets, 78170
La Celle Saint- Cloud, France.
without reference to two other papers which
will appear in Part II [ 1, 2] . Some of the
conclusions may be summarized as follows.
1. SOLAR RECEIVER PURPOSE, SPECIFICA-
TIONS
The solar receiver must accept the heat flux
delivered by the mirror field and transmit it
with minimal losses to the heat transfer fluid.
1.1. The heat flux is set by the solar constant
and the optics of the field, from which the
overall power and the flux map can be derived.
It is possible to withdraw part or all of the
mirrors from the receiver in a case of emer-
gency, but practical means to control the flux
map have not yet been developed.
The radiant temperature of the sun is about
6000 K. Hence, if the flux is not efficiently
transmitted, the receiving surface will rise in
temperature until the sum of transmission and
losses becomes equal to the incoming flux. At
best, this means a poor efficiency; at worst,
the receiver will be destroyed.
The solar constant, as viewed by the field,
changes gradually with the elevation of the
sun in a daily and yearly cycle. It also changes
abruptly with the passage of clouds. The flux
map changes on a daily cycle with the move-
ment of the sun across the sky.
1.2. The losses are mainly caused by radiation
and convection. Radiation losses are twofold:
reflected light from the receiving area,
which is a fixed fraction of the incoming flux
by virtue of the absorptivity of the surface
material;
radiated, mostly infra-red, heat propor-
tional to the radiating area (which may be
different from the receiving area and emits
radiation whether or not a flux is received)
100
and to the fourth power of the radiating tem-
perature.
Convection losses are also twofold:
free convection, due to the buoyancy of
the ambient air when heated by contact with
the hot receiver;
forced convection, due to the movement
of air caused by the wind.
Both convection losses are roughly propor-
tional to the exchanging area and to the tem-
perature difference between this area and the
ambience.
1.3. The transmission to the fluid must be
controlled in order to :
transmit the flux, upon which there is
little or no control;
take the transfer fluid in its cold state and
bring it to the design hot state, while respect-
ing the limits set by the designer for:
the maximum fluid film temperature,
the maximum receiver wall temperature,
the available pumping power,
the maximum dynamic stresses during tran-
sients.
1.4. The location of the receiver on top of a
tower sets limitations on its mechanical design.
In a tower-type power plant, the tower and
receiver are the only equipment sensitive to
earthquakes. Adding weight to the receiver not
only makes it more expensive but also increases
the cost of the tower. A large size receiver is
subjected to heavier wind loads which again
require a stronger tower to keep the deflection
within specifications.
Access to the outer parts of the receiver for
maintenance or repair calls for specialized
equipment because platforms or gangways
would not only add to the wind load but also
be exposed to destruction by the heat flux
when the beams are moving to and from the
receiving area.
The transmission of the heat from the
receiver to the user (or storage) must cover
the height of the tower unless the user itself is
located in the tower near the receiver.
This is seldom considered for the same
reasons as have just been outlined for the
receiver (bulk, weight and service). The riser
and return pipes are subject to heat losses
which could be high if the transfer fluid is a
hot gas. If the fluid is a liquid, the hydrostatic
head in the pipes causes some of the ground-
level equipment to operate under high pressure
and requires a disconnecting method (ex-
changer or pressure let-down) if the liquid is
to be used in a large storage system.
1.5. The heat transfer fluid cannot be dis-
cussed without reference to its further use in
the system. The heat may be used for two
main purposes:
to feed the thermodynamic machine,
either directly or by exchange with a working
fluid,
to load the storage, again directly or by
exchange with the storage medium.
Steam/water systems are probably the only
ones in which the heat transfer fluid is used as
a working fluid. It is, however, quite possible
that Brayton cycles, using open-loop or closed-
loop gases, will fall in this category.
None of these fluids is usable as a heat
storage medium. Hence the storage must be
loaded by exchange which brings about spe-
cific problems to be discussed later.
Organic liquids or molten solids may be
used as storage media but not as working
fluids. In this case, a set of exchangers is
required between the storage and the machine
so the heat transfer fluid must fit the specifi-
cations of these exchangers, over and above
those of the receiver.
2. GENERAL PROCESS SPECIFICATIONS
2.1. Working cycle
With regard to the heat exchanges, it is
important to know if the cycle will be single
phase or dual phase. In both cases, the con-
servation of energy requires exchangers with
a close approach, but the diagrams (Fig. 1)
show that for a single phase this can be
achieved at both ends of the exchanger (A),
whereas upon a phase change the close ap-
proach point is the low temperature end of
the plateau (B).
In either case, the Carnot efficiency of the
cycle is governed by the weighted average
temperature at which the enthalpy release
takes place. It is therefore desirable to use the
working fluid at the highest practical tempera-
ture, which is set by the highest operating
temperature of the heat transfer fluid (or heat
storage fluid).
101
Fig. 1. Heat exchange.
2.2. Storage loading
When a singlephase transfer fluid is used, it
is easy to divert a suitable stream from the
thermodynamic conversion system into the
storage. This causes no other losses than the
thermal losses of the storage system.
When a water/steam receiver is used, the
bulk of the enthalpy is delivered at the boiling
temperature in the latent form. This is the
maximum temperature at which the storage
medium can be brought by exchange with the
condensing steam.
Therefore, when drawing energy from stor
age, the turbine inlet temperature is lower than
on direct operation and causes a drop in the
power produced, typically 30% in several
projects in the United States.
2.3. Combined efficiency
The overall efficiency of the solar power
conversion system is the product of the re
ceiver efficiency and that of the conversion
system proper. A high temperature will in
crease the latter and decrease the former. The
effect on the receiver is strongly dependent
on the receiver design, which in turn depends
on the transfer fluid. Hence the optimum
temperature cannot be found without refer
ence to the transfer fluid. If a very efficient
transfer can be achieved, a high flux can be
accommodated with a low excess tempera
ture from the outer wall to the fluid. A small
receiving area and a moderate outer tempera
ture can be used and opentype receivers can
have a good efficiency.
On the other hand, if the transfer factor is
not high, the receiving area must be extended
or the outer temperature raised. Cavitytype
receivers can be used to minimize the radiating
area, which is the aperture and not the actual
coil area, and to protect the outer hot coil
from the convection.
2.4. Transfer fluid specification
From the above discussion, the qualities to
be expected from a transfer fluid can be sum
marized:
high bulk temperature stability,
good film temperature tolerance,
good heat exchange properties,
compatibility with receiver material.
To these process requirements, the usual
mechanical features should be added:
moderate or no overpressure required,
no hazards (fire or toxicity),
low price and easy availability.
We shall now review the conditions under
which the heat is transferred in the receiver in
order to find a rational base for the qualifica
tion of fluids.
3. RELATIONS BETWEEN RECEIVER AND FLUID
3.1. Flux absorption mechanism
This takes place at the outer wall of the
vessel or pipe which holds the fluid. If is the
incoming flux and a the absorptivity of the
surface material, then a flux
R = ( 1 )
is reflected without a change in wavelength.
The remainder enters the wall, whence it comes
out by four different mechanisms.
It is conceivable to have no wall between
the fluid and the incoming flux. In this case,
an absorptive medium must be present to pick
up the heat and deliver it by convection to the
fluid. The factors of the fluids themselves
are inadequate for the efficient collection of
the heat.
The absorption may take place on a rear
wall or on a solid powdered material which is
carried by the fluid to be heated. The transfer
mechanisms are similar to those in a wall.
3.2. Flux transmission mechanisms (Fig. 2)
(1) The wall is heated by the flux and starts
radiating by Stefan's law:
R = (
4

4
)
where is the outer wall temperature; t is the
temperature of the surroundings; is Stefan's
blackbody factor, 5.71 I O
1 1
kW/m
2
K
4
;
e is the surface material emissivity ; i
4
is usually
102
Convection
Incident Ny \
Radiated
Reflected /
Transm
1
Wall
Fig. 2. Heat transfer.
Boundary
layer
\ ' Bulk
Fluid
negligible compared with T
4
, hence it is nor
mally omitted from the discussions.
According to Kirchhoffs law, the emissivity
e and the absorptivity a must be equal for any
given wavelength. It is, however, possible to
produce surfaces which exhibit a reduced e in
the infrared spectrum while their for visible
light is high.
For a system under concentration, it is
much more important to retain a' high a and
save by keeping the reflected flux low, than
to look for a low e which could only reduce
an already low radiated flux.
(2) The hot wall starts convecting heat to
the ambience. The combination of natural
and forced convection has been investigated
by workers in several countries, but no definite
conclusion was drawn except the obvious
remark that convection goes up with increas
ing surface temperature and area. This is again
in favour of efficient transfer which will keep
both factors as low as practicable [3].
(3) The third, and only useful, mechanism is
the conduction inside the wall which causes a
temperature gradient to be established across
the metal and a temperature (T t) to be
found at the inner wall.
(4) The fourth mechanism ensures the pas
sage of the heat from the inner wall to the
fluid. It is normally a forced convection. A
boundary layer will be formed in the fluid
along the wall. A nonlinear temperature gra
dient in this layer ensures the heat transmis
sion to the bulk of the fluid. We shall call
the difference between the inner wall tempera
ture (T t) (which is also the maximum film
temperature) and the bulk temperature of the
fluid.
3.3. Forced convection transfer to a fluid in a
pipe [4]
The heat exchange between a wall and a
fluid moving in forced convection under tur
bulent conditions is governed by the Colburn
correlation, as improved by Rohsenow:
f
c
= 0.023Re
2
Fr
2l3
GC(/
p
)
a
and
Prandtl's number / is a property of the
heat transfer fluid. Reynolds' number Re and
mass velocity G, on the contrary, are design
factors in which the number of parallel passes,
the total flow, the size of the coil and the
pumping power are involved.
The pressure drop of the fluid across a sec
tion of the coil is
L VG
2
A
-
4f
j
with f = friction factor = 0.0102 Re
0 0 5 5
( d
0
/
d)
0

2
, and the pumping power required is
MV
0
Ap
W=
V
Introducing these data into the heat exchange
formula, one gets the relations
W
M\
2 . 9 45
=0.03264
Q \ I
and
= 35.8380a
1

8

, 0 . 0 5 5
vv
0
ad
j 0 . 2
5 . 1 45
(D
"
8
u V
0
1/3

7/15

2/3
(2)
Elimination of M/n between the two equations
to obtain yields :
= 0.026
k \

.
1 . 3 7 3
a W
d Q
0. 373
, 0. 373
0 . 1 8 J O . 0 7 5
*d o
with
=
t 0. 45 8^0. 9 15

. 3 7 3

0 . 6 6 1
(3)
(4)
depends only on the intrinsic properties of
the transfer fluid and the permissible flux is
directly proportional to it. It is thus an index of
quality, allowing a classification of the fluids
on the basis of measurable properties [5].
Table 1 gives the typical values of the prop
erties involved and the computed factor for
some of the fluids which could be considered
for the heat transfer in a solar receiver.
103
TABLE 1
Heat transfer properties of several fluids [6, 7, 8]
Gases
Hydrogen 800 C,
Helium 800 C,
Air 800 C,
Superheated steam 500 C,
Liquids
Transcal 65 (Petroleum Cut)
Gilotherm T.H.
Gilotherm D.O.
Liquid (sat.) water 50 bar
Molten solids
Sodium
Hitec salt
1 bar
1 bar
1 bar
50 bar
250 C
300 C
300 C
260 C
400 C
400 C
C
(J/kg C)
10320
5200
1146
2340
2710
2587
2344
5000
1279
1561

(W/m C)
0.498
0.339
0.0738
0.0733
0.116
0.1076
0.1017
0.605
71.2
0.571
V
(m
3
/kg)
43.7
22.0
3.06
0.0685
0.001433
0.001245
0.001240
0.001276
0.001171
0.0005585


(10
5
P)
2.05
4.60
4.35
2.87
58.6
40.2
21.7
10.4
26.9
187

2730
1370
770
23750
94900
122700
167900
1933000
46210000
295000
Comments
Gases have the lowest factors and therefore
require high areas and/or high is.
Hydrogen has been quoted because it has
the highest known specific heat and a good
conductivity. The hazards due to its flamma
bility preclude its actual application.
Helium, conversely, is unharmed by and
harmless to all materials in the technical range,
so it is a probable candidate.
Air is inexpensive but somewhat limited in
temperature by its oxygen content.
The higher factor quoted for steam is re
lated to its high pressure, which calls for a
discussion of the role of pressure on the other
gases.
The heat capacity of gases at constant pres
sure Cp is practically independent of pressure.
Their Prandtl number

/ is also unaffected
by the pressure, and for an ideal gas the vis
cosity is independent of the pressure.
This also holds for actual gases if their re
duced temperature is higlrenough (say, above
10). Thus the only parameter in which is
pressuredependent is V, the specific volume,
and, according to the ideal gas law, it is in
versely proportional to the pressure. This is
true in the section (V) and at the pump (V
0
)
provided that the pressure losses in the system
are moderate.
Thus varies with the 0.373 power of the
pressure squared, i.e. the 0.746 power of the
pressure. At 10 bar, the factors will be im
proved by a factor of 10
0

7 4 6
= 5.57 if the
correlation is still valid at 50 bar, this factor
would be 5 0
0 7 4 6
= 18.5.
3.4. The nucleate boiling case [9, 10, 11]
In this case, the derivation of the factor is
no longer valid for several reasons.
The fluid, which we shall assume to be pure,
has a constant temperature and absorbs the
heat by the phase change only. Thus there is
no boundary layer with a temperature gradient
but, instead, a more or less abrupt difference
between the wall and the bulk of the boiling
liquid. According to Nukiyama, this tempera
ture difference is related to the heat flux by a
curve such as that in Fig. 3. Three different
portions are recognized. The first, low , is
the usual nucleate boiling. The intermediate
portion is unstable by nature and is only a
transition between the two others. The high
t portion starts with a very much lower flux
than the upper part of the first curve and it
takes a of about 1000 C to regain the
nucleate boiling flux at = 20 C. This shows
that a complete change in the boiling mecha
nism has taken place calefaction followed
by bulk boiling instead of nucleate boiling.
The occurrence of such phenomena usually
means the destruction of the wall (burnout).
It is thus recommended to stay well within the
limits of the first portion of the curve. With
water, this shows that the heat flux should
not be higher than 700 kW/m
2
(600 th/m
2
h).
This is usually the order of magnitude of the
flux delivered by mirror fields to the receivers.
104

KCAL / N' h
. IO
6
5

m
5
5
2
.10*
5
2
I O
3
5 /
2
.3 1
KW/M*
I O
5
5
1
- , .
5
2
IO /
/ a .
2 /
/
i
. 2.
2 5
- p BULK
/ " BOILING /
/ /
/ CftltFACTlON' ^ _ _ ^
/
D /
/ b . u a Ai
4
a
=
s 90 At'
35
MEAT TRANSFER
. o f
BOI LI NGL WATER
I O C I / L O 5 C A 1 . E
At C
10 20 50 100 200 soo 1000
Fig. 3. Nucleate boiling of water.
The consequences of such high fluxes on
the receiver design are many. At low fluxes,
the conductivity of the wall material is usually
such that the t across the wall is negligible
when compared with the At in the boundary
layer. Moreover, the heat exchange with the
fluid has the result of equalizing the tempera
ture between the wall sections exposed to the
flux and those which do not receive it. Ther
mal stresses in the metal are thus avoided, and
even more so when the wall can be made thin
by the absence of pressure.
At high fluxes, the t across the metal is no
longer negligible. As an example, under 700
kW/m
2
(600 000 kcal/m
2
h), a wall made of
3 mm stainless steel with a conductivity 21
W/m C (at 500 V) shows a t of 100 C across
the wall: 700 000 X 0.003/21 = 100 C. This
compares with the between metal and
liquid which, from Fig. 3, is only 19 C.
When water is used, the pressure must be
high in accordance with the saturation curve.
The hoop stresses in the coil require a heavy
gauge pipe. Carbon steel has definitely a better
conductivity than stainless steel, and even low
alloy, but its lack of strength at the operating
temperature needs a thicker wall and offsets
the advantage, not to speak of the corrosion
problem and the stresses due to the tempera
ture gradients in the metal.
The situation becomes even worse owing to
the dynamic effect of cloud passages, which
abruptly cut the flux and cause the gradients
to reverse. Fatigue problems due to such cy
cling are very difficult to predict and analyse,
even with the help of the advanced methods
developed for the nuclear power stations.
4. RECEIVER DESIGNS FOR THE VARIOUS
FLUIDS
4.1. Gases
Gases have a very low factor when com
pared with the liquid media. They are, how
ever, considered for two reasons which offset
this disadvantage.
Gases with a good chemical stability and
tolerable or negligible corrosion at high tem
perature are easy to find. It is even possible,
at a cost, to use helium which causes no cor
rosion whatsoever.
Gases are the normal prime movers for a
number of thermodynamic machines using
Brayton, Stirling of Rankine cycles. Thus no
heat exchangers are required between the
receiver and the machine. But gases cannot be
used as a storage medium; therefore loading
the storage requires a heat exchange which
needs a temperature drop, thus causing a loss
in the Carnot efficiency. Typical features of a
gas receiver are a large receiving area and a low
flux, both peak and average. An extended sur
face on the gas side may be used (studs, fins
or similar), but such extensions are inside the
receiving wall and therefore technically dif
ficult to produce.
The first receiver prototype that was tested
at the STTF (Sandia, Albuquerque, New
Mexico) was a hightemperature gas receiver
designed by Boeing (Fig. 4). It is a 1 MW(th)
unit made of a cavity with 1 m
2
entrance.
Opposite to the aperture is a wall made of
hightemperature refractory bricks which re
radiates the heat towards the eight heating
coils, located around the aperture and thus
shaded from the direct radiation of the sun.
Brick lining
from fi el d
Fig. 4. Boeing solar receiver.
105
The flux, before reaching the coils, has been
reradiated several times in the cavity, which
cancels out the local variations of the incom
ing flux. The refractory bricks can withstand
the hot points caused by local flux peaks. In
actual operation, the bricks have reached a
maximum about 2600 F (1430 C) while air
was delivered at 800 C. Even when one of the
coils had its air supply cut off, its temperature
did not rise more than about 50 C above that
of the others.
A hightemperature solar receiver delivering
air at 800 C has been described by d'Utruy
(CNRS, Poitiers, France). It makes use of an
extended metallic wall made of cast refractory
alloy. Laboratory testing has been successful
and it is due for further tests at Odeillo in the
near future.
Ceramic honeycombs have been proposed
(Sanders, U.S.A.) but to my knowledge the
available data are very limited.
It should be noted that the optimal efficien
cies of Brayton cycles with gas temperatures
in the order of 800 C are found with gas
pressures below 10 bar. Thus the improvement
in is noticeable but not drastic.
The problem of the pressure loss optimiza
tion between the various exchangers and the
receiver is strongly dependent on the turbine
and compressor efficiencies, which calls for a
casebycase system analysis.
4.2. Liquids
A circulating liquid is the simplest method
to remove the heat from the receiver. Water
has the best factor. It is chemically stable,
readily available and inexpensive. Its main
drawback is a high vapour pressure and a
critical point near 350 C.
Organic heat transfer fluids have been
developed, mainly to avoid the pressure prob
lems associated with water. Their cost goes up
sharply with the maximum permissible tem
perature, so a careful optimization must be
sought for each application.
4.2.1. Pressurized water
Water can be used as a singlephase liquid if
its pressure is kept above the saturation pres
sure at the required temperature. The tech
nology is well developed in the nuclear indus
try (PWRs). Even at moderate temperatures,
it requires heavy equipment with the conse
quences outlined in 1.4 above.
Pressurized water cannot be used as such
for the working cycle. Either it must be flashed
and the steam superheated or it could be ex
changed against a working fluid (water or
other). In both cases this means a loss of
exergy in the flashing or exchange process.
Also it means extra equipment which must
meet the pressure specification.
Pressurized water cannot be used as a stor
age medium with existing technology because
large pressure vessels cost too much.
Alternative technologies such as under
ground highpressure storage are still wishful
thinking. The EEC power demonstration unit
will use pressurized water for a short duration,
coasting storage which nevertheless requires
another medium to superheat the flashed
steam, and a set of exchangers to bring and
keep this other medium hot.
For all these reasons, pressurized water has
been considered but not adopted for any of
the current projects.
4.2.2. Combined water/steam
In a steam power cycle, the heat input takes
place in the deaerator, the economizer, the
vaporizer, the superheater and the reheater.
Solar reheating in a power tower cycle
would be quite marginal because either the
plant is large and the tower very tall, which
would make the piping unpractically long, or
the plant is small, in which case the gain
offered by the reheat is questionable.
Direct input of deaerator heat from the sun
is out of the question, as this is much better
performed by extraction. The other three
functions, on the contrary, can be combined
in the solar receiver. Such a design was even
made mandatory by ERDA for the first gen
eration units in the United States. Figure 1
and Table 1 show the kind of problems that
face the designer.
In the economizer, has a high value. A
calculated permissible flux with = 20 C,
d = 0.05 m, W/Q = 6 "
3
and = 0.7
would be 600 kW/m
2
(local flux).
In the vaporizer, an equal flux can be ac
commodated under nucleate boiling conditions
with a similar .
In the superheater, is down by a factor of
more than 80. The permissible flux under the
same conditions would be only 7.4 kW/m
2
(local).
106
If the superheater is a separate physical
entity, it is possible to locate it in a specific
area of the receiver where at no time the flux
will exceed the permissible value.
It is also possible to split the overall allow
able pressure drop in such a way that the
superheater gets most of it, to improve the
W/Q factor in formula (3).
Some problems remain, however. The flux
map, as already stated, changes on a daily
cycle. The proper final temperature of the
steam must be attained, which means that the
share of the flux received by the superheater
must be a definite fraction of the total. The
only parameters upon which a control can act
are the amount of water fed to the system and
possibly, within narrow limits, its temperature.
These problems are even more difficult
when a singlepass vaporizer and superheater
is used. The limit between the two sections is
unstable so at least one part of the vaporizer
must be designed for the low flux, typical of
the superheater.
Another difficulty associated with the
singlepass design is the water quality. When
the vaporizer is separate, it is followed by a
separator or demister which prevents liquid
water from entering the superheater section
where it could cause permanent deposits. This
cannot be done in a single pass, so the water
quality must be substantially higher and is no
longer set by the next most sensitive part in
the circuit, i.e. the turbine. It is not easy to
maintain a water supply of very high purity,
especially in small plants which cannot afford
a sophisticated control.
Special designs have been proposed to
produce direct superheated steam in a solar
receiver:
At Odeillo (1976) the Martin Marietta
model receiver was equipped with a flexible
refractory curtain which could be drawn to
shade the superheater from the direct radia
tion until the steam throughput was deemed
adequate to start the superheat. This field has
the peculiar feature of a fixed flux pattern.
At Eurelios (EEC plant) the Franciade
signed receiver has the superheater located in
the backside, where only reradiated flux from
the antiradiation device will be used for super
heating.
At Barstow, the published McDonnell
DouglasRocketdyne project design provides
for a relatively low flux all along the single
tube passes and for tubes made of an alloy
that can be run very much above the design
steam temperature. Thus the interface between
vaporizer and superheater can move up and
down without impairing the metal resistance.
The first tests run at STTF indicate, however,
that the inequalities in metal temperature due
to the movement of the interface are larger
than anticipated by a factor of 4 (100 C in
stead of 25 C) [12, 13].
4.2.3. Organic fluids
Organic heat transfer fluids were developed
to avoid the pressure problems associated with
water. They are primarily high boiling oils,
either natural, i.e. obtained by a simple selec
tion of petroleum distillates, or synthetic, i.e.
produced by a chemical reaction to enhance
their stability and reduce their volatility.
From the point of view of the receiver, they
exhibit a lower factor than the water by
virtue of their lower specific heat, lower con
ductivity and higher viscosity. The main point
is that, for a given flux, the t in the boundary
layer is higher and therefore the film is hotter
for a given bulk temperature. The outer metal
temperature is also hotter, by about the same
amount, and hence the losses are increased.
This latter effect is counterbalanced by the
low pressure which allows a thinner wall and
this is also favourable for the thermal stresses
in the metal.
Among the natural oils, the stability is
usually sufficient up to 280 C bulk tempera
ture, which is close to the boiling point. One
important feature is the flash point, which for
most of the oils is no higher than about 200 C
(open cup). Precautions must be taken be
cause the operating temperature is substantial
ly higher.
Synthetic oils are more stable and some
may be used up to 340 C, even 370 C for the
D.O. type (diphenyl oxide). This latter, how
ever, has a boiling point at 250 C and requires
pressurization to keep it liquid. The flash
points are somewhat higher than those of
natural oils but still much lower than the bulk
temperatures.
One common feature of heat transfer oils is
their relatively high expansion factor which
calls for a system to accommodate the amount
of fluid which expands from the receiver loop
upon heating up. Typically, when starting
cold, up to 25% of the fluid contents in the
107
loop will escape (expansion factor 0.00075
"CT
1
).
Some of the synthetic oils can reach even
higher temperatures than the D.O., but they
are solids at ambient temperature and for that
reason have the same startup and shutdown
problems as do the molten solids, without
affording the same temperature range. This is
why they have not been considered.
4.2.4. Singlephase medium and maximum
film temperature
In a singlephase heating coil, each point of
the coil length exhibits a bulk temperature
between the inlet temperature T
0
and the out
let Tj .
Let be the ratio ( )/( T
0
), then
= T
0
+ ( T
0
)
The film temperature at this point is set by
the local flux, which governs the .
For each fluid, there is a maximum film
temperature which should not be exceeded.
Figure 5 shows the actual film temperature
at each point as a function of .
There exists in the coil a point where the
combination Bulk + is a maximum. This is
where the designer should be cautious that
the flux and the heat transmission parameters
remain such that it does not exceed the speci
fication.
It must be recalled that there is no control
over the variations of the flux, which at any
given point will change with the time and the
weather. At this same point is not constant
either, because it is set by the liquid flow and
the integral of the heat flux in the upstream
portion of the coil.
For a steady operation of the storage and
the conversion system, T
1
is the controlled
Most critical
Point
Fig. 5. Diagram of the temperature in the coil.
For a steady operation of the storage and
the conversion system, 7\ is the controlled
variable and can be adjusted by manipulating
the liquid flow and/or the liquid inlet tem
perature, if recycling is used.
Mathematical models have been developed
to investigate the response of the system to
sun power transients and the load transients.
Flow control acts faster because it is felt in
stantly at all points of the coil, but at low
flows local film temperatures exhibit sharper
variations. Inlet temperature control, by re
cycling at constant flow, acts slower but main
tains lower film peaks.
4.3. Solids
Molten solids have the highest indexes
and the highest operating temperature. Their
common problem is the prevention of freezing.
The receiver must be drained out each time
a long idle period is anticipated. The critical
duration is set by the heat losses of the system
and the amount of heat it has in store at the
time of shutdown. Cavity receivers may have
a gate or curtain to close the aperture and cut
the losses. Open receivers do not allow such a
system and, being more compact, have a low
thermal inertia. They are therefore much more
sensitive.
The transfer medium, once it is drained,
must be kept in such a fashion that the circu
lation can be restored before the receiver is
again subjected to the solar flux. An external
source of heat must be provided to make
good the losses of the receiving vessels and a
preheating system must ensure that the piping,
and the receiver itself, are above the freezing
point when the circulation is started.
With sodium, the hazard of a reaction with
the water precludes the use of steam for
tracing, although lowpressure steam would be
adequate for the temperature and much better
for the energy balance than electric tracing.
With salts, the only commercially proven is
the sodium/potassium nitrite/nitrate eutectic,
which when new melts at 147 C. When aged,
the melting point goes up to above 180 C.
For that reason, electric tracing is again pre
ferred, on the grounds that it costs less to
install and is only used for a very short frac
tion of the time.
It is a rather unusual requirement for a
heater coil, such as a solar receiver, to need
electric tracing.
108
4.3.1. Sodium is probably the most efficient
transfer fluid in use at present, and its applica-
tion to the nuclear industry has made available
the process and mechanical know-how required
for its safe industrial usage.
Construction materials up to at least 500 C
are no problem. A protective neutral atmo-
sphere is essential but calls for only a slight
overpressure. Thin gauge tubes are used, thus
high fluxes can be accommodated with low
Ats, both in the tube wall and in the boundary
layer. High fluxes mean a small receiver area
and reduced losses.
Sodium solidifies at 92 C. The prevention
of freezing and the precautions against any
leakage, from molten sodium to the outside
or from air into the vent system, call for care-
ful and sophisticated operation which may
not be desirable or obtainable in a remote
location or in a developing country.
NaK, a sodium-potassium eutectic, has been
considered because it is liquid at ambient
temperatures. Its thermal properties are no-
where near those of sodium and its cost is
excessive. The risk of freezing cannot be
excluded, so that the operating problems are
practically the same as those for sodium,
without the advantages.
4.3.2. Molten salt-nitrite-nitrate
The nitrite-nitrate eutectic, commercially
known as Hitec (Du Pont) or HTS, is techni-
cally well developed for applications at about
400 C in the chemical industry: soda lime
concentration, phthalic anhydride reactors.
It has been selected for the French project
THEMIS where higher temperatures are con-
templated. The long-term behaviour of con-
struction materials at such temperatures is not
fully understood and the effects of local,
short-duration exposure of the salt to film
temperatures around 500 C and over on the
corrosion of steels and the stability of the salt
is under investigation.
From literature data, any stainless steel is
suitable for the coil material in the presence
of the pure salt. What will be the influence of
the commercial impurities such as chlorides or
carbonates is still conjectural.
For the designer of the receiver, this could
mean that a small separate salt loop is prefer-
able for the receiver, which is the only point
of the whole circuit where high film tempera-
tures are found. The content of this loop could
be renewed or heavily butted to keep its
purity adequate and this could be better than
contaminating the whole storage and circula-
tion system.
The decomposition of the salt by heat
produces gases. Such gases must be removed
from the system, which calls for a self-degas-
sing design of the receiver coil and for vents at
each point of possible gas accumulation. The
gas is mostly nitrogen, so corrosion per se is
not a problem but the vent valves must be so
located that they will not be plugged by
entrained frozen salt.
4.3.3. Molten salts the future
The limiting factor in the search for higher
temperatures with salts is the corrosion and
the chemical stability of the salt, combined
with a reasonably low melting point to avoid
the problems of a solid/fluid receiver. Two
facets must be considered in the search for
suitable salts : chemical stability and selection
of construction materials. At the present time,
investigations are under way with combina-
tions of chlorides, fluorides and carbonates
and a wide selection of corrosion- and creep-
resistant alloys.
If successful, such investigations could open
the way to higher temperature receivers with
an associated improvement in the thermody-
namic conversion efficiency.
The basic receiver design, however, would
be similar to the Hitec system with suitable
modifications to fit the melting point. This is
not so easy in the secondary circuit where
steam is generated and could be an indication
for a Bray ton or Stirling rather than a Rankine
cycle.
NOMENCLATURE
a distance between adjacent tube centre
lines, m
C heat capacity of transfer fluid, J/kg C
d internal diameter of tubes, m
d
0
reference internal diameter 0.05 m (ho-
mogeneity)
f friction factor
f
c
Colburn-Rohsenow convection factor,
W/m
2
C
G mass velocity of fluid, kg/s m
2
k ratio of local flux to average flux
L length of tube section, m
109
M mass flow of fluid, kg/s
number of parallel passes in section
Pr = /, Prandtl's number
Q incoming power on a portion of receiver,
W
Re = Gd/, Reynolds' number
t temperature drop across wall, K
t temperature drop across boundary layer,
K
V specific volume of fluid in section, m
3
/kg
V
0
specific volume of fluid in pump, m
3
/kg
W pumping power used in portion, W
Greek symbols
a Rohsenow correction exponent
efficiency of pumping system
thermal conductivity of fluid (average in
receiver), W/m C
viscosity of fluid in section,

viscosity of fluid at wall temperature,


average flux on receiver section, W/m
2
local flux = k<t>, W/m
2
REFERENCES
1 F. Reale, Design and performance of central solar
power receivers, Electr. Power Syst. Res., 3 (3/4)
(1980), in press.
2 M. Becker, Comparison of heat transfer fluids for
use in solar thermal power stations, Electr. Power
Syst. Res., 3 (3/4) (1980), in press.
3 CNRSDOE, U.S.French Meeting on Convection
Losses of Receivers for Solar Plants, 1718 April,
1979.
4 P. Cosar, C. Etivant, X. PougetAbadie, Helio
electric plant THEMIS (in French), Rev. Gn.
Therm., (200 201) (Aug Sept) (1978) 627
638.
5 P. Cosar, Etude thorique de la chaudire solaire
du point de vue fluide caloporteur; Colloque
THEM, Gif sur Yvette, 6 8 Oct. 1976, EDF
CNRS Report "THEM 7631", November 1976,
pp. 145 174.
6 Suppliers bulletins: Transcal 65, B.P. DVScoord.
ULI 1978; Gilotherm D.O., Rhne Poulenc LM
76/9 CFL687.1; Gilotherm T.H., Rhne
Poulenc Imp CIOB 76/9C CFL689.1 ; Hitec sait,
Du Pont Tech. Bull. A 41087, no date; Kirst,
Nagel and Kastner, Hitec sait, Trans. AIChE, 36
(1940)371 394.
7 F. Perry et al, Chemical Engineers' Handbook,
for data on gases except helium.
8 Rohsenow and Hartnett, Handbook of Heat
Transfer, McGrawHill, New York, 1973, chaps.
2 and 7.
9 L. H. McAdams, Heat Transfer, McGrawHill,
New York, 1954.
10 Nukiyama, J. Soc. Mech. Eng. Jpn., 37 (1934)
367.
11 Institut Franais des Combustibles et de l'Energie,
Journes sur l'Utilisation Thermique Rationnelle
de la Vapeur d'Eau, 8 10 Dec. 1955: Trans., pp.
2 14 2 15 .
12 G. Coleman, Communication at the Ises Silver
Jubilee Symposium, May 30th, 1979 (to be pub
lished).
13 L. Tallerico, Advanced central receiver studies,
Proceedings of the DOE 1978 Workshop on
System Studies for CentralSolar Thermal Electric,
University of Houston, Houston, Texas, U.C. 62.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 111 123
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
111
The Heat Pipe and its Appl i cati on t o Solar Recei v ers*
WALTER B. BIENERT
Dynatherm Corporation, One Industry Lane, Cockeysville, MD 21030 (U.S.A.)
SUMMARY
A brief introduction to the principles of
heat pipe technology is given. This is followed
by a discussion of the specific advantages of
heat pipes in solar thermal receivers. A major
portion of the paper deals with three specific
designs which have been developed in some
detail, including estimates of cost for pilot and
commercial plants. One of these designs ap
plies to a central solar receiver, one to a point
focusing dish collector with a Bray ton system,
and one to a Stirling engine. Limitations im
posed by available materials are also discussed.
Finally, a brief assessment of the stateofthe
art of heat pipe technology is made and the
needs for future development are identified.
1. INTRODUCTION
In 1944, Gaugler of General Motors Corpo
ration patented a lightweight heat transfer de
vice which was essentially the present heat pipe.
However, the technology of that period pre
sented no clear need for such a device and it
lay dormant for two decades. The idea was
resurrected in 1963 by Grover and his co
workers at the Los Alamos Scientific Labora
tory. Grover coined the name 'heat pipe' and
stated that "Within certain limitations in the
manner of use, a heat pipe may be regarded as
a synergistic energy structure which is equiva
lent to a material having a thermal conductivity
greatly exceeding that of any known metal".
After its rediscovery, the value of this con
cept was quickly recognized and intensive re
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
search and development programs were
launched in many countries. From the very
beginning, one of the most active centers has
been Ispra under the leadership of Dr. Busse.
For almost a decade, however, most of the
viable applications of the technology were in
the field of aerospace, which required low
temperature heat pipes to cool electronic equip
ment and to transport heat to space radiators.
In recent years, many terrestrial applications
have emerged, the most promising ones being
in the field of energy conservation and solar
energy.
This presentation will discuss specifically
the application of heat pipe technology to
solar receivers. Already some applications of
heat pipes exist in flatplate solar collectors
(e.g., the Dornier collectors). But it is mainly
in hightemperature solar receivers where the
unique heat transfer characteristics of heat
pipes offer a significant advantage over other
heat transfer devices. The solar receivers to be
discussed here are gas heaters which operate
in the temperature range 400 1000 C. Con
centration of the solar flux is achieved either
by individual heliostats as in a central solar
receiver system or by a dishtype concentrator
as in dispersed power systems. Some studies
have also been reported in which heat pipes
were applied to linear parabolic concentrators.
2. PRINCIPLES OF HEAT PIPE TECHNOLOGY
The principle of operation of a heat pipe is
best described by using the simple cylindrical
geometry shown in Fig. 1. The essential com
ponents of a heat pipe are the sealed container,
a wick, and a suitable working fluid which is
in equilibrium with its own vapor. When heat
is applied along one section of the pipe (evap
orator), the local temperature is raised slightly
and part of the working fluid evaporates. Be
112
Fig. 1. Schematic representation of the heat pipe.
cause of the saturation condition this temper-
ature difference results in a difference in vapor
pressure which, in turn, causes vapor to flow
from the heated section to a cooler part of the
pipe (condenser). The vapor condenses at the
cooler end thereby releasing its'latent heat.
Return of the liquid condensate occurs through
the wick. The wick provides a flow path for
the liquid and is also responsible for the pump-
ing. The capillary pumping head is derived
from a difference in the radii of curvature of
the fluid surfaces in the capillary pores in the
evaporator and condenser wick sections.
In the classical heat pipe, the working fluid
is 'pumped' entirely by these capillary forces.
They must be sufficient to overcome the vis-
cous and dynamic losses of the circulating
vapor and liquid. Depending on the heat pipe's
orientation, gravity forces can either assist or
impede the pumping of the working fluid.
Since gravity forces are normally much larger
than typical capillary forces, it is often desir-
able to orient the heat pipe such that its opera-
tion is aided by gravity. Nevertheless, even in
a gravity assisted heat pipe, a wick is normally
required to facilitate the flow and distribution
of the working fluid.
Heat pipes have been developed for a wide
temperature range, covering the spectrum from
cryogenic temperatures to several thousands
of degrees. In the temperature range of interest
to solar receivers (400 - 1000 C), the most
suitable working fluids are pure liquid alkali
metals. The corresponding materials of con-
struction are stainless steels, and nickel and
cobalt based super alloys.
3. THE FUNCTION OF HEAT PIPES IN SOLAR
RECEIVERS
In a heat pipe solar receiver, the concen-
trated solar flux is absorbed by the heat pipe's
evaporator. The absorbed energy is transported
nearly loss-free to the heat transfer medium
of the power conversion cycle. A heat pipe
receiver is best suited to heating gaseous work-
ing media, such as air or helium in Brayton
and Stirling systems. The performance capabil-
ities of liquid metal heat pipes lead to several
important advantages in such receivers:
(1) Loss-free flux transformation. The heat
pipes function essentially as loss-free 'thermal
diffusers' between the concentrated solar flux
and the lower heat flux which is characteristic
of gas systems.
(2) High-temperature capability. Liquid
metal heat pipes are the most efficient heat
transfer devices in the temperature range 500 -
1000 C. Because the energy is transported in
the form of latent heat, the heat transport
occurs nearly isothermally. Furthermore, the
evaporation and condensation heat transfer
coefficients of liquid metals are very high
(30 000 W/rh
2
C), thus reducing the ATs be-
tween the metal envelope and the fluid to
almost negligible values.
(3) Low-pressure stresses in high-tempera-
ture components. The internal pressure in the
heat pipes is about the same as the atmospheric
pressure. In a heat pipe receiver, the only com-
ponents exposed to the concentrated solar flux
and thus experiencing the highest temperatures
are the evaporators of the heat pipes. Because
of the relatively low pressures of the working
fluid, these high-temperature components are
under low-pressure stresses.
(4) Low-pressure drop on gas side. The use
of heat pipes provides ample design flexibility
with regard to the gas flow. Since the heat
pipes are nearly isothermal over their entire
length, the heat pipe-to-gas heat exchanger
can be optimized for minimum pressure loss.
This is important in a Brayton Cycle whose
conversion efficiency is extremely sensitive to
pressure losses.
(5) Uniform circumferential temperature
distribution. In solar gas heaters which employ
conventional tube sheets, severe circumferen-
tial temperature gradients exist because of the
high one-sided flux combined with the poor
heat transfer characteristics of all gases. The
very high internal heat transfer coefficient of
liquid metal heat pipes reduces the circumfer-
ential gradients and stresses significantly.
(6) Redundancy. A typical heat pipe re-
ceiver contains several tens of thousands of
heat pipes, each consisting of an independent
heat transfer device. A failure of a single heat
pipe is not likely to affect the performance of
113
the receiver, provided it is designed that such
a failure does not impact the pressure contain-
ment.
(7) Small liquid metal inventory. Each heat
pipe contains typically about 100 g of liquid
metal. In other liquid metal receivers, substan-
tial quantities of the fluid are pumped through
the system. Furthermore, these other systems
consist of continuous loops without the bene-
fit of the isolation provided by the heat pipes.
Thus, a single failure could expose large
amounts of liquid metal to the atmosphere and
to explosive oxidation.
As one would expect, heat pipes also have a
few disadvantages which impose some limita-
tions on the solar receiver:
(1) Maximum temperature limit. The maxi-
mum achievable gas temperature is limited by
the properties of existing super alloys, such as
Inconel. With the present technology, 1000 C
represents an upper limit for the metal temper-
ature and 900 C for the resulting gas temper-
ature.
(2) Lower operating limit. Liquid metal heat
pipes do not function below approximately
400 C. In order to overcome this limit, one
could either resort to other than liquid metal
heat pipes in the colder sections of the receiver
or design the heat pipes for high-temperature
operation even where the gas temperature is
relatively low. The latter approach is thermo-
dynamically undesirable because it increases
heat losses from otherwise cool sections of the
receiver.
(3) Evaporator flux limit. Although experi-
mental liquid metal heat pipes have been oper-
ated at evaporator fluxes as high s 10 MW/m
2
,
practical wick designs and thermal gradient
stresses in the heat pipe wall limit the useful
flux to about 1 MW/m
2
. Even this latter flux
exceeds by far the flux limits of direct solar-
to-gas receivers.
(4) Slight orientation sensitivity. The nature
of capillary forces dictates that the heat pipes
are orientated either horizontally or with the
evaporator below the condenser. The latter
gravity assisted orientation has been shown to
facilitate start-up during a cold start.
4. HEAT PIPE CENTRAL SOLAR RECEIVER GAS
TURBINE PLANT
This section presents the results of a fairly
detailed study of a heat pipe solar receiver gas
turbine plant. This study was undertaken for
the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by
Dynatherm and by Foster Wheeler Develop-
ment Corporations [ 1] . The basic receiver
design which evolved from this study is cur-
rently being incorporated in the preliminary
design of a central receiver hybrid power plant.
This latter study is being conducted by Bechtel
Inc. for DOE.
During the first-mentioned study, several
open and closed Brayton cycles were analyzed.
The selected size of the power plant was 10
MW(el).
The open recuperative air cycle with a con-
ventional utility-type turbine was selected as
the baseline design. The overall plant efficiency
does not vary significantly in the turbine inlet
temperature range 816 - 980 C. For this rea-
son, and because conservative values are desir-
able in a prototype plant, a turbine inlet tem-
perature of 816 C was chosen. This results in
heat pipe metal temperatures of about 870 C
which are compatible with nickel-based super
alloys.
The pertinent parameters of the selected
cycle are shown in Fig. 2. The cycle utilizes a
standard heavy-duty gas turbine with a con-
version efficiency of 33%. After accounting
for the losses associated with the heliostat field
and the receiver, the baseline system will yield
an overall solar-to-electric efficiency of approx-
imately 20%.
After an initial screening process, a cavity
configuration was selected since this yielded
the maximum receiver efficiency. Further eval-
uation based on solar flux, thermal/hydraulic,
structural, and cost analysis led to the receiver
geometry shown in Figs. 3 and 4. It consists
of nine modular panels which form the semi-
circular backwall of the cavity. Each panel
carries 637 liquid metal heat pipes which are
mounted at right angles to the gas flow. The
evaporators of the heat pipes protrude from
the flux absorbing front surface of the panels
and the finned condensers traverse the gas
stream.
The incident solar radiation from the helio-
stat field enters the cavity through an octag-
onal aperture. The requirement of a high re-
ceiver efficiency necessitates a receiver aper-
ture large enough to collect a high percentage
of the solar flux, yet small enough to prevent
excessive heat losses by reradiation and reflec-
tion. To accomplish this, an octagonal receiver
114
0101/275
,(14 7/527)
REGENERATOR
O 514/ 234
(89 0/ 453
O 607/ 448
(88. 0/ 839)
SOLAR
RECEIVER
0. 586/ 815. 5
(85.0/1500)
0. 108/ 489
(15.7/913)
0.101/16
(14.7/60)
PRESSURE/TEMPERATURE
/C
(psi o/' F)
GENERATOR
Fig. 2. Selected regenerative open air cycle.
A* 1
9 PANELS
OUTLET AIR
r hnr i
^ r
V
W
J I
/
ru
PANELS
INLET AIR
Fig. 3. Cavity receiver configuration.
SECTION AA
aperture was selected. The receiver is tilted
five degrees in order to optimize the solar flux
distribution on the heat pipes and the panel
walls.
Each of the nine panels which form the
internalenergy absorbing surfaces in the back
of the receiver is 7.5 m high by 1.0 m wide.
The depth of the panel varies as a function of
the amount of air passing through it, which in
turn is proportional to the amount of heat flux
impinging upon and being absorbed by its sur
face. The panel depth is such that each panel
has approximately the same pressure drop of
0.007 MPa. The average panel weight is approx
imately 10 000 kg. Each panel consists of 637
sodiumfilled heat pipes, inlet and outlet
plenums, insulation, and support structure. A
summary of the pertinent receiver parameters
is given in Table 1.
A schematic diagram of the heat pipes and
their installation is shown in Fig. 5. The heat
pipes, 60 mm OD, are located in an 11.5 mm
triangular pitch pattern and are attached to
the front and back plates so that they can be
removed from the back of the panel in case of
failure. The evaporator surfaces of the heat
115
637 HEAT PIPES/PANEL
TABLE 1
Receiver parameters
Fig. 4. Panel configuration.
pipes, which protrude 300 mm from, the front
panel plate, absorb the incident solar flux. The
tips of the evaporators are conical in order to
reduce the flux at the endcaps to approxi
mately the same value as on the cylindrical
evaporator surfaces. The heat pipes transport
the energy nearly isothermally to the finned
condenser section. Since each heat pipe is a
selfcontained heat transfer system, a failure
Type of receiver
Total weight
Number of panels
Number of heat pipes
Incident solar radiation
Heat losses
Peak aperture flux
Peak flux on receiver walls
Air inlet/outlet temperature
Receiver pressure loss
(including headers and piping)
Northfacing cavity
108 295 kg
Nine
5733
30 35 MW(th)*
3 4 MW(th)
5.71 5.94 MW/rn
2
*
1.16 1.32 MW/m
2
*
448/816 C
0.02 MPa
Depending on conversion efficiency of power genera
tion system.
of a single heat pipe will not affect the system
catastrophically. The design parameters of the
heat pipes are given in Table 2.
Because the heat pipes are oriented toward
the optical center of the solar field, the flux
distribution on their evaporators is highly non
uniform. This is shown in Fig. 6. The peak flux
of 1.17 MW/m
2
would occur at the endcap of
the heat pipe. In order to reduce this flux to
approximately the same value which exists on
the cylindrical surfaces (0.34 MW/m
2
), conical
instead of flat endcaps are used. Fairly high
fluxes also occur on the backwall of the re
ceiver, although only at a few locations since
most of the backwall is shadowed by the heat
pipes. Protection of the backwall is provided
by refractory insulation. The solar energy ab
sorbed by the insulation is reradiated thermally,
COLLAR
REFRACTORY
Fig. 5. Schematic diagram of the heat pipes.
116
TABLE 2
Heat pipe design parameters
Dimensions
Orientation
Material
Working fluid
Wick structure
Max./min. vapor temperature
Max./average heat load
Max./average evaporator flux
60 mm OD X 2.4 mm
wallx 1100 mm long
5 gravity assisted
Inconel 601
Sodium
Parallel tent arteries
821/445 C
13.1/5.2 kW
0.34/0.067 MW/m
2
and most of it is eventually absorbed by the
heat pipes.
The collector subsystem is based on the
heliostat field designed by the Martin Marietta
Corporation for their water/steam pilot plant.
It is a north field arrangement with focusing
heliostats symmetrically distributed about a
north-south line from the tower, which is
erected at the south edge of the collector field.
The north field geometry provides the maxi-
mum optical collector efficiency. The focused
heliostats enable the use of a smaller aperture
for the cavity receiver, thus minimizing re-
ceiver losses. Each heliostat carries 41 m
2
of
reflective surface. The number of heliostats
required ranges from 1164 to 1344.
The electric power generation subsystem
consists of conventional utility-type power
plant components. For the pilot plant, the
General Electric (GE) gas turbine-generator
package G3132R regenerative-cycle, two shaft
heavy-duty gas turbine was selected. The nom-
inal rated capacity is 10.4 MW(el) and the
gross weight is 69 000 kg. The regenerator,
which comes with the gas turbine-generator
package, is a Harrison regenerator model TR-
105. The basic conversion efficiency of this
gas turbine set is 33%. Preliminary discussions
with GE personnel indicated that the efficiency
can be upgraded to 38% by increasing compo-
nent efficiencies; i.e., turbine efficiency from
85 to 92%, compressor efficiency from 80 to
88%, and recuperator effectiveness from 85 to
94%.
The heat pipe receiver, the electric power
generation subsystem, and the interconnecting
piping are all located on top of the tower. This
location minimizes the airflow path among
components and thus reduces thermal and
pressure losses. This is particularly important
in a Brayton cycle because, to reduce pressure
losses, large diameter pipes are needed to trans-
port large volumes of air. The structural-steel
tower is similar in design to the one designed
by McDonnel Douglas Astronautics Company
for the water/steam pilot plant. The tower,
which is approximately 90 m high, supports
on its top a weight of approximately 360 tons.
The projected cost of a heat pipe central
receiver gas turbine plant compares favorably
with an equivalent water/steam plant. Capital
cost estimates were made for the 10 MW(el)
pilot plant. The costs of the receiver, including
the heat pipes and the mounting platform,
were developed from the design drawings gen-
erated during the project. Tower assembly,
foundation, and site preparation costs were
scaled from the costs developed for the water/
steam system. The cost of the power genera-
tion system, which is a standard GE product,
was obtained from the manufacturer. Follow-
ing DOE ground rules, the cost of the collector
field was estimated at $65 per square meter of
heliostat surface. Since details of a master con-
trol system have not been developed during
Receiver Wall
6 cm
Peak : 1.17 MW/V
Average : 0. 34 MW/m'
Peak
Average
0. 7G MW/m
0. 51 MW/m
2
Fig. 6. Solar flux distribution.
117
this program, its cost was assumed to be the
same as that for the water/steam plant. Finally,
miscellaneous items such as buildings, facili-
ties, electric plant equipment, etc., were esti-
mated by Foster Wheeler based on experience
with conventional plants of similar nature and
size.
The total projected costs, in mid-1978 dol-
lars, are shown in Table 3 for the two assumed
cycle efficiencies of 33 and 38%. These costs
range from $1947 to $2002 per electrical
kilowatt.
TABLE 3
Capital cost of heat pipe solar gas turbine plant
Item Cost
($ million)
Receiver and platform
Transportation and installation
Tower assembly
Tower foundation and site preparation
Collector field (heliostats)
Buildings and facilities
Turbine-generator unit
Master control
Miscellaneous
Total direct costs
Contingency allowance and indirect
costs (15%)
Total capital costs
3.51
0.88
1.50
0.54
3.10
0.50
2.97
2.24
1.60
3.58
16.93 -17. 41
2. 54- 2.61
19. 47- 20. 02
Note: costs are based on mid-1978 dollars.
The unit cost per heat pipe in the above es-
timate is $412. This cost was derived by extrap-
olation from experience with Dynatherm's
commercial 'Isothermal furnace liners'. A more
detailed estimate of the heat pipe cost was
recently prepared in conjunction with the afore-
mentioned Bechtel study of a hybrid solar
power plant. For a plant with an electrical
output of 100 MW, approximately 40 000 heat
pipes are required. In these quantities, the heat
pipes including the finned condensers could
be fabricated for about $260. This price is
based on Inconel 601 as the basic material. If
Inconel 617 were used, this cost would esca-
late to about $320. However, this material is
currently not available in the required thin-
walled pipe sizes. Inconel 617 would permit
about 50 C higher turbine inlet temperatures.
A trade-off analysis between the higher cost
of the Inconel 617 heat pipes and the benefits
of a higher 'solar fraction' achievable with
higher gas temperatures is currently in progress.
5. HEAT PIPE RECEIVER FOR PARABOLIC CON-
CENTRATOR
In a recent study for the Jet Propulsion Lab-
oratory (JPL) [ 2] , a heat pipe receiver for a
point focusing small electric power system was
investigated. Such systems involve a tracking
paraboloidal dish concentrator with the heat
receiver mounted at the focus and the engine
mounted at the focus or the ground. Typical
power levels for these systems are 50 - 100
kW of solar input and 15- 20 kW of electrical
output.
The specific objective was the conceptual
design of a receiver for an open-cycle air
Brayton engine (air Brayton solar receiver,
ABSR). The design point and the performance
goals for the ABSR are summarized in Table 4.
The receiver will be mounted at the focal point
of an 11 m concentrator, and the Brayton
cycle power conversion unit (PCU) will be at-
tached directly to the receiver. In order to
accommodate short-term transients such as
clouds, provisions for heat from buffer storage
for a ten minute interval are included in the
design.
TABLE 4
Receiver design point and performance goals
Peak thermal input
Peak solar flux at aperture
Air inlet temperature
Air outlet temperature
Receiver inlet pressure
Air mass flowrate
Pressure drop:
goal
maximum
Thermal efficiency:
short-term goal
long-term goal
85 kW
~1. 5X10
7
W/ m
2
565 C
815 C
0.25 MPa
0.24 kg/s
2%
4%
80%
85%
The baseline design of the ABSR as it
evolved from the study is shown in Figs. 7 and
8. Air from the recuperator enters the ABSR
at the top and is distributed by the inlet ple-
num to 19 individual heat exchangers. The
latter are attached to liquid metal heat pipes
which form a 'curtain wall' inside the cavity.
The heated air is collected near the bottom of
118
Outlet
Support Ring
lor Heat Pipes
Mounting Plate
Support Ring
Insulation
Casing Assembly
Exit Torus
Fi g. 7. Sc he ma t i c di agram o f he a t pi pe ABS R.
Aperture Assembly
1
Salt
Storage
Capsule
Section A-A
S
Fig. 8. Schematic diagram of heat pipe heat exchanger.
the ABSR in a torus and then is ducted toward
the turbine of the PCU. Each of the heat pipes
contains a latent heat storage capsule which
provides sufficient buffer storage for a ten
minute solar outage.
The main feature of this design is the liquid
119
metal heat pipes. Their use leads to several
important advantages in an ABSR:
(1) Since the heat pipe can tolerate higher
solar fluxes than a direct solar radiationtogas
heat exchanger, the receiver can be made more
compact. The flux on the cylindrical wall of
the cavity diminishes with increasing radius.
The heat pipes may be located at a smaller
radius than a conventional heat exchanger
which results in a smaller overall receiver di
ameter and thus in lower convective losses
from the insulation.
(2) The flux transformation afforded by the
heat pipes leads to either lower metal temper
atures or lower pressure drops. The two are
interdependent through the Reynolds analogy
which relates the heat transfer coefficient and
the friction coefficient in a gas. A brief com
parison between a heat pipe and a conven
tional heat exchanger has shown that for the
same pressure drop the maximum metal tem
peratures would be about 100 C higher in the
conventional heat exchanger (even when lo
cated at nearly twice the radius of the heat
pipe receiver). Conversely, if designed for the
same metal temperature, the conventional
design would incur a 2.72 kPa higher pressure
drop. The penalty for this at design out
put is about 0.71 kW of compressor power
or 4.2% of the thermal input to the re
ceiver.
(3) The high heat transfer coefficient of the
heat pipes permits design for a higher solar flux.
It also makes the system tolerant to flux excur
sions which might occur as a result of misalign
ment of the receiver with respect to the con
centrator. At the nominal design point, the
maximum AT between the flux absorbing sur
face and the working fluid is approximately
35 C, while in a conventional receiver the cor
responding is about 220 C. Doubling the
flux, for instance, would have little effect on
the heat pipe receiver but would cause exces
sive metal temperatures in a conventional re
ceiver.
(4) Another important asset of the heat pipe
design is that the thermal storage material is
located within the vapor space of the heat pipe.
This location provides a thermally ideal envi
ronment. The same high heat transfer coeffi
cient which proves so beneficial at the evap
orator applies also to the storage medium.
Heat can be withdrawn with little loss in tem
perature which is important for high engine
efficiency. The location of the storage mate
rial within the heat pipes causes no additional
pressure drops and no valving or rerouting of
the fluid is required.
(5) Finally, the heat pipe design has ample
growth potential. The current design, without
modifications (except possibly enlarging the
aperture), can handle net input powers of up
to 135 kW(th) and would still meet the spec
ified pressure drop and would not exceed al
lowable metal temperatures and stresses. The
design can also be adapted to other types of
conversion systems. In fact, it is almost man
datory for a solar receiver with a Stirling en
gine.
A performance summary of the heat pipe
ABSR is given in Table 5. The performance
data apply for the specified mass flowrate of
0.242 kg/s which corresponds to a net thermal
input of 68 kW. A summary of the critical
materials is given in Table 6. Type 310 stain
TABLE 5
Heat pipe ABSR performance summary (design point)
Design power 68.6 kW
Air flowrate 0.24 kg/s
Air inlet temperature 566 C
Air exit temperature 816 C
Maximum cavity temperature 906 C
Peak flux on receiver surface 330 kW/m
Receiver efficiency* 0.88
Pressure loss 2.56 kPa
Total weight 496 kg
Operating time from storage** 13.7 min
Based on wind speed of 16.1 km/h.
**Down to 25% of design power.
TABLE 6
Receiver material summary
Heat pipe envelope
Wick structure
Working fluid
Heat exchanger
Buffer storage
Inlet duct and manifold
Outlet duct and manifold
Receiver structure
Insulation
Aperture
310 stainless steel
304 stainless steel
Sodium
310 stainless steel
Li F
2
MgF
2
Low alloy steel (1% chro
mium, % molybdenum)
304 stainless steel
Hot and cold rolled steel
Cerablanket*, Microlite**
Cera Form Board*
AluminumSilica ceramic fiber, JohnsManville.
**Borasilicate glass fiber, JohnsManville.
120
less steel is employed in the high-temperature
zones of the receiver. The ducts carrying the
816 C air stream will be fabricated from the
less expensive type 304 stainless steel, while
all other components utilize inexpensive low
alloy or carbon steel.
Preliminary cost estimates for prototypes
and for small and large production quantities
are as follows:
Prototypes $27 000
Small quantities (~ 100) $5000
Large quantities (> 10 000) $1100 - $2600
The estimates for the first two categories are
based on a step-by-step fabrication plan and
firm quotes for most materials. The estimate
for the large quantities are by necessity much
less firm. The higher figure of the indicated
range was obtained by extrapolating material
costs for the baseline design to very large quan-
tities and then adding a labor cost of $2.71 kg
weight of the receiver. The lower figure was
obtained in a different way. It is based on a
preliminary estimate of labor and material cost
of an advanced, integrated heat pipe-heat
exchanger. Added to this was then the cost of
114 kg of supporting structure and insulation
at a rate of $3.30 per kg of fabricated material.
Although these estimates for large production
quantities are only very rough at the present
time, they show that a heat pipe ABSR has
the potential of approaching the cost goals set
by the JPL program.
6. HEAT PIPE HEAT RECEIVERS IN DISHED
STIRLING SYSTEMS*
Two JPL sponsored programs are currently
underway in which heat pipe receivers with
thermal energy storage (TES) are involved. The
first is a study program undr the technical
direction of Dr. Y. S. Won of JPL on the use
of liquid metals for thermal transport and
storage in dished Stirling systems. The intent
of this program was to investigate the potential
for liquid metal thermal transport, to concep
tualize designs of merit and to assess selected
designs and identify development needs. The
study initially covered a range of options in
cluding single and multiple collector systems,
sensible and latent heat storage, heat pipe and
General Electric Company, Cincinnati, Ohio;
W. F. Zimmerman, Program Manager.
pumped loop thermal transport, and both
compact, focus mounted and separated, focus
collector mounted systems.
During this study program, the focus moun
ted heat pipe heat receiver with thermal energy
storage was conceptually defined as shown in
Fig. 9. The heat receiver is comprised of 27
primary sodium heat pipes which absorb solar
energy and transfer it into the secondary heat
pipe which contains containerized latent heat
fused salts, such as LiF, and the Stirling engine
heat exchange tubes. The primary heat pipes
are wicked only in the evaporator section
which prevents reverse flow of heat from the
secondary heat pipe back into the heat receiver.
The secondary heat pipe is wicked with porous
media to deliver sodium to heat sources at the
condenser end of the primary heat pipes and
on the surface of the latent heat fused salt
containers. Improvements in the above design
and confirmation of the key design principles
have been accomplished in the last few months.
In a second contract under the technical
directions of J. W. Stearns of JPL, the design,
manufacture, and solar test of the focus moun
ted heat pipe heat receiver with TES has been
initiated with hardware deliverable in late
1980.
In addition to other numerous advantages,
the heat pipe heat receiver has many advan
tages which are inherent to an appreciable
amount of thermal energy storage. With ther
mal storage, the system operates at nearcon
stant temperature and engine power irrespec
tive of the intensity of solar insolation. The
heat flow is selfregulating within the second
ary TES heat pipe since heat automatically
flows from the hotter to the colder surface
under a very minimal temperature difference.
The secondary TES heat pipe is completely
selfcontained and relies upon liquid sodium
wicking and slight differences in sodium vapor
pressure for sodium mass flow, and thermal
transport. It transfers heat using high heats of
vaporization of sodium under extremely effec
tive vaporization and condensing heat transfer
film coefficients. It does so with negligible
thermal transport pumping power. The low
temperature drop within the heat transfer
system is only of the order of 17.8 C and
represents, principally, the across the evap
orator and condenser metal wall thicknesses
of the primary heat pipes.
Since the overnight sensible heat losses
121
STIRLING ENGINE
HEAT EXCHANGER
LARGE SECONDARY
HEAT PIPE
MULTI FOIL
VACUUM
INSULATION
Fig. 9. Heat pipe heat receiver with thermal energy storage for Stirling solar power.
result in only a 28.9 C drop when the TES
system is fully discharged, the system can be
started with a stable, near normal operating
temperature. This can occur once the solar
insolation is sufficient to sustain continued
operation, or the TES system can be partially
charged at low solar insolation and an orderly
and planned start-up of the system can be
made at full power before nominal solar in-
solation is reached. Furthermore, nominal
rated power can be achieved without the neces-
sity for the use of hybrid heat sources by cal-
ling upon the TES even before the daily solar
insolation reaches its average value.
The fully-charged TES system can readily
provide over an hour's operation without
solar insolation and even longer periods if
some contributing solar insolation is available.
Finally, the addition of a hybrid heat source,
such as a fossil fuel combustor, permits on-off,
rather than proportional, additions of heat to
the TES chamber at full combustion efficiency.
This permits planned heat additions to partially
or fully recharge the TES system without the
necessity of following specific fluctuations in
the solar insolation.
Since the system is a single, compact, focus
mounted unit, it can be readily factory pro-
duced by mass production methods and instal-
led with minimum field site labor.
The system has the benefits of stable power
generation under variable solar insolation and
the added freedom to effectively supplement
solar heat with a fossil fuel source using an
efficient combustion process and an effective
operating plan.
7. LIQUID METAL HEAT PIPE TECHNOLOGY
Historically, liquid metal heat pipes date
back to the early stages of heat pipe develop-
ment during the mid-sixties. Although high
heat fluxes and heat transport rates were
achieved in laboratory experiments, little ac-
tual hardware capability was developed be-
cause of a lack of applications. Furthermore,
most experimental heat pipes were much smal-
ler than needed for the present application.
The closest analog to the solar heat pipes is
122
probably the isothermal furnace liners devel
oped and marketed by Dynatherm. They con
sist of annular liquid metal heat pipes ranging
in diameters from 60 to 168 mm and in lengths
from 150 to 914 mm. They are fabricated
from Inconel 601 and the working fluid is
sodium. The operating temperature ranges
from 400 to 1100 C. To date, over 600 of
these heat pipes are in use by over a hundred
industrial, government, and university labora
tories. Since many of the devices have been in
operation for over six years, their long life
capability is well established. There is one im
portant difference, however, between the solar
receiver heat pipes and the commercial isother
mal furnace liners. The latter are basically low
flux and low transport devices since their main
function is to isothermalize furnaces. Thus,
the need existed to develop heat pipes which
combine the performance capabilities of labo
ratory devices with the size and reliability of
the commercial products.
Typical experimental performance capabil
ities of a sodium solar receiver heat pipe are
shown in Fig. 10. At the low end of the useful
temperature range the heat transport capabil
ity is limited by the gas dynamics of the vapor
flow. At higher temperatures (550 800 C),
a
1 1 1 1
V apor '
Limit **
/
/
I /
/
'

A
f?

/
.
/
/ O



' l i l i
i
l i l i
' I I I
& A
3

1 1 I 1
^
*
*
*
:

Evaporator Length
Q 30 cm
10 cm
D arkened Symbols Iteprescat
Measured Limits
1 1 1 J
l i l t ! 1 I I
500 000 700 eoo
V apor Temperature f^C)
the performance is dominated by the wick and
is relatively independent of temperature.
Above 800 C, nucleate boiling near the heat
input surfaces limits the heat fluxes that can
be applied.
The maximum heat load required of any
heat pipe in the central receiver pilot plant is
about 13 kW. This maximum heat load occurs
at about 750 C; at lower and higher tempera
tures the requirement is considerably less
(under one kilowatt at 450 and 820 C). As
seen from Fig. 10, the measured performance
matches well with the requirements. In some
receiver designs, however, the vapor limit of
sodium may yield insufficient heat transport
capability at the lowtemperature end of the
receiver. In that case, potassium heat pipes
must be substituted for some of the sodium
pipes.
The most successful wick design for this
type of heat pipe proved to be a set of parallel
arteries together with a dual mesh circumfer
ential wick at the evaporator. This wick design
is shown in Fig. 11. The arteries provide the
main axial flow path for the liquid. At the
evaporator, the liquid is distributed by capil
lary forces in the circumferential dual mesh
wick. No circumferential wick is used in the
condenser.
In any hightemperature system, materials
problems are always of concern. Examples of
potential problems are corrosion resistance,
compatibility with the working fluid, hydrogen

S Mesh Screen
100 Mesh Screen
Fig. 10. Performance capability of central solar re
ceiver heat pipe.
D etails of Parallel
Tent Wick
Circumferential
Wick
Fig. 11. Heat pipe crosssection.
123
embrittlement, stress corrosion, long-term
creep and rupture strength, and low-cycle fa-
tigue. The maximum allowable working stres-
ses of several candidate heat pipe materials are
given in Table 7. From the data in this Table,
the first choice would obviously be Inconel
617, but its cost and limited availability may
preclude it from serious consideration. Incoloy
800 and Inconel 601 are both attractive can-
didates, and at least the latter has been used
in many successful heat pipe applications.
TABLE 7
Maximum allowable working stresses (MPa) of several
heat pipe materials
Temperature
CO
Incoloy
800
Inconel
601
Inconel
617
760
815
871
24.8
17.2
11.0
19.3
13.1
8.3
48.3
37.2
18.6
A systematic study of the various effects
which might influence the reliability of liquid
metal heat pipes was recently undertaken by
GE for JPL [ 3] . The study showed that the
applicable materials and liquid metal technol-
ogy are well founded and that liquid metal
heat pipes can be highly reliable devices. Also,
the vast amount of liquid metal technology
which has been developed during various
reactor programs is directly applicable to the
material problems in heat pipes. Highlights of
the liquid metal and heat pipe background are:
- 800 000 hours of cumulative testing of
liquid metal systems during reactor programs
at 427 - 1100 C (austenitic SS, cobalt, and
nickel based alloys).
- 100 000 hours of cumulative testing of
sodium heat pipes reported in the literature
through 1972 (700 - 820 C).
- 1 000 000 hours of cumulative industrial
use of Dynatherm's isothermal furnace liners
with 40 000 MTBF (480 -1100 C).
Another concern which is frequently expres-
sed about liquid metal heat pipes is their safety.
Alkali metals are, of course, highly reactive
with oxygen and with water. Unlike pumped
liquid metal transport systems which contain
large quantities of fluid, heat pipes usually
contain only a very small amount. A typical
sodium heat pipe, such as the ones designed
for a solar receiver, has a fluid inventory of
only about 100 g. Laboratory experiments at
Dynatherm, during which sodium and potas-
sium heat pipes were made to fail at high tem-
peratures, have never lead to any violent reac-
tion but always to a slow oxidation of the
working fluid. The same observation was made
by users of isothermal furnace liners when the
specified temperature limit was exceeded
owing to a failure of the furnace control mech-
anism.
8. DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS
The conceptual design studies have shown
that heat pipe receivers provide distinctive ad-
vantages whenever the working fluid of the
conversion system is a gas, i.e., for Brayton
and Stirling systems. However, additional de-
velopment is needed in order to bring the tech-
nology to the same level of confidence as exists
with more conventional receiver concepts. The
following is a list of typical development re-
quirements:
(1) extensive life testing of representative
heat pipes;
(2) solar testing of representative receiver
modules;
(3) additional laboratory development to
determine performance capabilities under all
conditions including start-up and shut-down ;
(4) development of cost-effective manufac-
turing techniques.
The development of a heat pipe receiver for
gas temperatures up to 800 or 900 C does not
require any technological breakthroughs. The
cost for this development is estimated to be in
the one to two million dollar range.
REFERENCES
1 Heat Pipe Central Solar Receiver, Dynatherm Re-
port DTM-79-6, April 1979, under DOE Contract
EY-76-C-02-2839.
2 Conceptual Design of an Open-Cycle Air Brayton
Receiver, Dynatherm Report DTM-79-1, January
1979, under Jet Propulsion Lab. Contract 955135.
3 W. E. Zimmerman (General Electric) and J. W.
Stearns (JPL), Heat Pipe Operating Reliability for
the Dish-Stirling Solar eceiuer, November 15,1978.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 125 -137
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
125
Selective Absorbant Surfaces for High Temperature Solar Collectors*
P. BEUCHERIE
Chemistry Division, JRC-ISPRA of the European Communities, Ispra, Varese (Italy)
CONTENTS
1. Introduction
2. Definition of the selective surface
3. Thermo-optical characterisation of a selec-
tive surface
4. Measurement of the radiative properties of
selective surfaces
4.1 Measurement of the solar absorption fac-
tor
Measurement of the total hemispherical
emissivity factor
Procedures for making selective surfaces
Intrinsically selective materials
Absorber-reflector tandem stacks
Interference stacks of alternating dielec-
trics and metals
Dispersion of metal droplets 'in a dielec-
tric matrix (diffraction phenomena)
Textural effects, surface morphology
4.2.
5.1.
5.2.
5.3.
5.4.
5.5.
6. Conclusion
1. INTRODUCTION
Nowadays, the recovery of solar energy
mainly follows two clearly defined paths: on
the one hand, direct conversion of solar energy
into electricity, using photovoltaic cells as the
means of transformation; and, on the other,
utilisation of the heat trapped by solar collec-
tors (i.e. thermodynamic conversion) either as
such for heating purposes, or to generate steam
for the indirect production of electricity.
It is the latter method of energy recovery,
in the form of heat, that conditions the design
*Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 - 7, 1979.
of future photoheliothermal plants, whose
yields have to be improved by optimising the
main components (optical system, collectors,
storage, thermal machinery, etc.).
The thermal system of such a plant is made
up of:
radiation receivers, in which a suitable
thermal fluid is heated by exchange with a
solar radiation-absorbant surface;
a thermodynamic machine which converts
the energy stored in the fluid into mechanical
power (e.g. a turbine).
The real efficiency of such, a cycle, accord-
ing to the second law of thermodynamics,
although always lower than the Carnot effi-
ciency, increases with the temperature of the
heat source T
c
:
_ T
c
-T
t
V real **= V Carnot ~~ ~
According to the theory, the plant's overall
efficiency passes through a maximum value
for an optimal collector temperature. This
maximum value increases with the concentra-
tion factor.
Thus the efficiency of the photothermal
conversion of solar energy depends to a great
extent on the temperature of the collector
system.
It is worth examining the two following
cases.
At temperatures, lower than about 150 C,
plane collectors can collect all the solar radia-
tion. These collectors consist mainly of a black
surface, set at a suitable angle to the incident
solar flux. They are fitted with a transparent
cover and appropriate insulation; the transfer
fluid is generally water, but air is also often
used.
A cover, opaque to infra-red radiation,
enables the absorber's temperature to be in-
creased by the greenhouse effect. The collec-
tors are easy to build and have numerous
applications (water and house heating, etc.).
126
They can also collect both direct and diffuse
radiation, which means that they hold out
attractive prospects in geographical areas sub
ject to heavy cloud cover.
To reach higher temperatures, that is, medi
um temperatures of about 300 C, as well as
high temperatures of 500 600 C, the rela
tively weak energy density of solar radiation
has to be increased by concentrating it artifi
cially from 20 to 1000. It must be noted that,
in this case, an absorbant surface brought to
high temperature will have considerable con
duction and convection losses (roughly pro
portional to the temperature), but the main
losses will be due to reemission in the infra
red radiation.
The thermal losses by radiation are propor
tional to T
4
in accordance with the Stefan
Boltzmann law:
=
4
with = 5.6696 X IO
8
W m
2
"
4
.
Thus the photothermal conversion of solar
energy appears to represent a basic conflict
between the Carnot principle and the energy
losses of the system. As a result, to maximise
the net conversion efficiency we must simul
taneously raise the temperatures and minimise
the heat losses, especially those radiation losses
that are difficult to control.
2. DEFINITION OF THE SELECTIVE SURFACE
In a perfect solar collector we should like
to see all the solar energy received trapped, and
at the same time the radiated infrared thermal
energy escaping from the hot parts of the col
lector reduced to a minimum. This leads to
examination of the optical properties of the
absorbant surface, which vary from one region
of the spectrum to another and whose effects
are called selectivity.
From the energy distribution of the solar
spectrum at sea level and from the energy
radiated by a surface heated to different tem
peratures (Fig. 1), calculated from Planck's
law, which gives us the distribution of the flux
radiated by a black body as a function of the
temperature and the wavelength :
M
x
= CiX
5
[exp (C
2
/\T) l ] "
1

= spectral exitance in W m
2
C
x
= first radiation constant = 3.7418 X 10~
16
Wm~
2
E 10
s
I
0.1

C500*
1
i
. I
1
}
I
\ 850

r
\ 650
: 1 ., 450
'
io
[\]
Fig. 1. Spectral profile of solar radiation and black
body radiant exitance.
C
2
= second radiation constant = 1.4388 X
10"
2
m
it can be seen that the solar radiation reaching
the surface is nearly all contained in a wave
length range of 0.3 to 2 , with a maximum
'peak' at about 0.5 .
The thermal energy reemitted by the sur
face is situated in the infrared at wavelengths
ranging from 2 to 40 , the ordinates of the
isothermic curve maxima shifting towards
shorter and shorter wavelengths as the tem
perature increases.
This agrees with Wien's shift law, obtained
by thermodynamic reasoning, which indicates
that for each isotherm of the black body the
product of X
max
and is constant:
^max^~ C
2897.81 0.6 Mm
This means that at an ambient of 300 the
'peak' of the energy emitted by the black body
has a wavelength of about 10 m, while at
600 the energy 'peak'is slightly below 5
(Table 1).
An ideal absorbant surface is one that ab
sorbs all the energy emitted by the solar radia
tion, i.e., whose absorption coefficient or
absorbancy a would be equal to unity for a
wavelength between about 0.3 and 2 , while
the energy reemitted by radiation would be
nil, i.e. theemittance e would be close to zero.
A surface with such properties is defined as
spectrally selective.
The wavelength at which the incident solar
energy spectrum cuts the spectrum of the re
127
TABLE 1
Solar AMO
Solar AM 2
300
450
550
750
1000
Energy radiated
Total
(Wm
2
)
1360
755
460
2300
5100
17500
55000
% >2
6.6
1.2
100
99.9
99.9
98.7
93
Peak
(/um)
0.48
0.50
9.6
6.4
5.2
3.9
2.9
emitted thermal energy corresponds to the
optimum frequency at which the material
should change its radiative properties. This
cutoff wavelength varies with the temperature
and the concentration factor. It may be noted
that the overlap area of these curves becomes
considerable if the working temperature ex
ceeds 600 C.
An ideal selective surface is thus totally
absorbant or 'black' for wavelengths less than
X
c
and totally reflective or 'white' for wave
lengths greater than X
c
. In other words, it is a
bad solar radiation reflector for < X
c
but a
good infrared reflector for > X
c
.
In practice no real surface meets these
requirements perfectly, but the attempt will
be made to get somewhere near them and to
optimise solar collectors by developing selec
tive absorbant surfaces with high absorption
coefficients (up to 0.95) and, at the same time,
low emission coefficients of e < 0.2.
3. THERMOOPTICAL CHARACTERISATION OF
A SELECTIVE SURFACE
The ability of a surface to absorb or emit
radiated energy is expressed by two main
factors according to which a real selective sur
face may be defined :
(1) the absorption f actor (solar absorption
coefficient or solar radiation absorbancy) and
(2) the total hemispherical emission factor
e (coefficient of thermal emissivity in the infra
red of the surface at its working temperature).
Absorption factor:
a(X)C
s
(X)d\
o
C
s
(X)d\
o
Total hemispherical emission factor:
energy flux emitted/unit surface area
at temp.
energy flux emitted /unit surface area
of black body at same temp.
e(\,T)M
0
(\,T)dX
o
oo

0
(,)
in which () is the spectral absorption coef
ficient of the surface, C
S
(X) the monochromatic
solar radiance (solar constant), e(X,T) the
spectral emissivity coefficient, and M
0
(X,T)
the spectral emittance of the black body at a
temperature ().
One parameter that gives a measure of the
selectivity is the ratio a/e, which varies with
the temperature and the wavelength.
This determines the equilibrium tempera
ture attainable by the absorbant surface of a
solar collector that has no losses by conduc
tion or convection but only by radiation.
Thus, the thermal balance between the
energy received from the sun, which the col
lector absorbs, and the energy that it loses at
the same surface by radiation is expressed at
equilibrium by
aSC
s
= eSaT*
a C. \
1
'
4
\ e 4/
=
absorbed energy flux
incident energy flux
where is in K, C
s
is the solar constant, S the
surface area, and a the StefanBoltzmann
constant, 5.67 X 10"
8
W m
2
K
_1
.
The technical performance of a surface is
thus conditioned by the individual values of
and e.
A classification of the surfaces as a function
of these parameters (as laid down by Heller
[1]) is given in Fig. 2.
128
S 0.5
Selective Bleck
(Solar Absorber I
Bulk MetalsIT"
lUnpolished)!
Sandblasted Met al s
And
Conversion Coatings
Black
Paints
On Polished Met al s
_l I I I l _ _
Whi t e Paints
Second Surface
Mi rrors. Met al l i zed
Poly mers
0 0.5 1.0
Hemispherical total emi ttance
Fig. 2. Range of a and e covered by available coatings
and surfaces.
4. MEASUREMENT OF THE RADIATIVE PRO
PERTIES OF SELECTIVE SURFACES
The measurement of radiative properties is
of great i mport ance, because determination of
t he parameters a and e is useful for comparing
t he quality and relative efficiency of different
surfaces at different working temperatures.
When a body is irradiated, some of t he ir
radiating energy is reflected, some absorbed,
and some transmitted.
The incident flux 0 is thus broken down
into reflected flux
r
, absorbed flux
a
, and
transmitted flux
t
, so t hat
i = r + a
+
0t
the reflectance being t he ratio of t he reflected
flux t o t he incident flux,
r = 0
r
/0i
t he absorbance being t he ratio of t he absorbed
flux t o t he incident flux,
= 0a/0i
and t he transmittance t being t he ratio of t he
transmitted flux t o t he incident flux,
t = 0t/0i
If we divide t he previous equation by 0, we
have
1 = r + a +
For an opaque material t hat does not transmit,
r + a = 1 since t = 0
Ki rchhoffs law establishes t hat for the same
wavelength t he absorbancy is equal t o the
emission coefficient:
= e
Thus, for an opaque material,
r + e. = 1
It may be seen t hat t he thermoradiative
properties of an opaque body are completely
described either by the reflectance or t he
emissivity :
e = a = 1 r
The absorption coefficient (absorptance)
and t he emissivity are usually calculated from
reflection measurements made by a spectro
phot omet er. The need t o cover a fairly wide
range of wavelengths means t hat t wo spectro
phot omet ers are necessary: one for t he solar
reflection in t he visible and near infrared, and
one for t he reflection in t he thermal infrared.
Calorimeters are also widely used t o determine
e at high temperatures. In fact, since a reduc
tion in reflectance occurs for many surfaces
when t he temperature rises (e increases with
the t emperat ure), it is better t o measure a
selective surface coating at its working tem
perature.
4.1. Measurement of the solar absorption fac
tor
This factor, as previously defined, may be
written by introducing the monochromat i c
reflection factor r(X). Since

= 1

,
(l-r
k
)C.(k)d\
a =
C
s
(\)d\
The monochromat i c reflection factor is usual-
ly measured with a spectrometer in which a
monochromat i c radiation beam falls upon the
sample, and t he quantity reflected is compared
with t hat of a standard surface.
Since many materials, and selective surfaces
in particular, are anisotropic as far as angular
reflectance distribution is concerned, an in-
tegrating sphere has t o be used t o minimise
t he risks of errors in calculating t he total hemi-
129
spherical reflectance. In this type of measure
ment, the energy of the solar spectrum in the
ultraviolet and the infrared is not always
taken into account by such an apparatus,
which only covers a limited part of the spec
trum (e.g., 0. 302. 5 jum).
4.2. Measurement of the total hemispherical
emissivity factor
This is usually determined by a calorimetrie
measurement, and is based on the equation
dT
MC = eSa(T
4
T )
di
1000W Xe Lamp
Collimator
Cooling Coils
Vacuum Chamber
Thermocouples
Recorder
Sample
Suspension
^m "
Fig. 3. Calorimetrie determination of the optical pro
perties.
The sample with mass M and specific heat C,
thermally insulated in a vacuum chamber at
ambient temperature T
a
, increases in tempera
ture when it is exposed to real or simulated
(xenon arclamp) solar radiation. The heat
increase curve = /"(time) is recorded. After
a time, the length of which depends on the
emissivity factor and absorption of the sample,
the latter attains a temperature balance (tem
perature limit T
e
). The sample is then allowed
to cool to the ambient temperature of the
vacuum chamber, the heat decrease curve being
recorded as a function of time: T = /(time).
Knowing MC, the temperature limit, and the
heating and cooling rates dt/, it is possible
to deduce e.
The main sources of error of such a method
are:
accurate measurement of the temperatures,
Solar flux
Solar f l ux
~antireflection coating
^semiconductor lay er
metal reflective film IR
thermal IR tlux
Substrate material
TANDEM STACKS of
absorber refl ector
Solar flux
/ ^^metal particles
V^ ^" " ^. di e l e c t r i c matrix
determination of the heating and cooling
rates,
the specific heat of the sample and its varia
tion with temperature,
various thermal losses.
A precise description of the method is given
in ref. 2.
Figure 3 is a diagram of the apparatus con
structed in our laboratories. The sample is
heated by a 1000 W xenon arc lamp whose
spectral distribution is approximately that of
solar radiation, giving a radiation intensity on
the sample of approximately three suns.
5. PROCEDURES FOR MAKING SELECTIVE SUR
FACES
Different types of selective surface have
been developed in the last 20 years, based on
dielectric lay er 2
semitransparent metal film
dielectric lay er 1
reflective metal film
(opaque)
thermal IR flux
Substrate material
INTERFERENCE STACKS of
alternating dielectrics and met al s
Solar flux
surface roughness,
Solar flux
Substrate material
SCATTERING FILMS
Fig. 4. Practical absorber coatings.
Substrate material
" TEXTURAL" ef f ect s
130
^


ih

<
\

Cu
Ag
Au
I
\
sY
" X
Ni
I 1 1
0.3 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10
Wavel ength [/ i m]
Fig. 5. Specular reflectance curve for low melting
point metal films.
0.3 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 6.0 8 10
Wavelength [/ i m]
Fig. 6. Specular reflectance curve for high melting
point metal films and hafnium carbide.
the principal physical phenomena that may
lead to optical selectivity.
They may be grouped according to how they
work and are represented schematically in Fig.
4:
intrinsically selective materials,
absorberreflector tandem (tandem stack
of a semiconductor overlying a reflector),
interference stacks of alternating dielectrics
and metals,
dispersion of metal droplets in a metal or
dielectric matrix (diffraction phenomena),
textural effects, surface morphology.
5.1. Intrinsically selective materials
Many polished metals and metals thermally
deposited on smooth or polished surfaces al
ready have natural selectivity, but their spec
tral selectivity is not sufficient for them to be
used directly.
They generally have high infrared reflec
tivity, but also sometimes significant reflec
tivity in the solar spectrum. The following
Figures give the specular reflectance curve of
some metal films with a low melting point
(Fig. 5) and a high melting point (Fig. 6) which
are most used in solar energy.
In general, the reflective power of metals
and alloys increases with the wavelength and
tends towards a high value (95 98%) in the
medium infrared.
For example, a stainless steel has an absorp
tion factor of about 45% and a very weak
emission in the IR of a few %, i.e. a low reflec
tion factor in this area. It is therefore already
slightly selective.
This selective feature may be further in
creased by heataided oxidation, with the
formation of an oxide layer less than 1 Mm
thick. This is valid for several alloys, especially
18/8 stainless steels.
The assumption of a good reflectivity for
longer wavelengths is theoretically borne out
by a formula established by Drude from Max
well's electromagnetic theory of light:
e
x
= 0.365
1/2
0 . 0 6 6 7 +

where is the wavelength,

the monochro
matic emittance, and r
e
is the specific electrical
resistivity.
The formula may also be written for a metal
if
_ _ - T / 2 7 3
' e ~~' e 2 7 3
r
e273 being the specific electrical resistivity at
273 K:
/ \
1/ 2
a
x
= e
x
= 0.0221(r
e273
)
1
/
2
(-J -
0.000244r
e273


From this equation it may be seen that
e
x
varies inversely to
1/2
and proportionally
to
1
'
2
,
e
K
in electrically highly conducting metals
(Ag, Cu, Al) is weak because of their high
reflection factor.
Drude 's formula agrees fairly well in practice
for longer wavelengths, but not too well in the
visible and ultraviolet range [3].
The variation in emissivity as a function of
temperature (Fig. 7) shows an increase in e
when the temperature rises. This confirms the
need to measure a selective surface coating at
its working temperature. The selectivity a/e,
measured at ambient temperature, decreases
when the temperature rises.
131
\ Mo
' 1 Ni
/ I P t
' ^ | T u
TABLE 2
(Al
Izn
Cu
Ag
Au
0.12
0.10
u
008


i
6
0.04
0.02
0
0 200 4 00 600 800
Temperature 'C
Fig. 7. Variation of emittance with temperature.
Experiment has shown certain metallic com
pounds, especially the nitrides or carbides of
certain transition metals (e.g. titanium nitride),
to have suitable reflection curves. The curve
for hafnium carbide is given in Fig. 6. The
high melting point of these materials and their
relative chemical inertia make them significant
for hightemperature selective absorbant sur
faces.
5.2. Absorberreflector tandem stacks
The absorbant surface is created by the
successive deposition of two materials.
A thin layer of a material that absorbs solar
radiation, although transparent in the infrared,
is deposited on a reflecting material in the infra
red (see diagram in Fig. 4). The absorbant mate
rial is a semiconductor, such as an oxide or a
sulphide. Such research has been done on lead,
silicon and germanium sulphides as solar ab
sorbers. A particularly striking property of all
semiconductors is their capacity to allow the
passage of light of longer wavelengths while,
on the contrary, strongly absorbing that of a
short wavelength.
The electronic structure of semiconductors
only allows radiation to be absorbed if the
energy of the photons is sufficiently high to
enable the electrons to pass the band gap to
transfer themselves from the valence to the
conduction band.
The threshold wavelength below which the
radiation absorption begins is deduced from
the equation
_ he _ 1.24
K
~Y
g
~ E
g
(eV)
where h is Planck's constant, c is the speed of
light, and E
e
is the width of the band gap.
Semiconductor
Si
Ge
Se
Te
CdS
PbS
PbSe
PbTe
Band gaps
1.15
0.74
1.55
0.34
2.42
0.37
0.27
0.30
(eV) X
s
(/im)
1.08
1.68
0.80
3.65
0.51
3.37
4.62
4.14
Table 2 gives the values of X
s
for some semi
conductors. Thus semiconductors suitable for
use as a coating material will have an energy
gap of between 0.5 eV (X
s
= 2.5 ) and 1.26
eV (X
s
= 1 ), as in the case of silicon and
germanium.
The only complication linked with the use
of semiconductors is the considerable reflec
tive power of the semiconducting layer, which
generally has a high refractive index value;
losses by reflection, therefore, become very
significant.
For the air/material interface, the reflective
power (reflectance) for normal incidence is
expressed by
. 1
R
\l + n)
where R is the reflectance and the refractive
index of the semiconductor. For example, for
Si. (n s 4) R s 40%, i.e. 40% of the energy
received is reflected and lost.
An antireflecting coating is applied to re
duce these losses without substantially reduc
ing the solar transmission. A material suitable
for this function must have a gradually decreas
ing optical density, obtained by the simulta
neous deposition of layers of material with
different refractive indices.
A simple way is to add, by evaporation, a
coating whose thickness must be one quarter
of the wavelength of the light and have a re
fraction index equal to the square root of the
support material index (Table 3).
The simplest of the tandem stacks is ob
tained by modifying the surface of the sub
strate material, e.g. by sulphuration, or more
simply surface oxidation by heating to a high
temperature. A NiCr 18/8 stainless steel heated
in air at 400 C forms an oxide layer that is
red in appearance; the absorption factor thus
132
TABLE 3
Material
Refractive
index
Lithium fluoride
Cryolite
Magnesium fluoride
Silicon oxides
Aluminium oxide
Neodymium oxide
Zirconium oxide
Cerium oxide
Titanium oxide
Zinc sulphide
LiF
Na
3
Al F
6
MgF
2
SiO
SiC2
A1203
Nd
2
0
3
Zr 0
2
Ce0
2
Ti 0
2
ZnS
1.29
1.34
1.38
1.85
1.45
1.7
1.95
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.3
changes from 45% to about 60%. Treatment
at 600 C in air gives a bluish surface, and the
absorption factor then jumps to 75%. These
treatments do not affect the reflection factor
IR, which remains high.
Titanium treated with heat for 300 hours
at 450 C forms a natural oxide layer that
produces moderate selectivity.
Likewise we have:
oxides of Cu (Cu0
2
is a semiconductor)
[4],
black nickel (NiS/ZnS on a substrate of Ni)
[5],
black chrome (Cr oxide on a substrate of
Cu) [6].
The fact that these are surfaces to which
deposits can easily be applied, and that the
film's thickness is not a critical factor deter
mining selectivity, means that they are fairly
cheap. Their drawback is their fragility and
lack of stability, even at as low a temperature
as 200 C, owing to their slow reaction with
the oxygen in the air.
A second type of tandem has been made by
using as an absorbant coating an intrinsically
semiconducting material (Si, G'e) deposited by
chemical vapour decomposition (CVD) [7].
Figure 8 compares some results obtained with
silicon. Curve A is the simplest form, proposed
by Edwards and coworkers in 1961, where
the silicon (thickness 0.5 ) is deposited on
a substrate of aluminium. The reflectance in
the visible radiation is limited to that of mas
sive Si (curve B). Curve C is that of a commer
cial Si solar cell (IRC Company), in which Si
is fixed on a substrate of Ni. The reflectance
from over 5 is due to the transparency of
Si, which allows the nickel to show through.
g 60 -
d 20
Si
Al
\
icon over
uminum (S
^
^"
^V Silicon /Germani urr
i ' Al l / ^ S i l v e r ( Si / GeAg)
/ IRC solar cel i >
/ Silicon over Ni ckel /
J J (si*Nii -y
/Bul k Silicon
/
~Y

over Silver
'
1

1
0.3 0.5 1.0 2.0 3.0 5.0 10.0 20.0
Wavelength [ itm ]
Fig. 8. Basic curves for silicon tandem stacks.
Curve D is theoretical. It is that of an almost
ideal selective absorber proposed by Sraphin
in 1974 [ 8] . The base curve is that of the
silver, the semiconducting layer silicon/ger-
manium, and the antireflecting layer is made
up of silicon nitride and silicon oxide (Si
3
N
4
/
Si0
2
).
5.3. Interference stacks of alternating dielec-
trics and metals
In traditional optics, filters are special de-
vices used to vary the intensity or the spectral
distribution of radiation emitted by a light
source. Both their theory and their practical
design are relevant to the creation of selective
absorbant surfaces.
An interference filter is made up of an
alternating succession of layers of two sub-
stances of suitable thickness, but with very
different refractive indices. Owing to the fact
that interference effects between high reflec-
tance areas alternate with those of areas of
high transmittance, a spectrally selective multi-
layer is obtained. A particularly interesting
type of interference selector is that developed
by Fabry-Perot, which consists of two metal
mirrors separated by an intermediate non-
absorbant (dielectric) layer.
The thickness of this intermediate layer
determines the spectral position of the band
transmitted and the spectral range eliminated.
The multiplicity of passages in the dielectric
layer between two reflecting surfaces, one of
which (the upper surface) is partially transpar-
ent, creates the effect of selectivity. Particular
care must be taken in the choice of optical
constants, as well as the thickness of the di-
electric, to determine the spectral zone suitable
for producing the desired application profile.
133
The executive design for a stack of four
layers is shown roughly in Fig. 4. The base
layer is an opaque metal that strongly reflects
IR, the purpose of which is to reduce the emit
tance of the substrate.
The dielectric layer does not need to possess
intrinsic absorbancy of the solar radiation;
the very thin upper, transparent metal layer
(~50 ) has optical properties that are very
different from those of solid metal, and, final
ly, an antireflective layer completes the stack.
As an example of application, we would
mention a stack proposed by Hass [9], made
up of an opaque layer of aluminium on the
substrate, Si 0
2
as the dielectric, a semitrans
parent chrome layer and, lastly, Si0
2
as the
antireflective.
The curve in Fig. 9 is the spectral reflectance
of a stack developed for space applications at
high temperatures that has shown good ther
mal stability. Designed under the name of
A.M.A. [10], the Al
2
0
3
MoAl
2
03 stack is
deposited on a molybdenum substrate by
evaporation under vacuum and cathodic sput
tering, and has a solar absorbance of 85%, an
IR emittance of 22% at 1000 C, and 11% at
500 C.
For terrestrial applications for which the
Mo substrate is too expensive, stainless steel is
envisaged with a first opaque layer of Mo of
300 600 nm.
Because of the strong oxidation of molyb
denum in air, this type of stack has mainly
found uses under vacuum.
In the manufacture of interference filters
problems crop up with regard to the construc
tion of multilayers, which are generally ex
pensive since they call for delicate techniques
(evaporation, sputtering) if they are to be
1.0 2.0 3.0
Wavelength [ ]
5.0
Fig. 9. Spectral reflectance of an A.M.A. coating on
Mo.
produced on large surfaces and on an industrial
scale. They can therefore only be justified in
expensive applications.
Apart from the cost the surface durability
factor is generally compromised by interlayer
diffusion, evaporation at high temperatures,
and electrochemical corrosion owing to the
voltaic effect of metals of different kinds in
an oxidising or humid atmosphere.
To solve these difficulties various solutions
have been sought, the principal drawback of
which is the considerable complexity of the
layers that make up the stack.
An attempt has been made to stabilise the
interdiffusion of the various layers by putting
a barrier between them. Chromium oxide Cr0
3
has been found to be an excellent stopping
layer for different interfaces. Figure 10 is the
final and most complex example of a multi
layer system in its practical application.
SiO.
Si 3N,
Si
:,2o3
L *
A
Cr203
a
a
Nonref l ect i ng lay ers
lay er
t
Bulk absorber
Di ffusi on barrit
Agtt^^^"*WM^I*!liVMi
,
x*>>* 'S***>n> ^ Refl ecti ve met al film
Di f f usi on barrier
St ai nl ess st eel substrate
Fig. 10. Schematic crosssection of a fully evolved
stack selective absorber.
5.4. Dispersion of metal droplets in a dielectric
matrix (diffraction phenomena)
Films made up of fine metallic particles
dispersed in an isolating matrix have the optical
properties of an absorbant selective surface.
The dimensions of these particles must be
much smaller than the wavelength of the solar
radiation, if the surface is, by the resonance
effect, to have thermooptic properties signif
icantly different from those of a solid homoge
neous material. The composite granular film
of an immiscible conducting metal in an in
sulator is obtained in suitable ratio by evapora
tion or by simultaneous cathodic sputtering.
Studies made by Cohen et al. [11] have
shown that the optical constants of granular
metals can be explained in detail by the
theories of Maxwell Garnett.
For spherical particles
e + 2e
a
= X
e
b
+ 2e
a
134
in which = volume fraction occupied by the
metal particles, e
a
= dielectric constant of the
insulator matrix, e
b
= dielectric constant of
the metal, and e = dielectric constant of the
granular film.
H. G. Graighead et al. [12] working with
two independently controlled sources, have
produced films with a variable concentration
profile. They have studied the composite
materials: Ni/Al
2
0
3
, V/Si0
2
, V/A1
2
0
3
, Fe/
A1
2
0
3
and Fe/MgO.
The composite Ni/Al
2
0
3
, for approximately
spherical Ni particles (diameter ~10 nm) with
a volume fraction < 0.2, deposited with
decreasing concentration in a matrix of amor
phous aluminium oxide, produced a good
selective surface (a = 0.94, e = 0.1) (see Fig.
11), stable up to 100 hours in air at 500 C.
On the same principle, J. I. Gittleman [13]
has studied the dispersion of semiconducting
grains in an insulator of low dielectric constant.
He has shown that granular semiconductors
are a type of material that is capable of ef
ficient absorption of solar energy (60% more
efficient than silicon). Reflectivity measure
ments for granular films of germanium (35%
by volume in A1
2
0
3
) on aluminium prepared
by sputtering agree closely with the theory.
To prepare such surfaces some materials
problems have to be solved, the most impor
tant of which is to find an insulator that does
not react with the semiconductor at high
temperatures.
5.6. Textural effects, surface morphology
With selective surfaces of this type use is
made of the effect of surface texture on the
optical characteristics of the surface. The great
advantage of this method is that it makes
possible the preparation of spectrally selective
surfaces from spectrally unselective materials.
The coefficient of solar absorption is increased
by multiple reflections between surface irreg
ularities of suitable size and shape.
The dimensions of the defects created must
be carefully checked to achieve real destruction
between different wavelengths.
The microporosities act as blackbody
cavities for shortwavelength solar radiation
( < 2 ) when, for longer wavelengths
(infrared, 2 40 ) that are greater than the
dimensions of the roughness, the surface
appears smoothly polished and highly reflec
tive in this area.
One approach to the problem is to produce
microporosities, grooves, or other textural
faults on the surface of the metal.
A sandblasted surface that has lost its
mirror polish already fits into this category of
surfaces with a textural effect. There is a con
siderable range of surface structures that offer
possibilities of second or multiple reflection.
A simple V groove on a plane surface gives this
result for a certain angle of incidence of solar
rays [14]. Figure 12 shows several examples
of applications, depending on the opening
angle of the V. The best shape is achieved with
a curved profile called a 'Gothic Vee', obtained
by taking the crest of the groove as the centre
of the curve of the opposite face. This con
struction ensures double reflection for all the
rays, even very oblique ones.
Fig. 12. Reflectivity from any angle of incidence for
surface structures offering a second reflection possi
bility.
Wavel ength [ ]
Fig. 11. Reflectivity vs. wavelength for graded Ni/
A1
2
0
3
film on a silver metal/insulator composite film.
Optical theories on meshes and waveguides
have been advanced by C. M. Horwitz [15]
for the development of a new selective surface,
effective because of its structure.
S. H. A. van Wakeren [16] discusses a
metallic layer (layer of aluminium on an
absorbant substrate) which must be pierced
by laser, ion beams, and electron beams with
as many holes as possible (10
8
holes per cm
2
,
hole diameter 1 , depth 10 ). In this
arrangement, each hole behaves as a waveguide
in which only the electromagnetic waves whose
135
wavelength is smaller than 1.7 times the diam
eter of the hole can be propagated, while the
longer waves are reflected.
The length/diameter ratio of the guide is
also significant for the damping of the waves
transmitted in the guide. The sun's rays pene
trate this structure when the infrared emitted
by the collector cannot escape and is reflected.
The difficulty in manufacturing such sur
faces lies in making a metallic film with such a
density of holes.
An important contribution to the construc
tion of textured surfaces has been made by
J. J. Cuomo et al. of the IBM laboratories
[17]. They write: ". . . We suggest that, rather
than absorb solar light directly using intrin
sically highly absorptive (in the solar wave
lengths) material for the surface, a microstruc
ture similar in geometry to an acoustic anechoic
surface be used. The surface would consist of
a dense forest of aligned needles whose diam
eters are of the order of visible wavelengths.
The spacing between needles is several wave
lengths. This surface would absorb with high
efficiency because of multiple reflections as
the incident photons penetrate the needle
maze (this is similar to the acoustic absorption
by anechoic walls). Since absorption is domi
nated by geometric factors, the surface of the
structure can be made of a material which
emits poorly in the infrared (blackbody tem
perature of 550 C).
We hypothesize that such a material would
have an absorptivity of unity for most wave
lengths smaller than the needle spacing over a
narrow incident cone about the needle direc
tion.
However, this high absorption cone, which
will have high emissivity, will not greatly affect
the total hemispherical emissivity because of
its small solid angle. If the surface is made of
a metal with low emissivity the total hemi
spherical emissivity may not significantly in
crease above the normal emissivity of the
metal.
We have fabricated such an absorber using
tungsten single crystal whiskers (or dendrites)
grown on a variety of substrates ...".
Such a surface can be produced by reducing
tungsten hexafluoride (WF
6
) in hydrogen,
which deposits by crystalline growth on a sub
strate of sapphire, tungsten or stainless steel a
double dendritic (stalagmite) structure, mainly
of two dimensions: 10 high, 5 apart,
and for the largest dendrites 40 60 high
and 40 60 apart. It is said that 96% of
the solar spectrum is trapped and that mea
sured emissivity at 550 C is only 0.26.
The process of vapourphase chemical de
composition employed is generally rather
expensive because of the cost of the basic
material (WF
6
), the low efficiency of the
decomposition reaction, and the need to bring
the substrate to a high temperature, thus
limiting the choice of substrate and its dimen
sions.
A structural topology that meets the selec
tivity requirements may be created not only
by the formation of dendrites, but also by the
microroughness of a surface made up of a large
number of crystallites formed by the random
growth of numerous monocrystals. This dis
ordered monocrystalline formation is obtained
by highflux evaporation of a metal under
vacuum.
It is this type of surface that we are develop
ing at Ispra, and we shall be mentioning later
on the main characteristics for metals such as
nickel, chrome, and stainless steel, because of
their excellent resistance to dry oxidation at
high temperatures [18].
The size and the shape of the crystallites
are influenced by all the operating conditions,
particularly the deposition rate. A high inci
dent vapour flux favours the formation of
grains and encourages growth in various crys
tallographic directions. The increase in the
condensation rate leads to the appearance of
grains of different shapes and to a large num
ber of twin crystals.
The vapour pressure of Ni at 2000 C is
about 400 Pa, corresponding to an evaporation
speed under vacuum of 0.028 g cm
2
s"
1
. The
deposit formation speed is about 1 per
minute. The thickness of the layer on a sub
strate of stainless steel 18/8 (304 AISI) is
about 100 .
The microphotographs of these surfaces
taken by a scanning electron microscope show
the morphology of the deposits obtained for
nickel (Fig. 13), chrome (Fig. 14), and stain
less steel (Fig. 15).
Table 4 compares the optical properties of
the microrough nickel surfaces obtained by
evaporation with those of coldrolled nickel
and sandblasted nickel.
136
Fig. 13. Nickel surface produced by high-rate vapour
deposition (X 2360).
wt
l\
&K
ma*
Fig. 14. Chromium surface produced by highrate
vapour deposition (X6035).
Figure 16 shows the spectral selectivity of
these different Ni surfaces, which show good
a/e selectivity, of about 8, for surfaces ob
tained at a high evaporation rate.
The surfaces, which are made relatively
simply, have good mechanical resistance, high
resistance to autodiffusion, and good stability
Fig. 15. Stainless steel (AISI 304) surface produced
by highrate vapour deposition (x 2700).
TABLE 4
Optical properties of different surface structures of Ni
Nature of Ref.
surface sample
a
5 0 0 n m
e
h e m. l 5 0 "C
Microporous
surface
Coldrolled
surface
Sandblasted
surface
121
123
132
167
169
171
172
173
174
No. 1
No. 2
No. 3
No. 4
0.69
0.69
0.69
0.59
0.64
0.61
0.64
0.67
0.52
0.35
0.35
0.70
0.70
0.11
0.16
0.17
0.10
0.11
0.07
0.09
0.15
0.11
0.08
0.06
0.27
0.35
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
sj
I
P 169
169
0 B hr SOO
0 5 hr 5 0 0
' C
c
A
A
;
500 hr s 3 0 0 C Ai r
^ : , I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
^
s
^sNi Hi gh rate vapor
_\ ^
H
Ni ckel . sandblasted

. i i L
v. Ni ckel ,
I
' '
Coldrolle

d
I I
1 1 1 1

i
( 0 27
E.O 12
f . 0 14
f .
300 400 500 1000 1500 2000
Wavel ength [nm]
Fig. 16. Absorption coefficient as a function of the
wavelength of different nickel surfaces.
137
to corrosion. After several weeks of tests at
300 C in air and in a vacuum, there were no
alterations in their optical properties. Con
densation under vacuum of a metallic vapour
is a procedure with a wellknown technology
that enables large surfaces to be treated at
markedly lower cost than is possible with
multilayer systems.
6. CONCLUSION
A practical selective surface must be able to
work for 20 years at temperatures ranging
from 200 to 600 C. An important aspect of
the coatings is their durability, given the con
ditions in which they operate. This stability
over a period of time, at high temperatures,
implies good resistance to thermal shocks,
oxidation, air, ultraviolet radiation, humidity
and handling.
Any change in the structure, or composition,
by diffusion between the layers, loss of adhe
sion on the substrate, or corrosion, leads to a
more or less rapid degradation of the surface,
with consequent alteration or complete disap
pearance of the optical properties.
Another equally important aspect of the
future development of selective surfaces is the
cost of their manufacture. The conventional
ways of making thin layers (evaporation under
vacuum, cathodic sputtering, ionic sputtering,
and chemical deposition in the vapour stage)
are among the processes used, and are more or
less difficult, depending on the nature, number
and complexity of the layers to be produced.
For plane collectors, the cost per unit of
surface area must be very low if they are to be
economically feasible; on the other hand, for
central receivers more costly procedures, as
well as less common materials, may be permis
sible since the cost of the absorber of a con
centration receiver is but a small part of the
total installation costs.
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Temperature Solar Absorber Coating Study, AFML
TR 7 3 8 0 , 1973.
11 R. W. Cohen, G. D. Cody, M. D. Coutts and .
Abeles, Phys. Rev. 8 (1973) 3689.
12 H. G. Graighead and R. A. Buhrman, Optical prop
erties of selectively absorbing metals insulator
composite films, J. Vac. Sci. Technol, 25(1978)
269.
13 J. I. Gittleman, Application of granular semicon
ductor to photo thermal conversion of solar energy,
Appi Phys. Lett., 28 (1975) 370.
14 K. G. T. Hollands, Directional selectivity emittance
and absorptance properties of Vee corrugated
specular surfaces, Solar Energy, 7 (1963) 108.
15 C. M. Horwitz, A new solar selective surface, Opt.
Commun., 11 (1974) 210.
16 J. H. A. van Wakeren and J. Verhoeven Fom,
Proposal for a High Pass Filter by Means of Wave
Guides for Direct Conversion of Solar Energy into
Heat, Instituut voor Atoom en molecuul fysica,
Kruislaan 407, Amsterdam, 1975.
17 J. J. Cuomo, J. F. Ziegler and J. M. Woodall, A
new concept for solar energy thermal conversion,
Appi. Phys. Lett, 26 (1975) 557.
18 A. M. Schneiders and P. Beucherie, Solar absorber
surfaces for high temperature, International Sym
posium on Solar Energy Fundamentals and Ap
plications Izmir, Turkey, August 1979.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 139 150
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
139
Comparison of Heat Transfer Fluids for Use in Solar Thermal Power Stations*
MANFRED BECKER
DFVLR PT/PS, 5000 Cologne 90 (F.R.G.)
SUMMARY
The transport of energy from a radiatively
heated wall into a moving fluid is analysed.
For a qualitative estimation of the heat trans
fer process, a turbulent pipe flow with con
stant addition of heat is adopted. For typical
heat transfer fluids like Na, K, Hitec, thermal
oil, mercury, air, water vapour, hydrogen,
helium, and ammonia, the important thermal
and transport properties are used to show the
volumetric heat capacities pc
p
and the convec
tion coefficients a in terms of the Nusselt
number times the thermal conductivity (Nu ).
CONTENTS
1. Introduction
2. Solar energy transfer
3. Heat transfer considerations
4. Examples from projects
5. Turbulent tube flow with constant heat
addition
6. Thermal and transport properties
7. Fluid evaluation
1. INTRODUCTION
In a solar thermal power station the radi
ative energy is transferred through tube walls
to a heat transfer fluid. For medium tempera
ture application (T
raax
s 200 300 C) this
transfer may take place in distributed collec
tors. High temperatures (T
max
> 500 C) are
achieved by central tower facilities. In both
cases the thermal energy is carried from the
*Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
receiving tubes directly to either a heat ex
changer or a prime mover. The latter drives
the electrical generator. The thermal cycle can
be open or closed; this is a question of fluid
availability, of system simplicity and efficien
cy, and, very important, of price.
The problems concerning the design of the
receiver and heat cycle have been discussed
elsewhere. The topic of this paper concerns
the criteria for the choice of suitable heat
transferring fluids. An analysis of the transport
processes from the inner tube wall to the fluid
and axially within the fluid is given. Thermal
and transport properties of the various charac
teristic heat transfer fluids are presented and
applied to practical compositions and moduli.
Among the fluids considered are the most
prominent representatives of the alkali metals,
namely sodium and potassium, and typical
gases such as air and water vapour.
As practical sources of general information
the conceptual studies by Boeing [1] and
Black and Veatch [2] for largescale commer
cial units with gas as the heat transfer medium
can be used. For certain subjects and boundary
conditions the results from a DFVLR investi
gation [3] on gas receivers are applied. In
connection with sodium as a working fluid
the experiences of Interatom [4] and of the
DFVLR association with the IEACRS Al
mera project are incorporated.
2. SOLAR ENERGY TRANSFER
Figure 1 describes a thermal power station
in a simplified way. This example shows that
120 MW of solar power are needed at the
heliostats to produce, with some gross assump
tions, 20 MW of electrical power. The efficien
cy of radiation, Tj
opt
, between the heliostats
and the receiver tubing is estimated as one
half. The efficiency of thermal transfer, T?
th
, is
taken as onethird.
140
SCHEMATIC FOR THERMAL TOWER POWER STATION
SUN
1
/
PH 120 MW
COMPRESSORgl
77-r 77777-7-
Pm 60MW Pi 20MW
"Topi 0.5 T|ih 0.33
Fig. 1. Simplified setup of a solar power station with
central tower and thermal receiver.
Figure 2 should be of help to imagine the
path of solar energy from the heliostats
through the aperture which is the focal
zone to the absorbing tube wall. The finite
size of the sun and the inability to avoid com
pletely pointing errors result in a focal zone
which has a nonneglectable dimension. To
reduce the backradiation from the tube wall
a cavity solution is often used. This design
implies that the aperture area is small in rela
tion to the absorbing surface. Then, with the
definitions for the areas in Fig. 2, one arrives
at the qualitative geometric relationship
- w
~ F~ ~ 1 ~ ~ hopt I (1)
Here the optical efficiency is defined as T?
opt
=
Pth/Pii, with P
t h
meaning thermal power input
PATH OF SOLAR ENERGY
FOCAL ZONE
I
LH AP 4 LAP W
HELIOSTAT () APERTURE |AP) TUBE WALLW)
A fa
I H
^
Ap A . 4 *
GEOMETRIC RELATIONSHIP
"]Rw
F = Ap
Fig. 2. Relation between total areas of heliostats,
receiver aperture and receiver tube wall.
P
w
. It is clear from this context that small and
light weight effective receiver proportions can
only be achieved by high heat fluxes at the
absorbing wall.
The degree of nonuniformity of the incom
ing radiative flux can be judged by Fig. 3,
which shows for the CRSAlmeria case the
Gaussianlike heat flux distribution at the
aperture plane. This is a schematic presentation
from idealized and realistic heliostatray results
with the 'Helios'computer program for a small
north field. Arbitrary distance units are plotted
around the centre line on a vertical plane for
certain conditions of total power input, tower
height, reference day, and insolation. The
maximum values for the peak heat fluxes at
the centre points of such targets generally fall
around 2 MW/m
2
. Consequently, for steady
load calculations of external receiver concepts,
this is also the maximum value.
1.0
0.8
0.6
q
"max 0.4
0.2
0
0 2 6 8 10
Di st ance Uni t s
Fig. 3. Schematic description of the heat flux distri
bution in the vertical aperture plane of the Almera
tower station from a heliostat north field.
For the design of solar thermal facilities the
above discussion has to be taken into consid
eration and two conclusions can be drawn :
(1) The physical picture of the incoming
heat flux either has to be accepted to take
advantage of the nonuniformity or has to be
changed (e.g. reflection at the inner cavity
wall) to flatten the existing profile.
(2) The compatibility of materials for tubes
and fluids for heat transfer has to be estab
lished with the available heat flux levels, in
cluding the very important nonsteadystate
conditions.
The present paper furnishes some basic in
formation on the capacity of heat transfer
fluids.
HELIOS /
Equinox *
Noon
/ .
if
/
\ finite
. sun shape
i / i d e a l i z e d
^ focusing
\ .different
L ' / f ocal
'\ lengths;
' pointing
' errors
E \
. V
141
3. HEAT TRANSFER CONSIDERATIONS
As shown in Fig. 4 the power P
w
arrives at
the inner wall of the receiver tubes. Here the
fluid absorbs the energy and transfers the
power P
th
. The amount of power transfer and
its efficiency, expressed by the temperature
profile, is determined by the parameters shown
in the lower part of the Figure.
For a general approach the optimum ther
mal cycle efficiency can be calculated by the
Carnot form
*? Carnot ~ 1 ^1 / ^2
(2)
If one assumes constant heat addition, a mean
wall temperature can be calculated arithmeti
cally by
T,+T
2
= + T.
2.W
(3)
When the efficiency of heat transfer to the
tube flow is expressed by


=
^2,w
eqn. (2) can be rewritten as
T w/
7? Carnot
/ 1 . 5 + 1/0
(4)
(5)
Figure 5 shows, for air entering the tube at
803 K, the development of the Carnot effi
ciency with increasing mean wall temperature.
Combination of the content of Figs. 4 and 5
shows a trend to achieve high wall tempera
tures in relation to the fluid inlet temperature
under the condition that the temperature dif
ference between wall T
w
and bulk fluid T
M
RECEIVER TUBE
OUTLET
' INLET
PARAMETERS
FLUID -~ TRANSPORT PROPERTIES
, . , THERMAL PROPERTIES
v, MOTION
R; GEOMETRY
q w ENERGY
Fig. 4. Schema of the receiver tubes, nomenclature
and characteristic parameters.
6 1.0

s
*=~ 0.8
>
LU 0.6
LX.
til


0.2

, = 603
\(f
1

' Ctrnol ~ " 2
.= ^ 2 , . 2 .

T2.W I l
i = 0.83 0,729 0S73
600 800 1000 1200 10 1600 1800
MEAN WALL TEMPERATURE TW.K
300 500 700 900 1100 1300 1500
MEAN WALL TEMPERATURE Tw . C
Fig. 5. Dependence of the Carnot efficiency of the
process along the heated tube portion on mean wall
temperature with three values of the tube heat transfer
efficiency.
produces a large value. (Remark: higher wall
temperatures lead to higher radiation losses.)
For a more detailed look at the process of
energy transfer into the moving fluid, Table 1
should be inspected. On the basis of a fluid
and thermodynamic textbook (e.g. ref. 5), the
picture of transport phenomena is briefly
described. The subjects of transport are mo
mentum, energy and mass. As reasons for a
change the gradients of velocity, temperature
and concentration are given. Finally, the prop
erty coefficients of transport behaviour de
termine the flux densities of momentum, heat
and mass.
Whilst concentration changes only relate to
mixtures and might not be of concern for heat
transfer fluids, the gradients of velocity and
temperature are always the reason and vehicle
for transport phenomena in these fluids.
An analysis of the appropriate convective
heat transfer description has simultaneously
to take the transport of momentum and of
energy into account. The degree of motion
dictates whether heat transfer takes place
mainly by temperature gradient (low velocity
in extreme laminar flow or near the wall) or
exclusively by fluid mixing (high velocity and
turbulent flow).
In the laminar sublayer, energy is trans
ported by heat conduction between adjacent
layers of fluid, momentum by viscous drag.
Figure 6 shows the temperature distribution
near the wall when air is the heat transfer
fluid. The first millimetre represents this sub
layer in which the flow velocity is forced down
to a value of zero at the wall. There the total
heat transfer is adjusted by (dT/dy)
w
.
142
TABLE 1
Transport in fluids
Subject
(Flux)
Reason
(Gradient)
Transport
property
(Coefficient)
Result
(Flux density)
Equation
Momentum
/ kgm \
Velocity
v
x
dy
Dynamic
viscosity
' ( )
v
m s/
Momentum flux
density
(Shear stress)
r i
N S
\
2
\ s m /
Newton


^x, y
dy
Energy
/ kg m
2
\
E
h ~
=J
)
Temperature
dT
dy
Thermal
conductivity
( - )
\ m K /
Heat flux
density
*(-A)
\ m /
Fourier
dT
9y =
dy
Mass
m (kg)
Concentration
dp,
dy
Diffusivity
( - )
\ s /
Mass flux
density
" ( * )
\ s r r T /
Fick
dp,
(P
v
)i,y =
D
U
dy
A w 1
laminar subloy er
only conduction
Dola
, = 4 bar , = 773K
R = 15mm x/R = 681
m = 0.0 2 55 kg/s
i) = 8,24 k W / m !
1060 100 1100 1120 1U0 K 1160
T
Fig. 6. Temperature distribution in the boundary
layer near the wall in turbulent air flow with low,
constant heat addition.
In the transition layer (in Fig. 6 for y be
tween 1 and 5 mm), in addition, more and
more transport occurs by mixing of fluid ele
ments. In the freestream region (in Fig. 6 for
y > 5 mm) almost all of the energy and mo
mentum is transported by the mixing processes
(see refs. 6 and 7).
The energy circumstances mentioned before
can be described by
^ w/ - ^ w Q H w, conducti on ^conv ect i on
q = X(dT/dy)
w
=a(T
w
T
M
)
(6)
The heat transfer from the wall to the fluid
can be facilitated by a very steep temperature
gradient and a moderate thermal conductivity
(e.g. air, Fig. 6), or by an efficient and small
temperature gradient (see eqn. (4) with a large
value of 0) and a high thermal conductivity as
in the case of sodium.
Convection is the joint action of conduction
and fluid mixing by motion. Its coefficient
can be determined from eqn. (6) to be
, (d77dy)
w
a = (7)
W - ' M
If one decides to keep wall and fluid bulk tem
peratures constant and still increase the heat
143
flux density, according to eqn. (7) this can
only be achieved by changing the boundary lay
er. The desired result is a steeper temperature
gradient from which, all other conditions
remaining the same, a steeper velocity gradient
follows. So this increases viscous drag. What is
beneficial from the standpoint of heat transfer,
is detrimental from the standpoint of pressure
loss.
From an engineering aspect all values should
be selected so as to result in an economic
compromise between high heat flux density
(weight efficient) and high pressure loss (ad
ditional parasitic pumping).
The choice of a heat transfer fluid and its
thermal conductivity is very important. For
liquid metals extremely high heat flux densi
ties are feasible. For gases one has to be con
tent with moderate heat fluxes. The possibility
of change in temperature gradient gives a
powerful additional potential to high thermal
conductivity fluids.
4. EXAMPLES FROM PROJECTS
assumption of uniformly applied heat addition,
Fig. 9 shows the temperature development in
the flow field in the axial direction. At a nearly
constant difference between the temperature
of the wall and mean gas temperature, the
convection coefficient is also nearly the same.
Figure 10 represents the opposite case of a
high thermal conductivity fluid in a serpentine
tubing arrangement. The highly nonuniform
temperature distribution of a single pass is
smoothed out by repeated heat transfer pro
cesses.
5. TURBULENT TUBE FLOW WITH CONSTANT
HEAT ADDITION
As a first approximation, the heat flux in
the flow direction is assumed to be uniform
and the single tube performance is considered
to be representative of the energy transport.
In a reasonable design with small pressure loss
and small changes of kinetic energy in relation
to the main contribution, the defining equa
tion is
Figures 7 and 8 are taken from the U.S.
studies (refs. 1 and 2) using gases as heat trans
fer fluids. For realistic nonuniform heat flux
distributions they show the axial and circum
ferential temperature distributions. Here, the
combination of material with a high thermal
conductivity and fluid with a low value leads
to a levelling procedure from the outer to the
inner tube wall. For such cases, with the
AP
x
= mc
p
AT
x
(8)
With the continuity equation m = pvnR
2
, eqn.
(8) can be rewritten as
AP
X
= nR
2
vpc
p
AT
x
in which AP
X
represents the power increase to
be used, nR
2
the geometry, the motion, pc
p
the thermal properties and 7^ the tempera
ture increase from heat addition. The choice
q 220,000 BTU/HRmjBE
164.5 KW/TUBE)
8
l_i L_f_
15 FEET 20
TUBE LENGTH
25 30 '
Fig. 7. Projected Boeing commercial plant receiver tube external and bulk gas temperatures (Figs 8 and 12 of
EPRIER629, 1978).
144
ANALYTIC
EXPERIMENTAL
GAS TEMPERATURE
POSITION ON TUBE CIRCUMFERENCE DEGREES
Fig. 8. Projected Black and Veatch commercial plant receiver circumferential tube temperature distribution for
heat transfer coefficient a = 530 W/m
2
(Fig. 5.3 from EPRIER652, 1978).
Pi
TI
R
q .
m
20 bar
03
1 5 mm
1 1S.24kW/m
0.4178 kg/s
= 10.86 kW/m
Fig. 9. Temperature distribution within turbulent air
flow for uniformly applied heat addition at the inner
tube wall (Fig. 39 of DFVLRIB35171978).
of fluids influences t he power increase by t he
product pCp, which is often called the volu
metric heat capacity. To a certain degree t he
fluid velocity also depends on the kind of
fluid. However, eqn. (8) concerns t he transport
only in the axial direction.
More essential is t he transport in the radial
direction from the wall into the fluid. As was
outlined in eqn. (6) this is
Q/A = q = cc(T
w
T
M
)
The convection coefficient is defined by eqn.
(7). But it is more practical t o use t he defini
tion by t he Nusselt modul us:
= Nu
D
(9)
For a constant difference T
w
T
M
between
t he wall temperature and the mean fluid tem
perature and for a constant t ube diameter, the
kind of fluid clearly influences t he heat trans
fer according t o its Nusselt number Nu and its
thermal conductivity .
The Nusselt number is the product of the
St ant on, Reynolds and Prandtl numbers, or,
in a more general analysis, t he Nusselt number
is expressable by Reynolds and Prandtl num
bers alone plus some changeable exponent s:
Nu = St Re Pr = f[Re" ; Pr
m
]
with
Re = pvD/
and
Pr = CpT?A
(10)
145
600
y 550
E 500
1.50
too
350
300
250
Tube type 5
Tube flowrate V892 Kg/sec
Receiver efficiency factor 0 895
|Tube oufside temperature!
10 20 30 (.0 50 90
100
60 70 60
Effective heat transfer l ength I mi
Fig. 10. Temperature increase along the sodium carrying receiver tubes of the IEACRS Almera plant under
construction; the heat transfer process is repeated several times by the serpentine tube arrangement.
The proportionality can be formulated by
moduli
Pr > 1:
a = f
1
[Re
n
;Pi
m
;\;D
1
]
(11)
Nu =
2ncf

Re Pr
0 2 5
(15)
or by their contents which exhibit the para
meters more clearly:
a=f
2
[D
n

1
;v
n
;p
n
c?;\
1

m
v
m

n
] (12)
where the first term in the brackets represents
the geometry, the second the motion, the third
the thermal properties and the fourth the
transport properties.
Again, a difficulty is encountered in the
value of velocity which depends somehow
on the kind of fluid. Therefore, an approach
in terms of Nusselt numbers is tried. This
results in the following formulations:
Hausen [8] :
with c
f
= /4 = 0.079/Re
0

25
and = 0.109
Nu = 0.0195 Re
0 8 7 5
Pr
0

2 5
and Eckert and Drake [7] from the Lyons
Martinelli analysis for Pr < 1 :
Nu = 7 + 0.025(RePr)
0

8
Nu = 0.037(Re
u

75
180)Pr'
0.42
1 +
( ! ) '
0. 67
Petukhov [9]:
Nu =
RePr/8
(13)
(14)
1.07 + 12.7(| /8)
5
(Pr
0(57
1)
Eckert and Drake [7] from Deissler [10] for
(16)
In the DFVLR investigation [3] on gas
receivers, the compatibility between a slightly
changed Petukhov approach and numerical
results from a finite difference method was
determined. For the purpose of the present
paper, which shows the influence of fluid para
meters over a wide Prandtlnumber range using
a simple method, eqns. (15) and (16) were
chosen. To avoid further complications, the
wall was assumed to be smooth. A more de
tailed investigation, however, would include
the roughness effect and the change of Prandtl
number with the radial position. This can be
taken into account with the analyses of Dip
prey and Sabersky [11], and, more recently,
of Neuberger and Chatwani [12].
146
6. THERMAL AND TRANSPORT PROPERTIES
The general search for suitable heat transfer
fluids should be based (eqn. (12)) on the fol
lowing properties: density p, specific heat c
p
(thermal), thermal conductivity and dynamic
viscosity (transport).
The periodic table of elements provides the
whole field of possibilities. When heat transfer
in solids is excluded, the Bgroups need not be
considered. So the properties of normal ele
ments in groups IA VIIIA have to be in
spected. Table 2 gives some help concerning
the organization of the periodic table of ele
ments.
The metallic property, and thus the thermal
conductivity, decreases within the elements
from period I to VIII and increases within the
group of elements from small to high atomic
numbers. The specific heat decreases in the
groups with increasing atomic numbers. The
optimization of these two properties gives the
alkalimetal group IA an advantage over the
others, especially the elements in the middle.
However, lithium is an exception of this gen
eralization. In addition, its melting point is
very high (179 C). Consequently the follow
ing elements will be taken into consideration :
hydrogen H
2
, sodium Na, and potassium K.
As an alternative path to the group IA the
period 1 or 2 can be offered. The shortest way
to a decrease in the metallic character is in the
first period from hydrogen to helium, in the
second period from lithium to nitrogen and
oxygen. Boron and carbon must be excluded
because of their extremely high melting points.
Because some fluids have a higher practical
importance than the pure elements, the choice
was between the following:
helium He, air N
2
/0
2
, water H
2
0, and am
monia NH
3
.
From the transition elements, an example
of the liquid elements within the temperature
range under consideration for solar heat trans
fer application was taken to be :
mercury Hg.
Finally, two other fluids in use for the pur
pose under discussion were accepted for in
vestigation, a thermaloil for the medium
temperature application, and Hitec, which is a
eutectic mixture of watersoluble inorganic
salts and is thus close to the alkalimetal group.
As a matter of fact, Hitec contains about one
half potassium nitrate and onehalf sodium
nitrate and nitrite :
Caloria HT 43, Hitec.
For all the fluids mentioned the thermal and
transport properties were retrieved, essentially
from refs. 7, 13, 14 and 15. The results are
plotted in Figs. 11 (density), 12 (specific
heat), 14 (dynamic viscosity), and 15 (thermal
conductivity). In addition, Fig. 13 contains
TABLE 2
Organization of Periodic Table of Elements
Horizontal direction
Vertical direction
Field schema
Period
>
Group
(1) Density
(2) Atom radius
(3) Ionization energy
(4) Electron negativity
(5) Metallic property
Periods 1 7 with same
number of principal energy levels
Groups I VIII with
similar or related properties
Subdivision distinguishes
A normal elements
transition elements
(1) Atom radius
(2) Ionization energy
(3) Electron negativity
(4) Metallic property
(5) Oxidation
147
H20
:
:
'*
I
" \ '
\ \ ^
h
Hitec

Coloria
K
HT 3
Air
,100 bar
H20vapo'r*
100 bar
pressure
for ail data
=1bar
except
=100 bar
% =13. 10<
^ ^ A i r
H20vapor
1 1
200 00 600 00 1200
Fig. 11. Densities of various characteristic heat trans
fer fluids dependent on temperature.
0 200 400 600 800 1200
Fig. 13. Volumetric heat capacities of various charac
teristic heat transfer fluids dependent on temperature.
0 200 400 600 600 1200
Fig. 12. Specific heats at constant pressure of various
characteristic heat transfer fluids dependent on tem
perature.
0 200 00 600 800 1200
Fig. 14. Dynamic viscosities of various characteristic
heat transfer fluids dependent on temperature.
the volumetric heat capacity pc
p
. This Figure
essentially shows the superiority of the alkali
metals for temperatures higher than 500 K.
Highpressure air or water vapour seems to be
acceptable.
The volumetric heat capacity, however, is
only of interest for axial transport.
7. FLUID EVALUATION
To perform an evaluation of the fluids,
Reynolds and Prandtl numbers previously ob
tained should be available. The Reynolds
number characterizes the fluid mechanical
state. The better heat transfer values for tur
bulent towards laminar flow require Re > 10
4
.
To avoid compressibility effects, high pressures
and high velocities are not recommendable.
Large tube diameters would decrease the solar
radiated tube area. So the upper limit ranges
between Re = 10
6
IO
7
. A representative
Reynolds number is Re =
5
; 10
6
is taken as
a maximum value.
The Prandtl number is a modulus which
can be calculated from the properties of c
p
148
10'
w.
mK
Hg
pressure
for all data
=1 bar
except
100 bor
0 200 00 600 800 1200
Fig. 15. Thermal conductivities of various character
istic heat transfer fluids dependent on temperature.
(Fig. 12), (Fig. 14) and (Fig. 15). The
calculation has been performed in Fig. 16.
Water, Hitec and Caloria have Prandtl numbers
much larger than unity; mercury, sodium and
potassium are definitely much smaller than
unity. The rest have Pr = 1.
Equations (15) and (16) furnish the relation
between Nusselt, Reynolds and Prandtl num
bers. This is plotted in Fig. 17. The Nusselt
numbers can be derived for the various heat
transfer fluids mentioned in this paper.
The product of the Nusselt number and the
thermal conductivity is finally shown in Figs.
18 and 19 for Re = 10
5
and 10
6
. For constant
tube diameter and constant radial temperature
Pr=
10
10

10
2
10

3

'~
1
\
\
NH3 k^
\ Hg
1
V
X^HItec
HjOvapor
He
H2; Ai r
pressure
for all data
1 bar
Pr. , =10'10
3
Colona
^ \ N a

1 1
0 200 00 600 00 1200
Fig. 16. Prandtl numbers of various characteristic
heat transfer fluids dependent on temperature.
Nu=

St Re Pr
10'

Pr
/
| NU
lor
=10'
Pr
0.0195Re
oi 75
Pr
2320 <
Ay /
=10
?
| Nu
Pr S 1
Re <10
b
/

=7.0.025(F
tor Pr
RePr
" 1 /
_5^
f
ePr l
0 8
" 1
=50
10'
pv D

Fig. 17. Evaluation of heat transfer by Nusselt,
Reynolds and Prandtl numbers for turbulent flow in
circular tubes with smooth wall surfaces and constant
heat addition.
200 00 600 800 1200
Fig. 18. Heat transfer estimation by the products of
Nusselt number and thermal conductivity for a con
stant Reynolds number of 10 .
difference, this gives an estimate of the radial
heat transfer. The restriction to 1 bar in these
Figures is a matter of reference. Only for water
vapour, and to a lesser extent for air, does a
difference between these data and those for,
e.g., 100 bar exist. For temperatures above
800 K, this difference nearly vanishes.
The different gradients of Nusselt number
increase with Reynolds number increase (see
Fig. 17) introduce a possible advantage of high
Prnumber over low Prnumber fluids. At Re =
10
5
(Fig. 18) sodium can be awarded the best
heat transfer performance, potassium and
Hitec following. Water vapour and air have a
bad position. At the very high Re = 10
6
(Fig.
149
400 600 800 1200
Fig. 19. Heat transfer estimation by the products of
Nusselt number and thermal conductivity for a con
stant Reynolds number of 10
6
.
19), Hitec takes the lead before sodium and
potassium, and hydrogen and helium are very
attractive.
To finalize the evaluation, the possible
dangerous behaviour of potassium (slightly
radioactive) and of hydrogen (very explosive
with 0
2
contents) have to be admitted. Con
sequently, the two liquid fluids, Hitec and
sodium, and the gaseous fluid, helium, should
be favoured. Depending on the temperature
and pressure range required, each one of these
three could be the best choice. Under the
assumption that hydrogen can be handled
properly, this gaseous fluid can gain the highest
evaluation.
For practical reasons, water vapour and air
are attractive fluids. The possibility of using
the transfer fluid within one thermal cycle and
the availability of steam and gas turbines has
to be taken into account.
NOMENCLATURE
Pr
<?
Q
r
R
Re
St

V
X
y
Prandtl number
heat flux density
heat flux
radial coordinate
radius
Reynolds number
St ant on number
t emperat ure
velocity
axial coordinate
radial coordinate
Greek symbols
a
V

1



convection coefficient
dynamic viscosity, efficiency
thermal conductivity
pressure loss coefficient
density
shear stress
t ube heat transfer efficiency
Subscripts
Ap aperture
el electric
F focus
H heliostat
i component
j /component
L length
max maximum
M mean
opt along optical path
w wall
coordinate in axial direction
1 inlet
2 outlet (mean)
Exponents
For Reynolds number
m For Prandtl number
A
Ci
C
P
C
D
E
I
m
m

Nu


area
friction factor
specific heat at const ant pressure
geometric concentration factor
diameter
energy
moment um
mass
mass flow
factor
Nusselt number
pressure
power
REFERENCES
1 Boeing Eng. and Constr. (Program Manager: J. R.
Gintz), ClosedCycle, HighTemperature Central
Receiver Concept for Solar Electric Power, EPRI
ER629, Jan. 1978.
2 Black and Veatch (Principle Investigator: J. C.
Grosskreutz), SolarThermal Conversion to Elec
tricity Utilizing a Central Receiver, OpenCycle,
Gas Turbine Design, EPRIER652, March 1978.
3 M. Becker, Durchfhrbarkeitsstudie zum Zentral
Receiverteil eines Solarkraftwerkes mit gasfrmi
gem Arbeitsmedium (Teil 1), DFVLRIB3517
78, Dec. 1978.
150
4 lEACRS Project, Almera, Interatom Consortium
(private communication).
5 R. Bird, W. E. Stewart and E. N. Lightfoot, Trans
port Phenomena, Wiley, New York, 1960.
6 E. F. Obert and R. L. Young, Elements of Ther
modynamics and Heat Transfer, McGrawHill,
New York, 1962.
7 E. R. G. Eckert and R. M. Drake Jr., Analysis of
Heat and Mass Transfer McGrawHill, New York,
1972.
8 H. Hausen, Neue Gleichungen fr die Wrmeber
tragung bei freier und erzwungener Strmung,
Allg. Wrmetech., 9 (1959) 75 79.
9 B. S. Petukhov, Heat transfer and friction in tur
bulent pipe flow with variable physical properties,
Adv. Heat Transfer, (1970) 503 564.
10 R. G. Deissler, Analysis of Turbulent Heat Trans
fer, Mass Transfer, and Friction in Smooth Tubes
at High Prandtl and Schmidt Numbers, NACA
Report 1210, 1955.
11 D. F. Dipprey and R. H. Sabersky, Heat and mo
mentum transfer in smooth and rough tubes at
various Prandtl numbers, Int. J. Heat Mass Trans
fer, 6 (1963) 329.
12 A. W. Neuberger and A. V. Chatwani, Ein Mi
schungswegmodell fr kompressible turbulente
Strmungen in rauhen Kanlen, in F. Maurer
(ed.), Beitrge zur Gasdynamik und Aerodynamik,
DLR.FBMM36, 1977, pp. 145 167.
13 R. B. Morrison, Design Data for Aeronautics and
Astronautics, Wiley, New York, 1962.
14 F. Kohlrausch, Praktische Physik, Teubner, Stutt
gart, 1968.
15 . Raznjevic, Handbook of Thermodynamic Ta
bles and Charts, Hemisphere Pubi., Washington,
1976.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 15 1 161
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
151
System and Components Design of a Sodium Heat Transfer Circuit for Solar
Power Plants*
D. STAHL, F. . BOESE and S. KOSTRZEWA
INTERATOM, Internationale Atomreaktorbau GmbH, Friedrich Ebert Strasse, 5060 Bergisch Gladbach 1 (F.R.G.)
SUMMARY
The first part of the paper briefly compares
the characteristic properties of different heat
transfer fluids to show the advantages of sodi
um; the second part details design features of
a small sodium heat transfer system, including
the main components comprising receiver,
steam generator, pumps, vessels, etc., on the
basis of the CRS solar power plant at Almera,
Spain (IEASSPS Project); the final part in
dicates aspects of the scalingup of such sys
tems for larger solar power plants.
1. INTRODUCTION
Experience with solar tower plants is still
so small that there exist different equivalent
lines of development. Up to now, no decision
in favour of one type has been possible. Also,
the optimum size with respect to economics is
unknown, though assessments have been per
formed [1, 2]. Last, but not least, the solution
of how to transfer heat concentrated by the
heliostats to the fluid used for operating a
prime mover to produce electricity varies with
respect to different project requirements and
is also connected with the availability of
proven technological experience.
However, a key factor in the economic
optimization of solar power plants is the
achievement of the highest possible efficiency.
For thermal power plants that means a high
temperature for the solar induced heat flow
into the working medium. One of the different
ways to reach this goal is to use sodium as the
primary coolant. This is mainly due to the
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
fact that liquid sodium has been found to be
an excellent heat transfer medium. Owing to
its high boiling point (1150 K), sodium can
transfer thermal energy at high temperatures
and at relatively low pressures. Therefore, the
receiver surface may be built small, and the
heat losses are relatively low. A remarkable
efficiency when converting sunlight into heat
can be obtained. Moreover, the sodium com
ponents are compact and weigh little.
Today, sodium technology is well known.
In the past 30 years, operational experience
has been gained with a large number of experi
mental circuits; there are about 300 through
out the world today. The annual production
of metallic sodium in the Federal Republic of
Germany amounts to about 20 000 tonnes.
On the basis of the experience generated in
connection with a broad testing programme
concerned with the essential components of
sodiumcooled reactors, and with the erection
and operation of several sodium loops (up to
58 MW at KNK, Karlsruhe), INTERATOM, in
cooperation with international partners, also
designs sodium loops for solar power plants.
The goal of this paper is to present the main
design results of the heat transfer circuit of a
tangible project utilizing sodium as the inter
mediate coolant the 500 kW CRS solar
power plant at Almera, Spain, which is part
of the IEASSPS Project. Since July 1979,
INTERATOM has been under contract for the
final design, construction, erection and com
missioning of this plant (heliostat field and
buildings excluded); an artist's view of it is
shown in Fig. 1.
The design of this small solar power plant is
seen to be only an example of its type and
will quickly lead to further developments. In
the meantime, conceptual design studies have
been initiated by the U.S. Department of
Energy, to investigate the scalingup potential
of solar tower plants utilizing sodium as the
intermediate fluid [3, 4 ]. These studies in
152
->
Fig. 1. Artist's view of the CRS solar power plant.
dicate t hat a pl ant size of 100 MW(el) is easily
realizable with respect t o the heat transfer
systems.
2. HEAT TRANSFER BY SODIUM
The excellent physical properties of liquid
sodium as a heat transfer medium have already
been used for a number of technical industrial
applications in t he past. Owing t o its high
boiling point sodium can transfer thermal
energy at high temperatures and at compara-
tively low pressure. This means t hat a low-
pressure heat transfer system can be employed
t o produce high-pressure, high-temperature
steam for processing in modern turbo-electric
equi pment with a remarkable t hermodynami c
efficiency.
For 30 years, for example, t he development
of sodium-cooled fast breeder reactors in a
number of industrialized countries has pro-
vided a comprehensive sodium technology
permitting the reliable mastery of all its as-
pects. Besides several power plants of this t ype
already in operation, a large number of sodium
test facilities [ 5, 6 ] , ranging from a small
mock-up to a complex full-scale heat transfer
circuit, have been built and operated. Hence,
a broad industrial background of know-how
and experience exists for system and com-
ponent design and construction, as well as
for operations utilizing this "convent i onal "
coolant.
A brief comparison [7] of sodium with
other fluids which are often proposed for
similar heat transport uses indicates their
main characteristics. In Table 1 t he range in
which they may be used is shown. It can be
seen t hat sodium has an unusually wide liquid
range, and limitations in the proposed range
to be used are not so much inherent to the
fluidas t o the standard loop material available.
There are no problems of decomposition near
t he higher operating temperature for sodium,
unlike the other two fluids. The lower recom-
mended temperature can be approached easily
in properly designed loops with a good purifi-
cation system.
With reference to the well-known physical
properties of these fluids which affect heat
transfer, like density, heat capacity, viscosity
and heat conductivity, Table 2 indicates coef-
ficients for comparison significant for first
design trade-offs [ 7 ] . The so-called modified
pumping power criterion supposes t hat the
flow is influenced by the thermal efficiency
of the cycle, which in turn is taken to be
proportional to a maximum temperature ratio
a very simplified hypothesis. It also assumes
153
TABLE 1
Operating range for different heat transfer media
Medium
Sodium
Hitec
Dow therm A
Melting point at 1 bar (K)
370.8
~ 413
285
~
Boiling point at 1 bar (K)
1153
1090
530.4
Suggested use range (K)
4 73 973
4 2 3 813
5 03 673
TABLE 2
Performance capability comparison
Medium
Sodium
Hitec
Dow therm A
Comparison
temperature
(K)
773
723
573
VIodified pumping
power criterion
r f

max
( T
m a x
300)

4.67
2.1
35
2.8 0.2
~7 ~
10
1 4
Storage
capacity
pcpAT x
515
1058
684
Heat transfer
capacity
I O"
3
p
1
/3
c
l/3
f e
2/3
6.91
0.28
0.137
1
max


k
max. temperature of operating range (K)
operating temperature range
heat capacity, J g
_ 1
C
_1
dynamic viscosity,
3
s m
density, kg m
heat conductivity, W c m
1
C
_1
that the temperature increase in the receiver
can be directly proportional to the usable tem
perature range. Ohter simplifying hypotheses
are made concerning pressure losses. Never
theless, this coefficient is an indication of the
required power, and it shows that sodium is
quite acceptable from this point of view when
compared with the other fluids.
The storage capacity is taken to be propor
tional to the heat capacity and the acceptable
temperature range. Sodium is not the best
fluid from this point of view and should thus
be used essentially for shortterm buffers if
better storage systems are available.
The advantage of using sodium for heat
transfer is striking: thermal gradients are more
than ten times lower than those with other
fluids at identical heat fluxes, or the heat
transfer area can be greatly reduced.
Moreover, sodium heat transfer is only
slightly affected by changes in velocity; even
loss of flow can sometimes be permitted. The
lower thermal gradients reduce the risk of hot
spots and also reduce the operating tempera
ture of the receiver tubing.
Obviously, several solutions are feasible by
which to transfer heat in solar thermal power
plants; the transfer by sodium is a rather attrac
tive solution with respect to its characteristics
shown above, the broad technological ex
perience in this field, and the industrial avail
ability of system and components design and
fabrication.
3. THE DESIGN OF A SODIUM HEAT TRANSFER
SYSTEM
Main plant design features
The functional schematic of the plant is
shown in Fig. 2 and the main system design
data are given in Table 3.
The central receiver type plant features are
a northorientated heliostat field and a tower
mounted cavity receiver.
The primary heat transfer medium is sodium
and provisions have been made for the storage
of energy to comply with the storage require
ments.
The plant consists of the following sub
systems:
The heliostat field subsystem, which con
sists of a field of heliostats (equivalent to
4000 m
2
of reflective area) which track the
154
Fig. 2. Scheme of the CRS solar power plant.
TABLE 3
Main system design data of the CRS solar power plant
Design point:
Heliostat field :
Receiver :
Thermal storage :
Steam generator:
Sodium pump:
Gross electric output
Net electric output
Total plant efficiency
day 80, 12.00 (equinox noon)
solar insolation
total reflective surface area
aperture size
active heat transfer surface
inlet temperature
outlet temperature
storage medium
thermal capacity
hot storage temperature
cold storage temperature
sodium inlet temperature
sodium outlet temperature
water inlet temperature
steam outlet temperature
steam pressure
flow rate
pressure head
0.92 KW/m
2
~ 4000 m
2
9 m
2
16.9 m
2
543
803
sodium
5.5 MWh
803
548
798
548
463
773
100 bar
50/35 m
3
/h
35/40 m FC
600 kW(el)
520 kW(el)
14.1%
sun and concentrate their reflected beams into
the cavity of the receiver.
The sodium heat transfer subsystem, which
consists of
the receiver which absorbs the reflected
solar energy ;
the energy transport and storage system
including the necessary pumps, piping, valves
and storage elements and other components
necessary to transport and store the sodium
working fluid;
the steam generator which performs the
heat exchange function and generates steam
for the prime mover.
The power conversion subsystem, which
consists of
the prime mover (steam motor),
the alternator,
155
the power conditioning and switching
equipment, cooling circuit and other auxilia
ries.
The interface control/data aquisition sub
system, comprising three parts:
the data processing system which will
automatically collect data under all operating
conditions, including emergency situations;
the operational display, which includes
displays of all important operating parameters
required by the operator on several screens;
the safety and interface control, which
transfers all safety and interfacerelated data
between the different independently acting
subsystem control circuits.
The electrical subsystem, which includes
the electrical power supply and distribu
tion systems,
the heliostat field cabling,
the control room equipment, and
the earthing and lightning system.
The site facilities subsystem, consisting
essentially of the tower to support the receiver,
the necessary buildings for the equipment,
foundations for the heliostats and special
items, as well as roads and site works and the
necessary utilities and services.
With respect to the title of this paper, only
the sodium heat transfer subsystem (SHTS)
and its main components will be described in
detail.
General description of the SHTS
A simplified flow diagram of the SHTS is
shown in Fig. 3.
The objective of the sodium circuit is to act
as the heat transfer element between the
receiver heated by solar energy and the steam
generator of the electrical power conversion
circuit. In addition, the storage system may
be supplied with excess energy for limited
night operation. In order to reduce the scope
Cy clone."
Pump i t
Fig. 3. Sodium heat transfer system of the CRS solar
power plant.
of the required process components and to
achieve the most favourable efficiency, the
sodium heat transfer circuit is designed as a
singlecircuit system (no intermediate heat
exchanger is provided for), including one part
loop for the receiver, which is called heat
transfer system 1 (HTS 1), and another for
the steam generator, which is called heat
transfer system 2 (HTS 2).
Both parts of the system are hydraulically
independent of each other, the open connec
tion being provided only by the two storage
vessels (the hot and cold storage). Because of
this independence of the two heat transfer
systems, their operation can be performed and
controlled without one system disturbing or
influencing the other.
During normal operating conditions there
will be two nearly constant temperature levels,
one upper level of about 803 (receiver out
lethot storage pumpsteam generator inlet)
and one lower level of about 548 (steam
generator outletcold storage pumpreceiver
inlet).
Before the operation starts up, both heat
transfer systems are filled with liquid sodium
out of the cold storage vessel (which is pro
vided with an adequate dump capacity) by
inert gas under pressure.
In addition, a circuit which can be actuated
for quick drainage is provided in order to
ensure that in the case of damage the main
system parts will be drained into the storage
vessels within a few minutes.
Inside the SHTS building a large sodium
leakcollecting cavity is situated below all parts
of the heat transfer systems, including the
storage vessels.
The receiver and the sodium pipes in the
solar tower, as well as the steam generator,
will be equipped with an additional leakcol
lecting system and provided with leak detec
tors.
All sodium components and piping are pro
vided with an electrical traceheating system
to perform preheating of the complete heat
transfer systems up to about 475 to avoid
any freezing of the sodium; they are also
covered by adequate thermal insulation con
sisting of mineral wool with cover sheet.
Heat transfer system 1
The heat transfer system 1 (HTS 1) also
called the receiver loop supplies the receiver
156
with the required amount of sodium which is
necessary to absorb all incoming energy from
the heliostat field by heating up the cold
sodium to the upper temperature level. The
sodium flow control system has to act in such
a way that the receiver will keep its constant
temperature profile and constant sodium out
let temperature, and that no overheating of
parts of the receiver tube bundle will occur,
even under transient conditions during start
up, shutdown and cloud shadowing.
The HTS 1 consists of the sodium circula
tion pump which withdraws the cold sodium
from the cold storage in the required amount.
This mechanical pump is situated just beside
the cold storage vessel to reduce the pressure
loss of the suction side and to avoid additional
sodium level control equipment for the pump
which runs at various speeds.
The pump transports the sodium continu
ously to the receiver which is arranged on the
top of the tower at a height of about 43 m.
This cavitytype receiver has an aperture which
can be closed by a door overnight or during
long cloud obscuration in order to reduce heat
losses. Inside this cavity the incoming insola
tion is absorbed by a tube bundle through
which the cooling fluid flows. Because the
receiver is at the highest point of the tower, a
small overflow pipe is provided.
After passing through the receiver tube
bundle and outlet header the heated sodium
is conducted directly to the hot storage vessel
which is situated on the ground floor of the
SHTS building.
Heat transfer system 2
The heat transfer system 2 (HTS 2) also
called the steam generator loop supplies the
steam generator with the required amount of
hot sodium according to the capacity de
manded by the steam generator and the power
conversion system. At the steam generator,
the incoming hot sodium transfers energy to
the water/steam side and is cooled down to the
lowtemperature level of the system. The
necessary supply of hot sodium with respect
to the steam generator load will be controlled
by changing the sodium flowrate while the
sodium inlet and outlet temperatures are kept
constant at fixed levels.
To fulfill these tasks the HTS 2 consists of
a sodium circulation pump, which withdraws
the hot sodium out of the hot storage vessel
as required. This pump is located beside the
hot storage vessel. It transports the sodium to
the steam generator, which is located in a
separate room of the SHTS building. This
steam generator is designed as a helicaltube
type with a oncethrough operation mode at
the sodium as well as the water/steam side.
An adequate pressure relief system is provided
to prevent any damage arising from pressure
increase due to sodium/water reactions after
steam generator tube failure.
After passing the steam generator the cooled
sodium is conducted directly to the cold
storage vessel.
The piping of the heat transfer systems
consists of austenitic steel (1.4948 AISI TP
304SS) tubes and valves with diameters up to
80 mm.
Besides the two main loops, necessary aux
iliary systems are provided: e.g. a sodium
purification system ensures sodium of such a
purity that no operational difficulties are to
be expected; and a cover gas system which
supplies pressurized inert gas (argon) to the
whole SHTS in order to fill the system with
sodium, to preserve a definite sodium level,
and to cover all free sodium surfaces with
inert gas during all operational and shutdown
phases.
Main component design
In this section design details are presented
for the receiver, steam generator, sodium
pumps and the thermal storage system.
As a consequence of the heliostat field
layout a cavitytype receiver (see Fig. 4) was
chosen. It consists of a sodiumcooled tube
bundle in a sideopening cavity which is equip
ped with a door aperture to minimize thermal
losses both during operation as well as over
night or cloudyday shutdown periods.
I , Receiver housing
Insulation
Ceramic wall
. ., Door
Tube
bundle
I J
Cross section B |
!
Fig. 4. Cavity receiver of the CRS solar power plant.
157
Conduction heat losses through the cavity
walls and the door aperture are limited by a
thermal insulation at 300 mm.
The effective aperture is a vertical area of
3 m by 3 m in the eastwest axis and its centre
is located 43 m above the ground. The active
heat exchanging surface in the cavity is a
vertical halfcylinder tube bundle with a radius
of 2.25 m, an arc length of 4.71 m and a
height of 3.61 m.
The heat flux on the surface differs locally
and temporarily and reaches peak values up
to 63 W/cm
2
, compared with the average
value of 16 W/cm
2
at the design point equinox
noon, which corresponds to the maximum
thermal capacity of 2.8 MW with respect to a
sodium inlet temperature of 543 K, an outlet
temperature of 803 and a total receiver
efficiency of 87.8%. The heat flux distribu
tion, the sodium temperature and the maxi
mum tube wall temperature in the vertical
centre line of the tube bank are shown in
Fig. 5.
Therefore, the heat exchange surface is
covered by a tube bank consisting of six paral
lel tubes (tube dimensions 38 X 1.5 mm) with
return bends outside the active surface, one
inlet header (below) and one outlet header
(above). So, all tubes will pass the different
zones of heat flux in 14 horizontal serpentine
shaped rows to ensure equal sodium tempera
tures at the outlet header. The total mass flow
through the tube bundle is 7.3 kg/s, corre
sponding to a flow velocity of 1.5 m/s. The
horizontal arrangement of the tubes enables
the tube bank to be drained sufficiently.
e 60
| 50
f W

30
20
10
0
_1_ 1_1 1 1
I Ji.
_ Hear flux - L f
'ZL
1
IT"

v
/ L. t- 7/
Ir-t t
^///
J^Tl^
7 n
s/A
/yyr ,
I ! ! UJ.
' . Y/ C^Max tubeua
" temperature
\
X 1 I I 1
Sodium remp
k 1 , 1
y 11
rv
2 05
1
1
0
0
1.30
390
350
310
,270
Fig. 5. Heat flux, sodium temperature and maximal
tube wall temperature in the vertical centre line of
the tube bank.
The material which has been chosen for the
tubes is a high temperature resistant austenitic
steel (1.4948 = AISI TP 304SS).
Behind the tube bank, a layer consisting of
heatproof and heatstoring ceramic is arranged
in order to absorb the heat flux through the
gaps between the tubes so that because of
this heat capacity the sodium temperature
as well as the temperature profile of the tube
bundle can be preserved during normal shut
down periods with stagnant sodium inside the
receiver tube bundle. A thermodynamic anal
ysis has been carried out on this behaviour,
and an example of the shortterm shutdown
situation (passing clouds) is shown in Fig. 6.
The active surface of the tube bundle will
provide for a solar absorptivity of approxi
mately 95%; all inactive surfaces inside the
cavity will be covered by a reflective coating.
On the outer cavity walls situated on the
north side and on the cavity door itself an
adequate protection against overheating with
respect to insolation spillage losses or even
higher insolation due to tracking failure will
1 o s
50 0 S
ICOQ 0 S
3"D0 S
90 0 0 S
f r t < 0 s ' t ^ z s*c \ ' ' > ? mass f i o* zero,
ns at on zero and apcfure opn , short t ,11e rarge
1 2 3 ; 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 '5 16 19
sod j m pes rtj rber of r de
asi
t s
; a//
") 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 10 V 12 13 1. '5 'a '3
ceram: layer nimber ' de
Fig. 6. Temperature distribution in the sodium pipes of the receiver and in the ceramic layer near the surface.
, 1.0 s; , 500.0 s; , 1000.0 s; , 3600.0 s; , 9000.0 s; for t < 0, steady state; for t > 0, mass flow
zero; insolation zero and aperture open; short time range.
158
be provided for, e.g. protective plates with a
white pigment coating (high reflectivity)
should be sufficient.
Control of the receiver with respect to the
changeable insolation will be performed by
varying the sodium flowrate and maintaining
a constant outlet temperature.
For the steam generator which transfers the
thermal energy absorbed by the receiver from
the intermediate coolant sodium to the water/
steam of the power conversion system, a
helicaltubetype with a oncethrough opera
tion mode has been designed. It has to deliver
0.86 kg/s steam at 773 and 100 bar at full
load operating conditions, corresponding to a
thermal output of 2.2 MW. The feedwater
has a temperature of about 473 K. The pres
sure loss on the water/steam side is below 10
bar.
The sodium inlet and outlet temperatures
are determined by the hot and cold storage
temperatures to be about 798 and 548 K,
respectively. The sodium mass flow will be
6.9 kg/s and the pressure on the sodium side
approximately 8.5 bar. The shell, however,
must be able to resist a significant pressure
rise in case of a water/sodium reaction (57 bar
at the maximum).
The design of the steam generator is shown
schematically in Fig. 7. Around a central dis
Pressure
Relief
Sodium Outlet
Fig. 7. Steam generator of the CRS solar power plant.
placement tube containing stagnant sodium,
three heating tubes with dimensions 25 X
3.6 mm have been coiled and are housed in a
cylindrical shell. Within the tubes the water or
steam is flowing from the bottom to the top.
At the inlet and outlet the tubes are conducted
individually through the shell by means of
thermal sleeves and combined in the headers
which are arranged outside. The thermal
sleeves protect the thick shell wall against
thermal stresses. The hot sodium enters the
steam generator at the top, flows downwards
between shell and displacement tube around
the heating tubes, where the heat transfer
takes place, and leaves the apparatus through
the outlet stud arranged below.
For the tube and structure material 2.25%
Crsteel (the heating tubes are Nb stabilized)
has been chosen because it can be processed
without any problems and has proved to be
suitable material for sodiumheated steam
generators.
Electrical trace heating and sufficient ther
mal insulation (mineral wool) of the steam
generator has been provided.
In order to relieve the pressure rise in the
case of a sodiumwater reaction after tube
failure, at the top and bottom of the shell two
rupture disks are installed, which are connected
via pipes with a cyclone. The cyclone has a
capacity of approximately 2 m
3
of sodium; its
upper dished end is provided with the nozzle
for the downflow pipe and a small nozzle for
the purge gas. The lower dished end contains
the drain nozzle with a purge gas nozzle.
The thermal power of the steam generator
is controlled with respect to the requirements
of the power conversion system by varying the
sodium flowrate in a constant ratio to the
feedwater flowrate, while the sodium inlet
and outlet temperatures are maintained con
stant.
The circulation of the heat transfer and
storage medium sodium will be performed by
two separate centrifugal pumps: one for the
receiver loop with a flowrate of ~ 50/30 m
3
/h
and a pressure head of ~ 40 m FC (maximum)
and one for the steam generator loop with a
flowrate of ~35 m
3
/h and a pressure head of
~30 m FC. These two pumps are identical in
design, varying only by the speed of rotation
(1400/1200 rev/min). The same austenitic
steel as for the piping and receiver has been
selected for the pumps.
159
Both pumps are situated at the same level
as the two storage vessels on the ground floor
of the building and their cylindrical housings
and shafts are of such a length that the sodium
level fluctuations inside the corresponding
storage vessel will be absorbed without any
particular level control equipment for the
pumps. The design of the sodium pumps is
shown schematically in Fig. 8.
The vertical shaft is doublysupported, in
part by a conventional combined axial and
radial bearing at the cold upper leg of the
pump, and in part by a hydrodynamic bearing
arranged between the pressure chamber of the
pump and the pump shaft. The hydrodynamic
bearing, especially developed for sodium
pumps, is supplied by sodium from the .pres
sure casing, which thus flows continuously
through the bearing and will be fed back ex
ternally into the storage vessel together with
the sodium leaking through the sealing gaps
between shaft supporting tube and pump
casing.
In the upper part of the cylindrical casing
of the pump filled by the inert argon gas, a
thermal barrier is provided to avoid gas con
vection and to reduce the inside temperature
for protection of the upper shaft sealing, which
is done by a double (backtoback) mechanical
seal, having the two halves of the seal above
and below the upper bearing.
The oil between the seals is circulated by
means of an auxiliary impeller through an air
Fig. 8. Example of a mechanical sodium pump.
cooler mounted around the seal/bearing hous
ing. A radial fan is mounted on the motor
stand to supply the necessary cooling air.
Electrical trace heating and thermal insula
tion of the lower part of the pumps has been
provided.
Both pumps have speedcontrolled electrical
motor drives to vary the required sodium flow
rate continously in the range 10 100% with
a maximum load range rate of about 7%/s.
The thermal storage is a sensible heat sys
tem which is able to store hot liquid sodium
at 803 to be used later to generate steam.
The task of the storage system is to accumulate
all solar energy available but not utilized as
output power during the day's cycle. The
capacity of this system is equivalent to 1 MWh
electric energy output, corresponding to a
thermal capacity of the storage system of
about 5.5 MWh (including thermal losses dur
ing 24 hours' standby).
The storage system consists of two separate
vessels: one cold storage vessel and one hot
storage vessel. During daytime operation,
sodium flows continuously through the hot
storage with the maximum receiver outlet
temperature, which means that all sodium
delivered into the hot storage is available at
this maximum temperature level.
Both vessels are horizontal cylindrical con
tainers of approximately 3.3 m diameter and
10 m length, corresponding to a volume of
about 70 m
3
; their sodium inlet and outlet
pipes will be designed as dip pipes which will
be connected with distributing devices inside
the vessel to avoid temperature shocks.
With respect to the different temperature
levels, the austenitic steel is only required for
the hot storage, while the cold storage vessel
will be manufactured from a molybdenum
alloyed carbon steel (1.5415).
The cover gas system of the storage vessels
is provided with separate gas supply, blowoff
and safety valves. Both vessels are connected
by a gas compensating pipe. The cover gas
pressure will be related to the maximum height
of the receiver tower and the sodium level
inside the vessels.
The hot and cold storage vessels are both
provided with an electrical trace heating system
to render possible the preheating of the sodium
above the melting point. Excellent thermal
insulation is necessary, especially for the hot
storage vessel, to reduce energy losses. A
160
mineral wool lagging of 400 mm thickness has
therefore been provided.
4. SCALINGUP CONSIDERATIONS
The tasks of the CRS solar power plant as
described above are [8] :
(1) to demonstrate within 2 years the con
struction of a central receiver plant with 500
kW(el) net output,
emphasizing available technology,
minimizing research and development,
providing for design flexibility (scaling
potential, operational modes, geographically
dispersed applications) ;
(2) to gain, over a subsequent period of 2
years, experience with such a plant relative
to operational reliability, investment and run
ning costs;
(3) to assess the further technical and eco
nomical development and applications of such
plants.
The Almera plant is thus a demonstration
plant of a pilot character which, nevertheless,
may be used later on as a test facility for com
ponent development.
Owing to its small size, this demonstration
plant is far from being an economically sized
power plant. Even though the optimum size is
unknown at present, the digressive effect, as
shown in Fig. 9, is well known.
Hence, scalingup considerations have al
ready been performed during the CRS design
cost of electric power
DPf/kWh
200
1188
CRSplant.
commercial basis:
operating and
maintenance costs
24%
capital costs 76%
oil fired 96 MW gas turbine
power plant:
oil costs 87%
operating and
1 0 0 MW capital maintenance
costs 9%
c o s , s 4 %
100 MW
electric power capacity
study for plant sizes up to 100 MW(el). The
main items with respect to the sodium heat
transfer system which have been studied are:
(1) heat transfer loop configuration with
respect to maximum allowable pressure (one/
two loop),
(2) maximum component sizes with respect
to available technology,
(3) optimum storage quantity with respect
to different storage systems and plant require
ments,
(4) development of receiver configurations
with respect to different types (external/
cavity), maximum heat fluxes, minimum
absorbing surfaces and dimensions and stress
problems.
The main results of these considerations
are as follows.
(1) Temperatures up to 870 are feasible
by using wellproven austenitic steels (e.g.
stainless steel 18/8); higher temperatures
require changes to materials with a higher
melting point, Incoloy, Hasteloy or Inconel
which may cause fabrication problems; in
addition, the steam cycle requirements will
have to be considered with reference to their
maxima.
(2) Even for larger heat transfer systems
with towers up to a height of 100 m, the
singleloop concept seems to be economical if
pressure reduction in the downcomer to the
storage system can be provided.
TABLE 4
Conceptual design data of the sodium heat transfer
system of advanced central receiver power systems
(General Electric Co.)
Fig. 9. Costs of electric power from CRS plants in the
size range 0.5 100 MW on a commercial basis (pric
ing basis, 1978).
Electric power generation subsystem:
steam turbinegenerator
steam conditions: live steam
reheated steam
steam generator: hockey stick,
modular design
Receiver subsystem :
single loop with throttle valve
sodiumcooled tube panels
sodium temperatures
peak flux values
flow rate
Storage subsystem:
sensible heat system with sodium
two storage vessels (hot/cold)
sodium temperatures
100 MW(el)
165 bar/810
32 bar/810
414 MW(th)
866/595
1.8MW/m
2
1070 kg/s
866/595
161
STEAM TURDINE
CE.'JERATOP
coi , D STORACE
Fig. 10. Scheme of the commercial plant configuration of the advanced central receiver power system (General
Electric Co.).
(3) The size of components for sodium
loops (except the receiver) seems to be no
problem because of the availability of appro-
priate equipment from the fast breeder field.
(4) An unsolved problem is the optimum
type and size of a long-term storage system;
even if this problem can be solved by using
hybrid power plants, the development of an
economical system is still required.
(5) The receiver development design limits
can only be defined after additional extensive
design studies including thermodynamic and
stress analysis; the approach should be to
realize heat flux peak levels up to 1.2 MW/m
2
and maximum operating temperatures of 850 -
900 K.
More reliable but similar results for large
heat transfer systems are evaluated in two
extensive concept studies on advanced central
receiver power systems [3, 4] which have been
performed by General Electric Co. and Rock-
well International, U.S.A., in the last year.
Basic design data are given in Table 4 and the
sodium heat transfer loop layout is shown
schematically in Fig. 10.
Although the specified plant size of these
studies of 100-300 MW(el) seems to be rather
futuristic for solar power plants today, their
heat transfer system layout is already quite
realistic and feasible, which means that no
technological limitations could be identified
for this plant subsystem.
REFERENCES
1 F. K. Boese and S. Kostrzewa, System optimiza-
. tion of sodium-cooled solar power plants with
respect to energy utilization and economics, Inter-
national DFVLR Symposium on Solar Thermal
Power Stations, Cologne, April 1978.
2 INTERATOM, CRS-Solar Power Plant, Stage I
Final Documentation, October 1978.
3 General Electric Company, Conceptual Design of
Advanced Central Receiver Power Systems, Ex-
cerpt of Study Results, May 1979.
4 Rockwell International, ESG, Advanced Central
Receiver System, Excerpts of Conceptual Design
Results, May 1979.
5 IAEA, International Working Group on Fast Reac-
tors, Profiles of Facilities used for FBR Research
and Testing, December 1976.
6 D. Stahl, Beschreibung der Natrium-Versuchsan-
lagen in Europa, INTERATOM - interner Bericht
ITB 77.87, August 1977.
7 A. Michel et al., Sodium, a conventional heat trans-
fer fluid for solar power plant systems, Interna-
tional DFVLR Symposium on Solar Thermal Power
Stations, Cologne, April 1978.
8 W. Grasse, IEA Small solar power systems project,
International DFVLR Symposium on Solar Ther-
mal Power Stations, Cologne, April 1978.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 163 183
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
163
Layout of Gas Cycles for Solar Power Generation*
KARL BAMMERT
Institute for Turbomachinery, University of Hannover (F.R.G.)
CONTENTS
1. Int roduct i on
2. Thermodynamic layout of the gas turbine
process
3. Detailed layout of cycle component s
3. 1. Turbomachines
3.2. Heat exchanging apparatus
3. 2. 1. Layout of heat exchanger and
coolers
3.2.2. Layout of receiver
3.3. Piping system
4. Control
4. 1. Pressure level control
4.2. Bypass control
4. 3. Starting and stopping control
4.4. Shutoff control
5. Transient behaviour
6. Further course of layout
7. Summary
1. INTRODUCTION
Even if the energy requirement of t he
industrialized countries were t o remain con
stant, the most i mport ant primary energy
resources would be exhausted in t he near
future. This situation is rendered even more
critical by the backlog demand of the coun
tries of the Third World. For this reason new
solutions have to be found in time to ensure
the safe supply of energy for the growing
world population and to save as much as pos
sible of the fossil primary energy resources,
such as mineral oil, which are required in
particular as base materials. In the future, eco
logical aspects will have t o be considered t o
an everincreasing extent.
By human standards, an inexhaustable
source of energy is provided by the sun. The
utilization of its energy potential is environ
mentally clean t o a high degree. There is no
pollution, and the global thermal economy is
not affected either. But here, t oo, economic
considerations will finally decide whether,
when and where solar energy plants will be
favoured. An i mport ant influential factor.for
such a decision is the efficiency of conversion
of the incident solar radiation, e.g. into elec
trical energy. High efficiencies can be
achieved by the realization of high upper pro
cess temperatures in conjunction with their
utilization in a thermal power plant.
For the thermal conversion of solar energy
into mechanical and electrical energy two pro
cesses are available. For small out put s the
solar farm concept can be considered. Here
t he working fluid is heated t o approximately
350 C in concentration collectors connected
in parallel and/or in series. Figure 1 shows
four parallel cylindrical collectors. These col
lect the sun' s rays and focus them on the ab
sorber t ube carrying t he working fluid. The
heat thus absorbed by the fluid can t hen, for
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7 , 1979.
Fig. 1. Linear parabolic troughs.
164
example, be converted into electrical power in
a subsequent twophase process. Problems
occur here when designing turbomachines
with low out put s and small mass flowrates
[1 ]. Because of the low maximum process
t emperat ure, only low efficiencies can be
achieved. If the solar radiation is concentrated
with the aid of numerous heliostats ont o a
receiver in which the working fluid is heated
up, very high maxi mum process temperatures,
and thus very good efficiencies, can be
achieved.
In such a plant the receiver is mount ed on a
tower. Figure 2 shows as an example two
heliostats, each consisting of seven mirrors. In
Fig. 3 the entire heliostat field with the tower
can be seen. It is a 360 field for a highpower
plant. As the solar radiation can be highly
concentrated in such plants, extremely high
temperatures, and thus good efficiencies, can
be achieved. In thermodynamic processes the
maxi mum process temperature is at present
limited t o between 800 and 900 C because of
the materials used in receivers. With the
present state of the art these temperatures can
only be utilized with gas turbine cycles.
This paper will deal with the layout of gas
turbine plants for the utilization of solar ener
gy. The principal sequence of calculations is
shown in Fig. 4. First of all empirical values
for the layout parameters of the plant are
specified on the basis of the given boundary
conditions such as climate, required out put ,
etc. With these data a thermodynamic optimi
zation is carried out which supplies the neces
sary data for a provisional layout of the cycle
component s such as turbine, compressor, heat
exchanging apparatus, etc. When the provi
sional layout is finished it can then be decided
whether all the specified layout parameters
Fig. 3. Hel i ost at field wi t h t ower.
LAYOUT OF GAS TURBINE CYCLES
SELECTI ON OF
LAYOUT 111 ERS

TH ERMODYNAMIC
OPTIMIZATION
PRELIMINARY LAYOUT 01'
CYCLE COMPONENTS
EXAMINATION 0I" SELECTED
AND CALCULATED LAYOUT
PARAMETERS
DETAILED LAYOUT OF
CYCLE COMPONENTS
EXAMINATION AND CORRECTION
01" TH ERMODYNAMIC LAYOUT
CALCULATION OF STEADY
AND UNSTEADY OPERATIONAL
BEHA\
IOR
FINAL DESIGN OF
CYCLE COMPONENTS
Fig. 2. Hel i ost at s of a solar t ower pl ant .
Fig. 4. Layout of gas t ur bi ne cycles.
are satisfactory. If not , then the thermodyn
amic optimization must be repeated. Other
wise the cycle components can be laid out in
detail. Even here, deviations from the prede
termined layout parameters can occur, but as
these differences are generally small, it is suf
ficient to correct the thermodynamic optimi
zation accordingly and repeat the detailed lay
out of the components concerned. If confor
mity is achieved here then all the cycle
component s can be designed. Parallel with
this, calculation of the steady and unsteady
operating behaviour is necessary since these
165
calculations provide important data for the
design. This paper deals in particular with the
thermodynamic optimization and the layout
of the individual cycle components.
2. THERMODYNAMIC LAYOUT OF THE GAS
TURBINE PROCESS
Figure 5 shows an open (right) and a closed
(left) gas turbine cycle on a i,s-diagram. In
the case of the open cycle the compressor
draws in air from the atmosphere and com-
presses it to the maximum process pressure
(from 1 to 2). In the recuperative heat ex-
changer the high-pressure air absorbs the use-
ful heat still contained in the turbine exhaust
air (from 2 to 3) and is then heated up in the
receivers by solar radiation to the maximum
process temperature (from 3 to 4). After ex-
pansion in the turbine (from 4 to 5) and heat
release to the high-pressure air in the heat ex-
changer (from 5 to 6), the working fluid is fed
back into the atmosphere.
Thermodynamic improvement of the pro-
cess is possible by introducing one or more
intermediate heating stages. The diagram
shows as an example a single intermediate
heating stage. In this case the HP turbine ex-
pands the air from 4 to 5', from 5' to 4' it is
heated up again to the maximum process
temperature, and then expanded in the LP
turbine from 4' to 5". The receiver inlet temp-
erature rises from 3 to 3' . It can be seen that
with intermediate heating stages the ideal case
of isothermal expansion can be approached,
thus making it possible to improve the cycle
efficiency.
900
By adding a cooler (from 6 to 1) the cycle
can be closed and the process pressure chosen
as well. If one now increases the pressure level
by the factor 10, for example, the plant out-
put will be 10 times greater with virtually
identical cycle components. The process cycle
curves are shifted to the left, as shown in Fig.
5. Since for closed cycles cooling of the work-
ing fluid is required anyway, the process can
also be thermodynamically improved by
introducing an intercooling stage. In this case
the LP compressor compresses the working
fluid only from 1 to 2' . It is then recooled in
the intercooler (from 2' to 1') and reaches the
maximum process pressure at the outlet of
the HP compressors (2"), with the heat ex-
changer outlet temperature being reduced
from 6 to 6'.
Figure 6 shows the flow diagram of an
open-cycle gas turbine. The numbers refer to
the corresponding state points in Fig. 5. The
compressor a, heat exchanger b, receiver c and
turbine d are easily recognisable. The block f
is a storage system whose purpose is to keep
the plant in operation during short periods
when there is no solar radiation. Switchover
between the gas receiver c and the thermal
storage unit f can be carried out with the
three-way valve g. For economical operation
of the plant the excess solar energy in the
daytime should be collected in the thermal
storage unit f. This is done through the three-
way valve g'. To control the turbine inlet
temperature a temperature control valve h is
also provided which can be arranged as shown
in Fig. 6. In this way the turbine inlet temper-
ature can be reduced to below the receiver
0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 125 1.50 1.75 kJ/kgK 2.25
Entropy s
Fig. 5. ,s-diagram of an open- and closed-cycle gas
turbine.
Fig. 6. Solar energy power plant with an open-cycle
gas turbine: a, compressor; b, recuperator; c, receiver;
d, turbine; f, thermal storage; g, g', valves; h, control
valve;i, combustion chamber; k, k', valves.
166
outlet temperature by adding colder gas. In an
open-cycle plant it is advantageous to burn
fossil fuel directly in a combustion chamber i
and admit flue gas to the turbine. With the aid
of valves k and k' the combustion chamber's
share of the total heat admission can be
varied. It is thus possible, in the event of little
or no solar radiation and for fully or partially
empty thermal storage systems, to feed in ad-
ditional heat and utilize the full output of the
plant in each case.
In Fig. 6 the fossil-fuel-fired combustion
chamber is connected in parallel with the re-
ceiver. However, it can also be arranged be-
tween the receiver and the turbine. The com-
bustion chamber can then be used additional-
ly for setting the turbine inlet temperature via
the receiver outlet temperature in order to
increase the overall efficiency of the plant still
further.
The principle flow diagram of a closed-
cycle plant is shown in Fig. 7. It will be
noticed that, in contrast to Fig. 6, a cooler e
has been added. An additional fossil-fu el-fired
heater is not included in the picture. This
extra heater can be designed for 100% of the
receiver thermal power or also for much
smaller thermal outputs. For the first case,
the plant can always be operated at full load.
For the second case continuous operation ac-
cording to the solar surve is also possible. In
both cases the plant will operate with small
temperature gradients (longer lifetime) and
can be started with the help of the fossil-fuel-
fired heater.
For the layout of the cycle one must first
of all decide on the flow scheme. For the fol-
lowing discussion the closed-cycle gas turbine
process shown in Fig. 8 will be used as a basis.
The output at the terminals was chosen as
20 MW. The working fluid air is sucked
in by the LP compressor a, recooled in the
intercooler b and compressed to the max-
imum process pressure by the HP compressor
c. In the recuperative heat exchanger d the
working fluid then absorbs the useful heat
contained in the turbine exhaust air and is
then heated in the receiver e to the maximum
process temperature. After expansion in the
turbine f, the air flows through the heat ex-
changer d, giving off heat, and is cooled down
in the precooler g to the LP compressor inlet
temperature.
Fig. 8. Scheme of circuit of a solar tower plant: a, LP
compressor; b, intercooler; c, HP compressor; d,
recuperator; e, receiver; f, turbine; g, precooler.
Fig. 7. Solar energy power plant with a closed-cycle
gas turbine: a, compressor; b, recuperator; c, receiver;
d, turbine; e, cooler; f, thermal storage; g, g', valves;
h, control valve.
When the cycle concept has been finalized,
there then follows the thermodynamic op-
timization of the cycle. For this a number of
layout parameters must be predetermined.
The predetermination of realistic values for
these parameters requires vast experience,
since deviations from the layout parameters
have a serious effect on the efficiency of the
plant, as Table 1 shows.
This table shows the influence of varied
layout parameters on the efficiency at termi-
nals (cycle overall efficiency) or a closed-cycle
20 MW solar tower plant with air as the work-
ing fluid. 'Efficiency at terminals' means the
quotient from the power available at the gen-
erator terminals and the heat absorbed by the
working fluid in the receiver. From left to
right the columns contain firstly the layout
parameter under consideration, then the size
167
TABLE 1
Influence of varied layout parameters on the efficiency at terminals
Varied parameter Ax
Turbine inlet temperature
Compressor inlet temperature
Isentropic turbine efficiency
Isentropic compressor efficiency
Sum of relative pressure losses
Temperature difference of recuperator
Cooling coefficient
(additional
percentage)
1 0 K
10
1 %
1 %
2%
1 0 K
1 %
0. 47
+ 1.45
0. 57
0. 54
+ 0. 84
Tl . 32
+ 0. 83
of its variation and the relevant unit of mea
surement. The last column contains the effi
ciency variation as a percentage.
In consideration of the efficiency at termi
nals, the turbine inlet temperature must be
chosen as high as the available materials will
allow, since an increase of 10 will result in a
0.47% improvement in the efficiency. The
minimum process temperature, i.e. the com
pressor inlet temperature, is strongly influ
enced by climatic conditions and the cooling
process. If one succeeds in reducing this temp
erature by 10 K, then in this plant the effi
ciency will be improved by 1.45%.
A drop in the efficiency of the turbine will
have two effects. The turbine enthalpy drop
and hence the useful output are reduced.
However, as a result of this the LPside heat
exchanger inlet temperature rises at the same
time. Consequently the amount of heat
transferred in the heat exchanger increases,
thus lessening the drop in the efficiency at
terminals. A 1% reduction in the turbine effi
ciency means a 0.57% drop in the efficiency
at terminals.
Smaller compressor efficiencies result in a
higher power requirement of the compressor,
with the HP compressor outlet temperature
increasing at the same time. Consequently the
amount of heat transferred in the heat ex
changer decreases at roughly constant turbine
outlet temperature, which likewise has a nega
tive effect on the efficiency at terminals. If
the efficiencies of both compressors decrease
by 1% each, then the cycle efficiency will
drop by 0.54%.
Detailed investigations have shown that the
effect of an additional relative pressure drop
on the efficiency at terminals is virtually inde
pendent of where the drop occurs. If the total
relative pressure drop of the plant increases
by 2%, then the efficiency at terminals drops
by 0.84%. The temperature difference of the
heat exchanger has a pronounced effect on
the cycle efficiency, as can be seen from the
Table. In the plant under investigation an
increase in the temperature difference of 10
would mean a 1.32% drop in the efficiency at
terminals.
To cool the blade roots in the thermally
highly stressed first turbine stages and to cool
the rotor, cycle gas is used which is tapped
from the HP compressor. The cooling gas
flowrate is a percentage of the mass flow of
the turbine. It has a strong influence on the
output and efficiency. If the cooling gas flow
rate is increased by, e.g., 1%, then there will
be a 0.83% drop in efficiency at terminals.
In addition to the layout parameters
indicated in the Table, the mechanical and
electrical efficiencies of the plant must be de
fined for optimization of the cycle.
When all the layout parameters are avail
able a thermodynamic optimization is carried
out, taking into account the real gas behav
iour. For this the expansion pressure ratio is
varied and in each case the efficiency at ter
minals and the specific mass flow referred to
the output at terminals are calculated. If the
results of this calculation are plotted against
the pressure ratio, as shown in Fig. 9 for a
20 MW plant with air as working medium,
then it can be seen that the maximum cycle
efficiency is at lower pressure ratios than the
minimum of the specific mass flow. For the
design pressure ratio of plants with a fossil or
nuclear heat source, an expansion ratio just
above that required for optimum efficiency is
chosen in order to utilize the smaller size of
the components at smaller specific mass flows
168
TABLE 2
Layout parameters of a solar tower power plant with closedcycle gas turbine
Working fluid
Output at terminals
Turbine inlet temperature
Number of intercoolings
Turbine inlet pressure
Pressure ratio of expansion
Isentropic turbine efficiency
Cooling coefficient
Compressor inlet temperature
Pressure ratio of compression
Isentropic compressor efficiencies (LP/HP)
Temperature difference of recuperator
Efficiency of heat exchange
Recuperator inlet temperature | cold)
Recuperator inlet temperature (hot)
Receiver inlet temperature
Sum of relative pressure losses
Mechanical efficiency
Gear efficiency
Alternator efficiency
Net efficiency
Turbine mass flow
Volume flow at turbine inlet
Volume flow at LP compressor
Volume flow at HP compressor
inlet
inlet
air
20 MW
800 C
1
4.4 MPa
3.0
90.0%
1%
50 C
3.35
86.0/85.0%
30 C
92.6%
122.8 C
559.5 C
529.5 C
12%
99.7%
98.5%
98.0%
38.3%
172.01 kg/s
43.75 X 10
3
41.21 X 10
3
22.62 X 10
3
m
3
/h
m
3
/h
m
3
/h
kg/s
M We
20
%
- a 40
c

fc 30
o
,
S
* 10
\


b
/
turbine expansion ratio
Fig. 9. Efficiency at terminals and specific mass now
of a closedcycle air turbine: curve a, efficiency at
terminals; b, specific mass flow.
without having to put up with a large drop in
efficiency.
In solar tower plants the estimated costs
for the mirror field amount to about 60% of
the total cost of the plant, so the mirror field
should be as small as possible. At a predeter
mined output at terminals the size of the mir
ror field is governed by the overall efficiency
of the plant. As the efficiency at terminals has
a major influence on the overall efficiency,
the expansion ratio chosen for the 20 MW
plant under investigation is 3.0, so that a max
imum efficiency at terminals of 38.3% is
achieved.
After the expansion ratio has been fixed all
necessary data for the layout of the cycle
components, such as pressures, temperatures,
mass flowrates and power rating, are available.
The layout data thus acquired are compiled in
Table 2. A compressor inlet temperature of
50 C was chosen. Such inlet temperatures can
be achieved with dry cooling. The maximum
process temperature was predetermined as
800 C. At the present state of the art there
are metallic materials which are suitable for
this temperature. The turbine inlet pressure
was chosen as 4.4 MPa, and the other layout
parameters on the basis of air turbine plants
already built. The thermodynamic optimiza
tion of the cycle yielded, as already men
tioned, an expansion ratio of 3.0 for the tur
bine. The efficiency at terminals is 38.3%. At
an output of 20 MW the turbine mass flow is
thus 172 kg/s.
With these data a rough initial layout of the
individual cycle components is carried out.
The results of this layout influence the
thermodynamic optimization, so that the lay
out parameters will have to be checked and, if
necessary, the thermodynamic optimization
corrected.
169
3. DETAILED LAYOUT OF CYCLE COMPONENTS
3.1. Turbomachines
The first step in the layout of axialflow
turbomachinery relates to the calculation of
the main dimensions [2], an aspect which will
be dealt with briefly in the following. To
provide a clear picture, calculations are based
on the assumption of ideal gas conditions.
The blading of any turbomachine is gener
ally built up of a series of guide blade rings
(stator) and rotor blade wheels (rotor). A sta
tor plus a rotor is referred to as a stage. The
considerations below use the designations ac
cording to Fig. 10. In the radial direction, the
flow channel is limited by rotor a and housing
b. Guide blade c and moving blade d together
form one stage. The three planes of calcula
tion of any stage are designated as follows:
plane 0 upstream of guide blades
plane 1 between guide blades and moving
blades
plane 2 downstream of moving blades
Plane 2 of any stage is the same as plane 0 of
the next stage.
The inner radius of the flow channel is in
dexed i, the mean radius m, and the outer
radius o. The indices for the inlet and outlet
planes are i and o, respectively.
A preferred relation to characterize the
flow channel is the hub/tip ratio
" =
r
Jr
0
The following data are known from the lay
out of the cycle :
pressure at inlet and outlet
temperature at inlet
rated power, mass flowrate
isentropic efficiency
Pi, Po
,
, m
stage
calculation plane 0
I
1
\c_
I
2
tI
fl
"
v
"
I

0 1 2
m
0
i
2
f
r
ft !<
i.
IV
0 1

2
r,

b
(
\

}
Fig. 10. Schematic view of a flow channel of a tur
bine: a, rotor; b, housing; c, guide blade; d, rotor
blade; i, inlet; o, outlet; r, inner radius; r
m
, mean
radius; r
0
, outer radius.
To permit the main dimensions of the
turbomachine to be determined in the first
place, viz. inside diameter and height of
blades, the inlet and outlet volume flowrates
must be known.
In order to calculate the exit volume flow
rate, one needs the outlet temperature T
0
,
apart from the data referred to above. The
value of T
0
is obtained from the following
equations:
ft. = RTi
*
( K D/ K
(2)
where is the isentropic exponent, and R the
gas constant. The isentropic efficiency of the
turbine is
n
ST
= Ah
T
/Ah
ST
and of the compressor
T?
SC
= Ah
sc
/Ah
c
(3)
(4)
Using eqns. (2) and (3), or (4), one can deter
mine for a given isentropic efficiency the
actual enthalpy difference Ah
T
or Ah
c
. With
the aid of the thermodynamic relation be
tween temperature, pressure and enthalpy, it
is then possible to define the outlet temper
ature on the above basis.
The inlet and outlet volume flowrates are
calculated as
^i , o = m
RTj.o
Pi.o
(5)
If. the working fluid features a real gas behav
iour, more complicated equations are to be
substituted for relations (2) and (5).
The enthalpy differences and volume flow
rates thus determined are the result of
thermodynamic considerations and are used
as a basis for the turbomachinery layout. The
design data, such as number of stages, blade
angles and channel dimensions, are optional
within certain limits. Where high powers are
concerned, the rotational speed is generally
specified as a fixed requirement.
The first decision to be made for the lay
out of a turbomachine concerns the type of
blading to be selected. As the expenditure for
the blading represents a major part of the
total costs of a gas turbine, layout must
concentrate on the possibility of economical
blade manufacture. For this reason the chosen
design often has a constant inner diameter in
all stages. When the selected design produces
170
identical velocity diagrams in all stages at the
same radius (homogenous blading), the com
plete blading of any turbine or compressor
can be manufactured by simply shortening
the longest blades. In other words, only one
guide blade and one rotor blade need be
designed for any requirement.
For the initial design of a turbomachine it
will be sufficient to perform the calculations
for the central filament of flow (pitch line
design). As this calculation mode only
considers a flow particle moving on the mean
stream line of the channel, the blading in this
case is solely defined by the velocity diagram
in the mean section. Figure 11 shows the
velocity diagram of a turbine stage with a
degree of reaction of 50%. The degree of
reaction indicates the isentropic enthalpy dif
ference of the rotor to the total isentropic
enthalpy difference of the rotor and stator
and is given by
^ (6)
A f t
s
R o
- ^
s s t
where index Ro stands for the rotor, and
index St for the stator.
u
m
in Fig. 11 represents the mean circum
ferential velocity of the stage, and is, for the
purpose of this investigation, considered as
being constant across the stage, which means
that u
m
= uL = u
2
. The absolute flow veloci
ties are shown as c
02
and c
1
while w
1
and w
2
relate to the relative velocities. With a degree
of reaction of 50%, a
1
is equal to
2
, and a
0 2
equal to
1
. According to common practice in
literature, the angles as shown are counted
from the circumferential direction.
The volume flowrate as per eqn. (5) is also
governed by
V = Ac
2
(7)
where A is the area of flow passage normal to
Fig. 11. Velocity diagram of a turbine stage: u
m
,
mean circumferential velocity; C0.2. Ci, absolute
velocities; u>i, w
2
, relative velocities;
0
. 2, Oi, flow
angles at stator blade;
lt

2
, flow angles at rotor
blade.
the axis of rotation of the turbomachine, and
c
z
the axial velocity. Area A results from
A=it(rlr\) (8)
while for c
z
one obtains the following relation
from the velocity diagram :
tan a
x
tan
x
c, = u
r
Using
tan
1
tanc*!
f f o + r
0
)
u
m
=
60
(9)
(10)
with representing the rotational speed in
rev/min, the volume flowrate is calculated as
follows by combination of eqns. (1), (7), (8)
and (9):
/ 6 0 u
m
\
2
l t ana
1
t an/ 3
1
V
twu
m
y iv
\ 1 1 +
tan
r
tan
(11)
As can be seen from eqn. (11), the next deci
sions to be made concern the circumferential
velocity, rotational speed and hub/tip ratio, as
well as angles

and

.
To minimize the size of the machine, one
aims at a circumferential velocity which
should be as high as possible. These endeav
ours are mainly limited by two factors, viz.
the strength of the available materials, and the
sound velocity of the working fluid.
Since the centrifugal forces acting on any
component are proportional to the relation

2
/r, it must be verified when fixing the
circumferential velocity whether suitable
materials are available to withstand the
stresses occurring with an acceptable safety
factor over the full service life. In this
consideration the operating temperature of
the component is of particular importance.
As is evident from the velocity diagram, all
velocities are proportional to the circumfer
ential velocity, provided the angles are main
tained. However, to ensure a smooth flow pat
tern through the blade cascade, the flow
velocity must not exceed or even reach the
sound velocity in the cascade. If this require
ment is to be satisfied, the upper limit of the
circumferential velocity is governed by aero
dynamic aspects.
The speed of a turbomachine is in various
cases predetermined by the plant in which it
is installed. For instance, turbines in power
plants are tied to the speed of the generator
of 3000 rev/min because gear boxes can be
171
used up to a particular power range only. If
there is no such restriction, the speed is for
the most part governed by the limits made for
t he circumferential velocity (also the mean
diameter of the rot or chosen).
The hub/ t i p ratio should not be less than
0.5 and should not exceed 0.9 [3]. With less
than 0.5, an unseparated flow is no longer
ensured in the hub area while with a hub/ t i p
ratio in excess of 0.9, the blade lengths be
come so small t hat the influence of the end
wall losses are inadmissibly great. Optimiza
tion of angles o^ and a
0
referred to the cir
cumferential efficiency at 50% reaction shows
t hat a
1
should be as small as possible and a
0
should be equal to 90. The smaller a
1
, the
smaller the axial velocity c
z
, at a constant cir
cumferential velocity and constant a
0
. The
area of flow passage, A, must t hen be
increased accordingly. This means, in other
words, t hat in the selection of a
x
one has to
find a compromise between the maxi mum cir
cumferential efficiency and the dimensions of
t he machine.
Once the variables on t he righthand side of
eqn. (11) have been fixed in consideration of
t he above aspects, the inlet and outlet dia
meters as well as the velocity diagram in the
mean section of the stage with the greatest
blade height can be readily defined.
With the velocity diagram one obtains from
Euler' s turbine equation the enthalpy differ
ence per stage, which is as follows:
Ah =
Ul
c
u
u
2
c
u
^ (12)
where c
u
and c are t he circumferential
components of the absolute velocities c
x
and
c
2
upstream and downstream of the rot or. On
the assumption t hat the same enthalpy differ
ence is handled in all stages, the number of
stages works out as
= Ah
T
c/Ah (13)
where
c
stands for the total enthalpy dif
ference of the turbomachine.
The number of stages will not generally be
a whole number, so the calculation must be
repeated with modified values until a whole
number is obtained. Following this calcula
tion the centrifugal stresses will have t o be
checked both in the stage with t he longest
blades and in the stage with the highest temp
erature load. If necessary, the layout proce
dure must be repeated with a lower circumfer
ential velocity.
Now t hat the machine dimensions at the in
let and outlet as well as the number of stages
are known, one can proceed to calculate the
volume flowrates and thus the diameters of
t he individual stages step by step using the
indicated equations.
In the layout described so far the turbo
machines were considered as isolated units.
The turbine and the compressors of stationary
gas turbine installations are generally operated
at the same speed, but since an opt i mum lay
out of the individual machines does not neces
sarily produce identical rotational speeds a
compromise must be found.
Considering these aspects and using the
pitch line design theory it is possible t o define
t he main dimensions of the t urbomachi ne.
The final aerodynamic and t hermodynami c
layout is then determined by a threedimen
sional calculation of the flow through the ma
chines and by a corresponding correction of
the original dimensions [4 ].
To illustrate a design actually implemented,
a closedcycle air turbine system with 17. 25
MW power out put which is installed at
Gelsenkirchen, W. Germany will be described
in the following. Figure 12 is a general view of
the machine set, with t he LP compressor in
the foreground and t he HP compressor and
the turbine in a common casing behind it. Via
a planetary gear not shown on the picture, the
turbomachines are connected t o the generator
on the right.
A longitudinal section of the machine set is
illustrated in Fig. 13. The group consists of
Fig. 12. 17.25 MW power station, Gelsenkirchen,
West Germany.
172
Fig. 13. Longitudinal section of the machine group of the Gelsenkirchen plant: a, LP compressor; b, HP compres-
sor; c, turbine.
the LP compressor a in one casing, and the HP
compressor b and the turbine c in another cas-
ing. The LP rot or is rigidly connected to the
HP rot or through a pin coupling. The axial
thrust of the compressors and of the turbine
counteract each other. Any residual thrust
forces are absorbed by a small balancing pis-
ton and a double-acting axial bearing which is
located on the suction side of the LP com-
pressor. The hub diameter of all stages is
constant in each case, i.e. for both compres-
sors and for the turbine. The guide blades are
held by special blade carriers fixed t o the
outer casing. The compressor blading is de-
signed for a degree of reaction of 100%. The
LP compressor has seven and t he HP compres-
sor eight stages. On both compressors, the
first row of guide blades is adjustable. The
turbine features six axial-flow stages. It is
equipped with reaction blading with about
50% reaction in the mean section of the last
stage.
The casing of the LP compressor is made of
nodular cast iron while the casing of the high-
pressure group consists of cast steel. This is
possible despite the high working-air temper-
ature in the turbine because a double-shell
design was chosen for the turbine. The austen-
itic inlet and outlet casings are isolated from
the outer casing by an insulating compound.
The rot or of the HP compressor and of the
turbine is one integral piece made of austen-
itic material because of the high temperatures
prevailing in the turbine. The LP compressor
rotor, on the other hand, was manufactured
of normal ferritic material.
Because of the opposing arrangement of
t he HP compressor and the turbine there is
only a minor differential pressure between the
two machines, so that a short axial labyrinth
packing is adequate for sealing between the
HP compressor and the turbine. The leakage
air is used t o cool the shaft between compres-
sor and turbine. Special stuffing boxes
provided t o seal t he shaft of both casings
from the atmosphere are combined with the
journal bearings to form structural units. Both
machines are split horizontally in keeping
with common practice, and are seated on four
brackets on each side. The effective power of
the turbo set is transmitted to the generator
through a planetary gear. The machine speed
is 6654 rev/min, as opposed to a 3000 rev/
min generator speed. At a power at terminals
of 17. 25 MW, the self-exciting generator is
rated for 25 MVA. The starting mot or with a
power rating of 800 MW is coupled to the free
shaft journal of the generator. The main oil
pumps supplying the machines with lube oil
are flanged to the planetary gear. A shaft
barring gear is arranged between the gear and
the generator.
3.2. Heat exchanging apparatus
The heat exchangers of a gas turbine cycle
generally comprise the following units: recu-
perative heat exchanger, precooler, inter-
cooler, and heater (receiver).
In the heat exchanger and in the coolers
t he heat t o be exchanged is transferred from a
high-temperature flowing fluid to a low-temp-
erature flowing fluid. Heat absorption by a re-
ceiver in a solar tower plant differs from this
way of heat exchange in t hat a heating surface
is irradiated, thus transferring heat t o the
working fluid. For this reason the heat ex-
changer/coolers and the receiver will be dealt
with separately in the following.
173
3.2.1. Layout of heat exchangerand coolers
The recuperative heat exchanger and the
coolers are designed to transfer heat from a
hightemperature flowing fluid to a lowtemp
erature flowing fluid. Depending upon the
fluid flow directions, the units can be oper
ated in parallel flow, counter flow, cross flow,
or a combination of parallel flow or counter
flow and cross flow. To achieve the best pos
sible heat transfer properties, a crosscounter
flow arrangement is frequently chosen such as
is diagrammatically sketched in Fig. 14 [5].
Flowing fluid a enters the heat exchanger
with temperature

and flows in the opposite
direction to the working fluid b which it
crosses several times. The outlet temperature
of the working agent a is 0
2
,
an
^
L
the inlet/
outlet temperatures of flowing fluid b are t

and 12, respectively.
The layout procedure will be explained by
reference to the heat exchanger. Also starting
from ideal gas conditions in this case, and
assuming that the working medium a cools
down, then the heat transferred is calculated
as
= rnaCp^! 0
2
) (14)
This heat quantity is absorbed by the working
medium b and can be expressed as
0 = m
b
c
p
(i
2
i) (15)
The above quantity of heat is to be trans
ferred through the heating surface of the heat
exchanger and is governed by the following
relation:
Q = kAA9,
(16)
where k is the overall heat transfer coefficient
which is a function of the coefficient of
thermal conductivity of the surface material,
the wall thickness of the heating surface, and
the heat transfer coefficients of the releasing
and the absorbing flowing fluid. The heat
transfer coefficients for their part depend on
the working fluid and increase with rising
workingfluid pressure and pressure loss. A
stands for the heating surface area, and A0
m
Fig. 14. Diagrammatic sketch of crosscounter flow:
a, b, mass flow; 0^, 0
2
, temperatures of hot mass
flow;
1F
f
2)
temperatures of cold mass flow.
for the mean logarithmic temperature differ
ence which, apart from the temperature
levels, depends on the pass of the flowing
fluids. Mass flow and temperatures are known
from the layout of the cycle. Once a decision
has been made about the flow pass, the vari
ables Q and A6
m
in eqn. (16) are also known.
Calculations then proceed as follows.
First, the overall heat transfer coefficient is
roughly estimated and the necessary heating
surface area A is calculated as an approximate
value with eqn. (16). This must be done be
cause, for the exact calculation of k, one
needs data about the flow velocities, dimen
sions of the components and their relations to
one another. The geometry of the heat ex
change surface must be fixed (e.g. number of
tubes, diameter, length, wall thickness, wall
material, gas/liquid pass) to create conditions
which permit the overall heat transfer coeffi
cient to be corrected. In this process the
specified pressure loss must be maintained in
order not to adversely affect the efficiency at
terminals of the plant. Whether or not the
heat transfer coefficient can be increased at
the expense of higher pressure losses with a
view to obtaining smaller heat exchange sur
face areas and thus cheaper exchangers can
only be decided by a profitability study for
the total plant.
Figure 15 shows the basic design of such a
heat exchanger. The working medium which
comes from the compressor and has to be
heated enters at a and flows through a header
b
1
into the annular collector c
1;
which inci.
dentally constitutes one of the tube plates of
the tube bundle d. Through the tubes of the
bundle, which constitute the heat exchanger
as such, the gas flows to the annular collector
c
2
and from there again through a distributor
construction b
2
to the highpressure outlet e.
The hot lowpressure gas enters the heat ex
changer at f and is guided by the baffles g and
h in such a way that the direction of flow
through the bundle is everywhere almost
vertical to the tubes. The flow crosssections
ix and i
2
are to be proportioned in such a way
that the pressure drops at these points do not
exceed a tolerable limit. At the nozzle k the
lowpressure gas leaves the heat exchanger.
In an opencycle gas turbine with recuper
ator the required heat exchange surface areas
are considerably greater than those in a
closedcycle installation, because pressures are
174
S
. .'.
section - section C-D
Fig. 15. Smooth tube heat exchanger: a, HP entry; b^, HP inlet header; b2, HP outlet header; ci , C2, annular
collector; d, tube bundle;e, HP outlet; f, LP inlet; g, h, baffles; , 2, flow crosssection; k, LP outlet.
lower. As the differential pressure between
the HP and LP sides is also lower and since
the pressure on the LP side is almost atmo
spheric, plate heat exchangers can be used
which have a much higher performance/
weight ratio (package design).
Figure 16 is a longitudinal section of an
intercooler. The gas enters at flange a, flows
Fig. 16. Longitudinal section of the cooler: a, gas in
let; b, gas outlet; c, water inlet; d, connecting pipes;
e, guide chambers; f, water outlet; g, tube bundle.
through the bundles vertical to the tubes, and
leaves the cooler through flange b. The cool
ing water enters at c, is directed in a cross
counter flow relative to the gas by means of
the connecting pipes d and the guide chamber
e and leaves the cooler at the flange f. The
cooling surface comprises six passes g which
are grouped in three bundles.
3.2.2. Layout of receiver
In the receiver of a solar tower plant (gas
turbine) heat must be transferred by radiation
to a gaseous fluid. This also applies to the
radiation section of fossilfired heaters. Calcu
lation methods [6 13] based on extensive
measurements [14 18] are available for the
calculation of such radiation sections.
To make use of the experience gained the
receiver must be built similar to the radiation
sections of conventionally fired heaters. For
this reason the following considerations are
based on a cylindrical or polygonal receiver.
Figure 17 is a diagrammatic sketch of a
cylindrical receiver. The working fluid enters
the inlet header a, flows through the tubes b,
situated in front of the receiver inner wall,
and leaves the unit through the outlet header
c. The total irradiation length is marked L,
and the current length irradiated is called /.
The tubes have an outer diameter d
a
and are
arranged at a spacing t on pitch diameter D.
To describe the temperature characteristic
and the irradiation pattern over the tube cir
cumference, a circumferential angle is intro
duced for each tube. The zero point of this
circumferential angle in each case points at
175
(1) High receiver efficiency r?
rec
, which is
calculated as
Fig. 17. Diagrammatic sketch of receiver configura
tion: a, inlet header; b, tubes; c, outlet header; d,
diameter of tubes; e, aperture; f, reflective part of
receiver; g, ceiling; /, current length irradiated;s, wall
thickness; t, spacing; D, pitch diameter; L, total irra
diation length; , circumferential angle.
the receiver axis and defines the point of max
imum irradiation of the tube circumference
( = 0).
It is assumed that the radiation collected
by the mirrors enters the receiver from below,
through aperture e. Inside the receiver it first
strikes a reflective wall f which is designed to
reduce the intensity of the radiation striking
the tubes [19, 20]. By an appropriate config
uration of this part of the receiver and, where
necessary, of the ceiling g, the intensity pat
tern along the tube length L can be influenced.
Part of the reflected radiation directly strikes
the tubes where most of it is absorbed. The
remaining part strikes the receiver wall behind
the tubes. If this wall is thermally insulated
from the atmosphere, the radiation received is
reflected mainly in the form of thermal radia
tion and for the most part absorbed by the
tubes conveying the working fluid. Any
energy not absorbed by the tubes leaves the
receiver through the aperture and represents a
loss for the receiver.
As the permissible irradiation intensity in
side the cavity is limited by the amount of
heat transferred to the medium, one must
look for ways and means to improve the heat
transfer.
Layout of the receiver pursues the follow
ing aims:
Vt
Qap Qloss _
1
_ Qloss
Qa
(17)
where
Qap
=
Qm
=
total irradiation (thermal power)
into receiver through aperture
Qloss
=
Qrera
+
Qrefl
+
Qconv
+
Qcond
(Jioss = heat power loss of receiver
(2) Small tubed heating surface.
(3) Low total weight.
The cycle calculations provide the follow
ing for the layout of the receiver:
(1) Heat quantity Q transferred to the
working fluid through irradiation.
(2) Inlet and outlet temperatures of the
working fluid.
The receiver design is a function of the fac
tors indicated below:
(1) Distribution of irradiation which can be
achieved along the tube length, q (I).
(2) Spacing ratio t/d.
(3) Tube diameter d.
(4) Pressure of working fluid.
(5) Permissible relative pressure loss /.
(6) Controllable maximum tube wall temp
erature f
max
.
(7) Permissible loading through internal
pressure and thermal expansion.
The following considerations will only deal
with the influence exerted by the irradiation
in two limiting cases [21, 22].
With a constant heat transfer coefficient
between the tube inner wall and the working
fluid, the amount of heat transferred per unit
of surface area is a function of the temper
ature difference between the inner wall and
the fluid. The aim, therefore, is to make this
temperature difference as great as possible.
Since the heat has to pass through the tube
wall, the tube outside temperature is higher
than the inner wall temperature, depending
on the thermal conductivity of the tube
material. The decisive factor for the tube
strength is the maximum temperature that
can arise, i.e. the tube outer wall temperature.
If one is successful in raising this temperature
to the maximum permissible value on the
entire tube length, the temperature difference
between the tube inner wall and the working
fluid also assumes the respective maximum
176
permissible value on the entire length of the
tube. The local tube wall temperature is
characterized to a decisive degree by the
pattern of the irradiation absorbed by the
tubes. This local irradiation absorbed by the
working fluid, referred to the unit of surface
area, is called 'heat flux'. The admitted heat
quantity can be calculated by integrating the
heat flux for the entire tube surface area.
In any receiver layout one looks for that
particular heating surface which transmits the
admitted heat quantity while not exceeding
the maximum permissible tube wall temper
ature. Heating surface is understood to mean
the sum of all tube surface areas. Further, the
length and number of tubes for a given tube
diameter must be defined such that the
permissible relative total pressure loss is not
exceeded.
On the receiver of the 20 MW plant the
characteristic of the heat flux absorbed by the
working fluid was varied over the tube length.
The tube material was a hightemperature
steel capable of withstanding tube wall temp
eratures of up to 860 C. Figure 18 shows the
influence of the heat flux characteristic on
the characteristics of the working fluid and
the maximum tube wall temperature. The
curves are based on a spacing ratio of t/d =
2.3 and a tube diameter of d = 40 mm. The
200
kW
C
50
<
" c
^
-
d

" ^ _L?

....
/
/
,f
g-
900
i .
| 700
* 600
500
0 02 Ol 06 08 0 0 02 l 06 IO
relative tube length l/L
Fig. 18. Influence of irradiation on heat flux and
temperatures: curve a, heat flux for constant irradia
tion; b, maximum tube temperature for constant irra
diation; c, air temperature for constant irradiation;
d, heat flux for optimized irradiation; e, mean heat
flux for optimized irradiation; f, maximum tube
temperature for optimized irradiation; g, air temper
ature for optimized irradiation.
tube wall temperature reaches its maximum at
a circumferential angle of = 0.
In the first approach a constant heat flux
characteristic was assumed over the tube
length. Plotted in the left part of Fig. 18
versus the relative tube length l/L are the heat
flux for constant irradiation (curve a at the
top) and, in the lower part of the graph, the
related curves for the tube wall temperature,
b, and the working fluid temperature, c. As
can be seen the temperature potential inher
ent in the tube material is not fully utilized,
the permissible wall temperature of 860 C
not being reached until the end of the irradi
ated section. Owing to the assumed constant
heat flux both curves run in parallel.
With the number of tubes being 635, the
required heating surface area is about 1960
m
2
. The total irradiation length is 24.6 m at a
pitch diameter of D = 18.6 m. Assuming a
constant heat flux over the tube length, the
mean heat flux is 26.9 kW/m
2
. The mean heat
flux is understood to be the ratio of the heat
transferred to the total heating surface area.
The thermal loading of the heat transfer
area can be considerably increased if the max
imum permissible tube wall temperature is
reached over the full tube length. Starting
from constant irradiation, the heat flux
characteristic over the tube length was steadi
ly improved until a constant wall temperature
of 860 C was achieved for a circumferential
angle of = 0. The heat flux pattern deter
mined in this way offers most favourable
conditions for heat transfer, and is rep
resented as curve d in the top right part of
Fig. 18. The mean heat flux of 81.7 kW/m
2
(curve e) is shown to be three times the values
achieved with constant irradiation. The heat
flux has its maximum at the inlet of the work
ing fluid where it reaches about 166 kW/m
2
.
At this very point the difference between the
tube wall temperature (curve f) and the work
ing fluid temperature (curve g) also has its
maximum, causing high thermal stresses to
occur which vastly reduce the service life of
the tubing. This means that an irradiation pat
tern as detailed above can hardly be imple
mented in practical applications. Still, to de
fine an upper limit for heat transfer, this irra
diation pattern is taken as a basis for further
studies. The heat that can be transferred de
creases with decreasing temperature differ
ence.
177
The heating surface area for this optimized
irradiation pattern is 646 m
2
, requiring 464
tubes of length L = 11.1 m arranged on a
pitch circle with a diameter of D = 13.6 m.
The spacing ratio influences the proportion
of irradiation which strikes the receiver inner
wall. At a spacing ratio of t/d = 1, the inner
wall does not receive any radiation, so the
tube surface does not absorb any radiation
energy in the circumferential angle range
90 < < 270, although this range takes
part in the process of heat transfer to the
working fluid owing to the conduction of
heat in the tube wall in the circumferential
direction. In the irradiated tube surface area
between = 270 and = 90 the tube inner
wall temperature is higher than on the oppo
site side. This causes additional heat to be
transferred through radiation to the inner wall
in the range 90 < < 270. The working
fluid absorbs the heat by convection from the
tube inner wall.
With increasing spacing ratio, the radiation
energy going to the receiver inner wall rises
steadily; this energy is backreflected so that
the part of the tube surface which faces the
receiver inner wall also absorbs radiation ener
gy. The higher the spacing ratio, the greater
becomes this portion of the total heat quanti
ty absorbed by the tube, and at high spacing
ratios the temperatures on the tube surface
approach the maximum permissible tube wall
temperature.
At a constant workingfluid pressure, the
tube wall thickness increases with rising out
side diameter. This reduces the amount of
heat transferred through the tube wall, i.e. at
a constant tube wall outside temperature, less
heat per surface area unit is transferred to the
working fluid.
As the tube circumference increases, the
conduction of heat in the circumferential di
rection is reduced, causing higher temperature
differences on the tube circumference. At a
constant maximum tube wall temperature the
mean temperature differences between the
inner tube wall and the working fluid will
thus decrease, which also reduces the amount
of heat transferred to the working fluid.
For tube outside diameters of 30, 40 and
50 mm, the spacing ratio t/d was varied in the
range 1.0 to 4.0. Figure 19 shows on the left
the mean heat flux, and on the right the ratio
of the total irradiation tube length L and the

I
CO
/
7/
7/
/
d = 30mm^
d = iOmm
-^dzSOmm

I
c
S
C
I
1.0
\
\
\
\
\
d * 50 mm
d = 40mm
-!U*!ZL_
2.0 25 30 3.5
spacing ratio
Fig. 19. Mean heat flux and ratio of tube length and
pitch diameter as function of the spacing ratio: air
pressure 4.6 MPa; relative pressure loss 4.9%; o, lay
out point.
pitch diameter D, both as a function of the
spacing ratio, for the three tube diameters
under consideration. At a constant tube dia
meter the mean heat flux increases with rising
spacing ratio since there is a more uniform
irradiation of the tube surface. As detailed be
fore, the heat flux decreases with increasing
tube diameter.
The righthand part of Fig. 19 shows that
the ratio of the total irradiation length L and
the pitch diameter D decreases with rising
spacing ratio. Since the mean heat flux rises,
the required heating surface area becomes
smaller. The curve obtained results from the
fact that the decrease in the tube length is
more pronounced than the decrease in the
number of tubes.
At a constant spacing ratio, the ratio of
L/D increases with the tube diameter. This is
mainly caused by the fact that with a con
stant pressure loss the number of tubes re
quired decreases with rising tube diameter.
To obtain a mean heat flux as high as pos
sible with reasonable receiver dimensions, the
tube outer diameter is selected as 40 mm at a
spacing ratio of 2.3. This gives us a ratio of
the total irradiation length L and the pitch
diameter D of 0.8. When the working fluid
temperature and the pressure loss are kept at
a constant level, the Reynolds number rises
with increasing pressure. This improves the
heat transfer on the tube inner side. But, at a
constant tube outer diameter, the wall thick
ness is also increased so that the heat
transmission through the tubes deteriorates.
Figure 20 shows the mean heat flux for the
selected tube diameter of 40 mm and spacing
178
:
3.0 35 .O
pressure
..S MPa
Fig. 20. Mean heat flux as function of receiver inlet
pressure: tube diameter 40.0 mm; spacing ratio 2.3;
relative pressure loss 4.9%; o, layout point.
ratio of 2.3, as a function of the receiver in
let pressure. As the pressure rises, the heat
flux initially increases steeply since the
improvement in heat transfer to the working
fluid outweighs the influence exerted by the
increase in tube wall thickness. Maximum
heat fluxes are reached between 4.0 and 4.9
MPa. In this range the curve is very flat, reach
ing values around 82.5 kW/m
2
. When the pres
sure rises beyond 4.9 MPa, the influence of
the tube wall thickness predominates so that
the mean heat flux decreases.
Based on the selected turbine inlet pressure
of 4.4 MPa and a relative total pressure loss of
e = 4.9% for the receiver, the receiver inlet
pressure is 4.61 MPa. This pressure lies in the
optimum range of the curve and is marked on
the graph.
3.3. Piping system
As is evident from Table 1, the pressure
loss of a plant represents one of the major var
iables influencing the plant efficiency, which
means that the pressure loss in the piping sys
tem should also be minimized. This can be
achieved by an optimum arrangement of the
cycle components.
Before proceeding to the detailed piping
layout, one must perform an arrangement
study for the cycle components, trying to
reach a compromise between a package power
plant design and minimum piping pressure
losses. It should be remembered that on a
600 mm diameter pipeline the pressure loss in
a 90 elbow corresponds to the pressure loss
of a pipe section between 9 and 12 m long.
A particular problem is presented by all
pipelines handling hot gases, where the
highest cycle temperature arises together with
the highest pressure; with a conventional
design this implies high quality for the piping
material. Since gas turbines are characterized
by an almost isobaric heat supply, one pos
sible solution to reduce the duct stresses
would be to distribute the pressure and temp
erature loads on two concentric pipes.
Special attention should be paid to the
design of hightemperature ducts, specially
with regard to the inner insulation. Figure 21
shows a section of such a hot gas duct and its
components for a 50 MW gas turbine [23,
24]. One can see the outer highpressure
cylinder a, the inner highpressure cylinder b,
the insulation c and the gas duct d. The hot
gas coming from the heater or receiver flows
in the gas duct d, which is composed of 2 m
long pieces. These pieces are fixed at one end
with the help of two supporting cones e; this
end is welded at the inner surface of the duct
b and hence it is fixed at that place in the
axial and radial direction. At the other end,
the pipe piece d can move freely in the axial
direction and at the same time is guided in the
radial direction through a small piping piece
Fig. 21. Section of concentric hot gas duct: a, outer
pressure cylinder; b, inner pressure cylinder; c,
pressed insulation material; d, hot gas duct; e,
supporting cones; f, sliding cam.
179
which is connected to the next duct d. In the
concentric duct between the outer and inner
pressure cylinders (a, b) gas flows from either
the HP compressor (~200 C) or from the
heat exchanger (~450 C). The inner cylinder
b is supported by three sliding struts which
are welded at the inner surface of cylinder a.
Therefore the inner cylinder b can move free
ly with respect to the outer cylinder a if there
are temperature differences. To compensate
this relative motion, the inner cylinder is
provided with an axial compensator.
Finally, it is important to give special
consideration to two points when designing
the heat exchanging apparatus and the piping
system, namely the relative pressure drop
Ap/p and the mean temperature difference
A0
m
. Large pressure drops lead to small di
mensions of the heat exchangers; however,
the efficiency at terminals will be lower, as
can be seen from Table 1. For the gas turbine
cycle it does not matter whether the relative
pressure drops result chiefly on the high
pressure side or on the lowpressure side, as
long as the sum of the relative pressure drops
remains constant. There is thus much flexibil
ity in selecting the heat exchanger, receiver,
coolers and piping most suitable for the
particular project. Similar considerations are
valid also for the heat exchanging apparatus.
The size of the heat exchanger could be re
duced by accepting a greater difference be
tween the temperatures of the incoming low
pressure gas and the outgoing highpressure
gas. Figure 22 shows that the size can be re
duced to 45% by doubling the temperature
difference between the LP inlet and HP out
let. The result is a decrease in efficiency by
four points (see Table 1), but this should be
acceptable regarding the inherent high effi
ciency of the plant. However, every case has
to be examined thoroughly to determine at
a. 1.0
S 0.5
I
.100%
. .
I
^*
_ _

5V,
which temperature
m
the regenerated heat
is cheaper than the primary heat. There is no
general answer to this question, if only be
cause the answer depends also on whether the
heat not utilized for regeneration can be used
for other purposes and what price can then be
achieved. For pure power generation the most
favourable temperature difference is about
30 C (see Table 2), as experience has shown.
The heat exchanger designs which are dis
cussed here are based on this value.
4. CONTROL
4.1. Pressure level control
A specially important characteristic of the
closedcycle gas turbine is that one can change
(increase) the base pressure of the cycle
almost without restrictions. Changing the
generated power can be achieved easily by
changing the pressure level of the cycle. This
occurs in a way that the temperatures, and
hence the velocities, of the working medium
will not be affected. Accordingly, the effi
ciency at part load is not far different from
that at full load.
4.2. Bypass control
Rapid load changes are carried out with the
help of the bypass valve (by) shown in Fig.
23. The bypass duct connects the ducts
beyond the HP compressor directly with the
exhaust duct of the turbine. The heat ex
changer, the heater (receiver) and the turbine
can thus be bypassed. It is possible that the
bypass control for solar tower plants is more
30 iO 50 60 7 0
Fig. 22. Size of heat exchangers.
Fig. 23. Circuit diagram of a closedcycle gas turbine:
a, LP compressor; b, intercooler; c, HP compressor; d,
heat exchanger; e, air heater; f, turbine; g, precooler;
h, gear box; i, generator; k, starting motor; 1, m,
compressor bypass valve; n, shutoff valve; by, bypass
valve.
180
convenient than the pressure level control in
some special cases. This is when at each load
the optimum combination of the receiver exit
temperature and the pressure level of the
cycle is to be achieved, in order to get the
maximum total efficiency attainable with the
different components of the cycle. This
method of control is used in connection with
conventional plants as well as plants which are
not connected to the grid.
4.3. Starting and stopping control
In order to prevent the compressors a and b
in Fig. 23 reaching the surge limit by starting
and stopping of the plant, the bypass valves 1
and m should be kept open at lower rota
tional speeds. These valves are situated in
ducts which connect the inlets and the outlets
of the compressor.
4.4. Shutoff control
In extreme cases which endanger the whole
plant, such as overspeeding of more than 10%
or defects in the oil system, bearing damage,
shaft vibration, etc., the shutoff valve is fully
opened. At the same time the energy input to
the receiver (heater) should be stopped. The
valve enables the trapped air beyond the HP
compressor to be vented into the surround
ings. In that way, the turbogroup comes to a
stand still in a few seconds.
Experimental investigations were carried
out with this plant [25]. The air is pre
compressed in the lowpressure compressor a,
recooled in the intermediate cooler b, and
compressed to the upper process pressure in
the highpressure compressor c. In recuperator
d, the compressed air absorbs part of the heat
contained in the expanded air escaping from
the turbine f before flowing into heater e.
Heat is again extracted from the expanded air
in the precooler g so that the air again reaches
the temperature prevailing at the lowpressure
compressor, thus completing the cycle.
The bypass is also shown in Fig. 23. It
constitutes one of the most important means
of controlling operation and is used primarily
whenever rapid changes are necessary. In this
case part of the working fluid is removed
from the circuit behind the highpressure
compressor and is fed in again behind the tur
bine without having performed work. The by
pass has proved very effective and very quick
in controlling the plant. The alternative
method of varying the gas inventory, and with
it the pressure level and the mass of circulat
ing working fluid, is relatively slow compared
with the bypass method.
The most pronounced changes of the cir
cuit values and steepest gradients occurred
during load release. The measured values are
shown in Fig. 24. In these tests the generator
5. TRANSIENT BEHAVIOUR
One of the preconditions for designing
closed gas turbine plants is the preparation of
sufficient data and reliable methods of calcu
lation with respect to the behaviour of opera
ting conditions that vary with time. Knowledge
of the transient behaviour of gas turbine plants
is essential, not only for reasons of safety, but
also for the design of the control system and
the appraisal of the anticipated loads on the
machines and components arising from tem
perature and pressure fluctuations.
Figure 23 shows a schema of the circuit of
a gas turbine. The plant was designed for a
maximum electrical power rating of 13.75
MW. At the design point the inlet pressure is
32.4 bar and the maximum temperature
710 C. The air enters the lowpressure com
pressor at 30 C and 7.8 bar.
12
MW
300
a
r
P
m
J 3000

2600
* 80
c
S iO
it mm
0
200
kg/s
100
-100
Z \
^
s
r
r
Z
TL

\


i t

i t
L

V
,
m
J
.
**
__

S 10 12 li 16 sec 20
time
Fig. 24. Load release.
181
was disconnected from the power network
when operating at an output of 10.5 MW, i.e.
84% of the rated output. The surge of surplus
power causes an immediate acceleration in the
rotational speed of the turboset. Just 0.1 s
after the speed begins to increase, the bypass
valve begins to open. The mass of working
fluid flowing through the bypass m
by
in-
crease rapidly and attains its maximum value
after only about 0.5 s (broken line). At this
point the value is more than twice as great as
the mass of working fluid m circulating in the
circuit at the beginning of the test. The mass
flow m downstream from the branch-off of
the bypass line also drops rapidly and even be-
comes negative for nearly 2 s.
Owing to the rapid opening of the bypass
valve the rotational speed attains its max-
imum value after about 1.5 s and remains be-
low 10% overspeed. Whenever the rotational
speed drops, the speed regulator closes the by-
pass valve again completely for short periods
of time. Ultimately, these processes approach
a steady state which is reached after about 2.5
periods of oscillation of the rotational speed.
The significant changes in pressure and temp-
erature take place in the first few seconds.
Neither the pressures nor the temperatures or
their gradients reach, in such load releases,
values which are dangerous for the compo-
nents of the plant.
6. FURTHER COURSE OF LAYOUT
When the layout of the cycle components
has been completed, thermodynamic optimi-
zation of the cycle must be repeated if any of
the layout parameters have changed, such as
pressure loss, machine efficiency, etc. If major
changes are not to be expected any more, one
can proceed to perform a detailed layout of
the cycle components. At this stage one
should incorporate the precalculations of the
control system and the dynamic behaviour of
the plant. These studies will provide some
information about the maximum loads to be
expected for the cycle components under
extreme operating conditions, and will thus
supply valuable basic data for design and
choice of materials. Another important aspect
of these studies concerns the precalculation of
the start-up procedure, especially with respect
to the start-up power that will be required.
The calculations related to the control and
operating behaviour should be continued in
parallel to the plant design work, matching
the computer program input data with the
current design progress and sophisticating the
calculation procedure.
7. SUMMARY
Using a 20 MW solar tower plant with
closed-cycle air turbine as a reference, details
were given about the layout sequence of a gas
turbine installation. No new problems had to
be solved in the layout or design of the turbo-
machines, recuperative heat exchanger or
coolers since a huge operating experience is
available for these components. Although for
the layout of the receiver one can resort to
the operating experience with fossil-fired ra-
diation sections of air and helium heaters,
new problems are encountered in this field
which must be overcome by intensive research
and development work.
Studies are also being performed for the de-
velopment of solar tower plants with helium
turbines and with open-cycle gas turbines.
The layout sequence for such plants largely
corresponds to the method described in this
paper, except for detailed problems which
require different solutions. In conclusion, the
most important layout parameters of the air
turbine plant dealt with in great detail are
compared with those of a helium plant of the
same power output (Table 3). Table 4 shows
the data of a smaller plant with 250 kW
power output which has an open-cycle gas
turbine. With all three plants the turbine inlet
temperature is 800 C. Through optimization
of heat transfer in the receiver, the closed-
cycle plants, which are equipped with a single
intercooler, feature a turbine inlet pressure of
3.1 MPa for helium, and 4.4 MPa for air. The
inlet pressure of the open-cycle plant, which
also has an intercooler, is obtained by a
special cycle optimization, and amounts to
0.459 MPa. With the indicated efficiencies of
the turbomachines, the temperature differ-
ence of the recuperator and the sum of rela-
tive total pressure losses, the efficiency at
terminals was found to be 37.1%, 38.3% and
34.1%. In the closed-cycle plant, the receiver
reaches a mean heat flux of 151 kW/m
2
for
helium, and 82 kW/m
2
for air. On account of
182
TABLE 3
Layout parameters of solar tower plants with a closedcycle gas turbine
Output at terminals (MW)
Turbine inlet temperature (C)
Number of intercoolings
Turbine inlet pressure (MPa)
Pressure ratio of expansion
Isentropic turbine efficiency (%)
Cooling coefficient (%)
Compressor inlet temperature (C)
Isentropic compressor efficiencies (LP/HP) (%)
Temperature difference of recuperator (C)
Sum of relative pressure losses (%)
Efficiency at terminals (%)
Turbine mass now (kg/s)
Mean heat flux of receiver (kW/m
2
)
Closedcycle
Helium
20
800
1
3.09
2.20
90
1
50
86/85
22
10.3
37.1
36.1
151.0
Air
20
800
1
4.40
3.00
90
1
50
86/85
30
12.0
38.3
172.0
82.0
TABLE 4
Layout parameters of solar tower plant with a small opencycle gas turbine
Opencycle
Air
Output at terminals (MW) 0.25
Turbine inlet temperature (C) 800
Number of intercoolings 1
Turbine inlet pressure (MPa) 0.459
Pressure ratio of expansion 4.5
Isentropic turbine efficiency (%) 88
Cooling coefficient (%) 1
Compressor inlet temperature (C) 30
Isentropic compressor efficiencies (LP/HP) (%) 84/83
Temperature difference of recuperator (C) 40
Sum of relative pressure losses (%) 9.0
Efficiency at terminals (%) 34.1
Turbine mass flow (kg/s) 1.94
Mean heat flux of receiver (kW/m
2
) 40.7
the lower pressure level the corresponding
value for the opencycle plant is only 40.7
kW/m
2
.
REFERENCES
1 K. Bammert and H. Psentrup, Dampf und Gas
turbinen fr kleine Solarkraftwerke, Atomkern
energie, 32(1978) 153 158.
2 K. Bammert, Vorlesung ber "Thermische Turbo
maschinen", HahnDruckerei, Hannover, 1974.
3 K. Bammert and H. Klukens, Nabentotwasser
hinter Leitrdern von axialen Strmungsmaschi
nen, Ing. Arch., 1 7 (5) (1949) 367 390.
. Bammert and . Fiedler, Die Strmung in
axialen Turbomaschinen, Ing. Arch., 33 (5)
(1964)322 329.
. Bammert, . Klukens and S. . Mukherjee,
Auslegung und Konstruktion von Wrmeaus
tauschern fr Gasturbinenanlagen, Brennst.
WrmeKraft (BWK), 22 (6) (1970) 275 279.
K. Bammert, Zur Entwicklung des kohlenstaub
gefeuerten Lufterhitzers, VOI ., 100 (20) (1958)
841 850.
. Bammert and . Sunkel, Die wirtschaftliche
Auslegung der Strahlungsheizflchen von Lufter
hitzern fr Heissluftturbinen, Mitt. Ver. Gross
kesselbetr. (VGB), 97 (1965) 266 279.
K. Bammert and E. Nickel, Design of combustion
chambers of heaters for transmission of the pri
183
mary heat of closedcycle gas turbine, ASME Gas
Turbine Conference, Zurich, Switzerland, 1966,
ASMEPaper No. 66GTCLCl.
9 K. Bammert, H. Klukens and E. Nickel, Die
Wrmeaufnahme und die rtliche Einstrahlung
von Brennkammern geschlossener Gasturbinen,
VDIZ., 109 (7) (1967) 297 302.
10 K. Bammert and H. Rehwinkel, Berechnung des
Temperaturfeldes und der Wrmebertragung in
zylindrischen Brennkammer, Forsch. Ingenieur
wes., 40 (2) (1974) 37 46; (3) (1974) 87 96.
11 K. Bammert and E. Nickel, Contribution on the
calculation of gas turbine air heaters fired with
gascoal mixtures, Trans. ASME, 88 (4) (1966)
2 87 301.
12 . Bammert and H. Rehwinkel, Berechnung der
rtlichen Wrmebertragung und des Rauchgas
Temperaturfeldes in zylindrischen Brennkammern
von Strahlungskesseln, Wrme, 79 (6) (1973)
85 91; VDI Ber. (211) (1974) 37 43.
13 . Bammert and H. Rehwinkel, Zur Wrmeber
tragung in Strahlungsbrennkammern von Erhit
zern, Konstruktion, 26 (1) (1974) 2 8.
14 K. Bammert and C. Keller, Messergebnisse der
ersten kohlenstaubgefeuerten Heissluftturbinen
anlage fr Stromerzeugung und Heizwrmeliefe
rung, Brennst.WrmeKraft (BWK), 12 (2) (1960)
6 2 6 4 .
15 K. Bammert, Th. Geissler and E. Nickel, Pulver
ized coal firing in closedcycle gas turbines, Sixth
World Power Conference, Melbourne, 1962,
Paper 9, Australian National Committee 7, 1963,
pp. 2541 2571.
16 K. Bammert and E. Nickel, Brennkammermes
sungen an einer grubengas und kohlenstaubge
feuerten Heissluftturbinenanlage, VDIZ., 109(5)
( 1967) 169 174.
17 K. Bammert and H. Rehwinkel, Measurements on
a BlastFurnaceGas and OilFired Combustion
Chamber of a 17.25 MWe ClosedCycle Gas Tur
bine Plant, ASME Gas Turbine Conference,
Brussels, Belgium, 1970, ASME Paper No. 70GT
70.
18 K. Bammert, W. Bohnenkamp and H. Rehwinkel,
Versuchsergebnisse der mit Gichtgas und Ol ge
feuerten Heissluftturbinenanlage Gelsenkirchen,
Stahl Eisen, 91 (6) (1971) 309 314.
19 K. Bammert, A general review of closedcycle gas
turbines using fossil, nuclear and solar energy,
ThiemigTaschenbiicher, Band 57, Verlag Karl
Thiemig, Munich, 1975.
20 J. R. Gintz, ClosedCycle, HighTemperature
Central Receiver Concept for Solar Electric
Power, Boeing Engineering and Construction,
Interim Report EPRI ER183, 1976.
21 K. Bammert, R. Krapp and P. Seifert, Investiga
tion of the heat transfer in cylindrical receiver
configurations with inner tubes, ASME 24th
Annual International Gas Turbine Conference and
First Solar Energy Conference, San Diego, Ca.,
U.S.A., March 1979, ASME Paper 79GT64.
22 K. Bammert, Influence of the working fluid on
heat transfer and layout of solar tower receivers,
in Heat Transfer Studies. A Festschrift for E.R.G.
Eckert, Hemisphere, Washington, D.C., 1979.
23 K. Bammert and G. Deuster, Layout and present
status of the closedcycle helium turbine plant
Oberhausen, 19th Annual International Gas Tur
bine Conference, Zurich, Switzerland, March/
April 1974, ASME Paper 74GT132.
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operating conditions, Israel Joint Gas Turbine
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185
LongTerm Storage of Solar Energy in Industrial Process Heat and Electricity
Production: an Analysis with Reference to Mediterranean Weather*
ROBERTO VISENTIN
Progetto Finalizzato Energetica del CNR, Sottoprogetto Energia Solare, Rome (Italy)
SUMMARY
This paper describes how thermal processes,
which use the integral over time of solar power,
represent the best proposition for the long
term thermal storage of solar energy.
Mediterranean weather was recorded for
638 consecutive days, starting on 21 October
1976. The performance of a solar power plant
producing heat at a constant temperature level
of 325 C was taken as a reference by simulat
ing the operation of the plant under different
weather conditions.
The size of the storage and the maximum
age of the heat required for efficient operation
for 70% of the days of a year are obtained
with reference to the Mediterranean weather.
The analysis is then extended to electrical
power generation and integrative as well as
total solar electricity systems are analysed.
Widespread use of solar power plants to
produce electricity as integrative or autono
mous generators can be accomplished with
various efficiencies.
With the present state of knowledge con
cerning the storage and transmission methods
* Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
of electricity, the best performances are ob
tained when dynamic storage is used and direct
storage is avoided.
INTRODUCTION
In our present society a huge quantity of
primary stored energy (fossil fuels, nuclear
fuels, plants, etc.) is converted into heat and
then used directly in civil or industrial services
or transformed into other forms of energy or
into products by thermomechanical and
thermochemical processes. Such a chain of
transformations is represented schematically
in Fig. 1.
The primary stored energy represents the
longterm storage of heat which can also be
transferred from one place to another. This
property of primary energy has influenced
society with respect to its use and has deter
mined the technical solutions to energy con
version processes. If we analyse such processes
we find that most of them have been organized
in such a way that energy is burned when the
processor decides that he needs energy and at
a quantitative level fixed by him.
The use of such fuels contrasts with the
exploitation of solar energy, which needs
adaptive processes which operate when the
energy is present and at a rate determined by
the flux of this energy.
PRIMARY
STORED
ENERGY
CONVER
SION
INTO HEAT

fr
DIRECT USE OF
THERMOCHEMICAL
PROCESS
THERMOMECHANICAL
PROCESS
PRODUCT
OTHER FORM
OF ENERGY
WASTE HEAT
Fig. 1. Chain of transformations of primary stored energy.
186
The schema for the exploitation of solar
energy by CNR, Rome, is shown in Fig. 2. The
discontinuity disappears when the system is
supplemented by the primary stored energy
which compensates for the deficiencies of
solar energy. With the insertion of thermal
storage (Fig. 3), which acts as a thermal fly-
wheel between heat conversion and heat utili-
zation, we can reduce the operational discon-
tinuity with the assistance of the non-renew-
able stored energy, but we cannot dictate that
the processes work when we wish, because
long-term storage is difficult and very expen-
sive as the sun shines for only a few hours
each day and its intensity varies with the laws
of meteorology which we cannot control.
For artificial processes like the heating of
buildings and of water in winter, which are
intensively studied today, the direct exploita-
tion of solar energy as heat will contribute to
energy-saving programmes; but solar energy
from this point of view cannot be considered
as other than an integrative form of energy
which is unable to satisfy the full heat require-
ments of the processes.
Advances will be made, however, if we have
a deficiency of energy for heating purposes,
because we shall learn to build better-insulated
houses and to improve the thermal insulation
of the human body, which is a continuous
DISCONTINUITY
OF OPERATION
Fig. 2. Schema for the exploitation of solar energy by
CNR, Rome.
REDUCED
DISCONTINUITY
Fig. 3. Addition of thermal storage to solar energy
system.
biochemical converter of solar energy into
heat at a temperature of 37 C. But if we can-
not preserve the products of agriculture, or
produce abundant quantities of fertilizer, if
we cannot efficiently exploit solar radiation
for the growth of plants and animals because
of lack of water, if we cannot supply enough
pharmaceutical products which are indispens-
able for the health of men, animals and plants,
or sufficient thermal, mechanical and electrical
energy for fundamental civil and industrial
processes, and if we cannot find numerous
new types of jobs for men and women, the
speed of advancement will be very slow.
However, if we attack the problem of energy
storage and take into consideration the prod-
ucts from thermal processes, we discover that
many of these products do not degrade. They
can be produced at any time of the year fol-
lowing the rate at which the sun is shining.
These products can be obtained from primary
chemistry, fertilizers, plastic materials, mono-
mers, fibres, etc., from secondary chemistry,
pharmaceutics and paints, from the food,
paper and textile industries, and from other
forms of energy or processes, for example
those using mechanical and electrical energy,
in the generation of new fuels, and in desalina-
tion processes.
If we consider Fig. 4, EP is the solar energy
stored at the temperature level at which the
process develops. There are many possible
ways of storing the thermal energy converted
from solar radiation; analysis of the process
heat shows that the working temperatures are
in the range 120 - 250 C. This means that the
conversion of solar energy at high tempera-
tures opens many useful channels for dynamic
or indirect storage by means of cascaded
thermal process heat in total solar energy
systems.
From these observations it follows that it is
interesting to identify the processes which can
operate successfully with a discontinuous
source of solar energy and which can be modi-
fied in such a way that they can 'follow' the
sun. The list seems to be quite lengthy!
One of the examples studied extensively
today is thermomechanical conversion directed
toward the generation of non-degradable
products or to foodstuffs, a service fundamen-
tal to the progress of our society.
The first and most important parameter for
a quantitative analysis is the weather in the
187
THERMAL
CONVERSI ON
THERMAL
PROCESS
END PRODUCT = SOLAR E. STORED
NOT DEGRADABLE PRODUCT
NOBLE ENERGY
NEW FUELS
Rdt
C EP
Fig. 4. Indirect or dynamic storage of thermal energy from thermal energy conversion into heat.
region where the thermal process is to be
developed. Obviously the climate in the re
gions of the earth with most insolation is the
best candidate; the Mediterranean type of
climate of the mediumtemperate regions of
the earth presents favourable conditions for
the testing of thermal processes from solar
energy in a large area which comprises all the
countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
Italy is one of these countries. The method of
analysis which follows, however, can be ap
plied to any kind of weather.
EXPLOITATION OF SOLAR ENERGY IN A THER
MAL PROCESS
We have two possible ways to approach the
problem of the exploitation of solar energy in
a thermal process such as that shown in Figs.
5(a) and (b). If E
M
is the maximum quantity
of energy obtained from the plant in a day
and E
c
is the energy burned from the process
in a day (fullday operation), the weather
determines E
M
and the optimum size of the
energy storage when E
c
is fixed.
SOLAR PLANT
CONVERSION
INTO HEAT
NOT SATURATED
THERMAL
PROCESS
NOT DEGRADABLE
END PRODUCT
b)
Rdt
SOLAR PLANT
CONVERSION
INTO HEAT
SHORT TERM
THERMAL
STORAGE
OVER FLOW
*
SATURATED
THERMAL
PROCESS
END
PRODUCT
O
LONG TERM
SOLAR HEAT STORAGE
Fig. 5. The exploitation of solar energy in a thermal process.
188
_ . -< :.
UNSATURATED
THERMAL PROCESS
SOLAR PLANT
CONVERSION
INTO HEAT
,
\
\
/
THE
FA
Rdt
**
Q,
Q
;
Q 3
Qn
'
* "
*
SATURATED
PROCESS
END
PRODUCT
TH ERMAL OVER FLOW
FAN OUT S
TH ERMAL
FAN IN
b)
Fig. 6. Optimum proposals for a thermal process utilizing solar energy.
The optimum proposal presented in Fig.
6(a) consists of a thermal process which can
be developed through several parallel channels;
each channel absorbs in a full day's operation
the minimum quantity of energy that the plant
can deliver. In this way all the energy col
lected is converted and stored in the end
product.
The optimum proposal presented in Fig.
6(b) consists of a storage system which can
store the maximum overflow of energy S ; it is
made up of heat quanta Q, each being equal
to the minimum overflow of energy.
The storage S is also identifiable by the
maximum age of the heat stored; the maximum
age is the time interval during which a predeter
mined percentage of heat stored can be re
covered for process heat.
All these storage system parameters can be
determined from the local weather.
ANALYSIS OF THE WEATHER IN ITALY, LATI
TUDE 41 N
This analysis refers to solar radiation re
corded for 638 consecutive days, from 21
October 1976 to 21 July 1978, at a latitude
of 41 N in Italy. Useful radiation for conver
sion processes of solar energy has been ob
tained by selecting days in which there are at
least four consecutive hours of insolation
between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and the transpar
ency of the sky is not less than 0.6 at sea level.
Four categories have been chosen :
H days on which the sky is very clear and
the sun shines for eight consecutive hours
from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the transpar
ency of the sky is not less than 0.85
L days on which the sky is cloudy and/or
the weather is extremely variable and/or
the sky transparency is less than 0.6
189
M transition days H > L in which the trans
parency of the sky is greater than 0.85
for at least four consecutive hours be
tween 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
MM transition days M > M in which the sun
shines continuously but the sky transpar
ency is poor, i.e. around 0.6 0.7
Using this classification, the number of days
in each category were found to be :
H 234
M 90
MM 23
L 291
Total 638
Figure 7 represents the maximum power
collected by a doubleaxis or singleaxis flat
surface during H, M and MM days in which
the transparency of the sky is at its maximum
(0.9) at the equinox. Diffuse radiation is con
sidered only for L days with a mean value
I
I
I ,
I
L_
KW/ m
z
L__ ,
I
( L M H) ( M M H)
8 9 10 11 12 13 11 12 13 14 15 16
/ ! / A X I S
MM
S- ~\ **!?_
ONLY DIFFUSE LIGHT
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Fig. 7. Maximum power collected by a doubleaxis or
singleaxis flat surface during H, M and MM days in
which the transparency of the sky is at its maximum
(0.9) at the equinox.
equal to 10% of the maximum energy collected
on an H day.
Figure 8 represents the distribution of the
total radiant energy collected in the 21 months
considered. The energy is distributed as fol
lows:
doubleaxis: total radiation = 1960 kWh/m
2
singleaxis: total radiation = 1640 kWh/m
2
direct radiation = 83%
Figure 9 represents the distribution of the
direct radiation collected by subtracting from
the data of Fig. 8 the monthly contribution
from diffuse light.
THE WORKING TEMPERATURE AND THE CON
VERSION SYSTEM
A working temperature around 300 Q
permits evaluation of the interaction between
the weather and a wide spectrum of thermal
processes, including the thermomechanical
conversion of solar energy into mechanical and
electrical energy and cascaded thermal pro
cesses. Therefore a working temperature of
325 C on the receiver surface which absorbs
the radiant energy was chosen. This working
temperature allows useful heat to be obtained
for applications at a temperature level around
290 C. A doubleaxis and a singleaxis track
ing system with the same characteristic param
eters were compared in order to evaluate the
integrated thermal energy which they could
produce in the 638 days considered.
The main solar power plant parameters
were assumed to be "the following:
concentration ratio = 62
patf= 0.56
where is the reflectance or transmittance of
the concentrator, t is the transparency for
solar radiation of the layer of transparent
material which protects the surface A of the
solar receiver on which radiation impinges,
is the effective absorptivity for solar radiation
of the surface A, f is the figure of merit of the
plant, which takes into consideration imper
fections of the optics, shadows, thermal losses
from the circuits which transfer the thermal
energy to the process or to the thermal storage,
etc., and
Q(325 C) = 0.95 W/cm
2
190
Fig. 8. Distribution of total radiant energy collected in the 21 months considered.
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
DIRECT RADIATION
LAT 41 MED. AREA
Fig.
N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J
9. Distribution of direct radiation collected in the 21 months considered.
are the thermal losses from A at a working
temperature of 325 C.
Figure 10 represents the useful thermal
energy produced by a plant on a very clear
day at the equinox. In this work, this is con
sidered to be the maximum energy E
M
pro
duced by the plant. The thermal energy pro
duced by the power plant in the period con
191
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
E(h!4
M
%

!



^~jL
> J

2.15 KWh/m
2
2AXIS
1.7 KWh/m
2
1AXIS
EQUINOX
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 time [hl
Fig. 10. The useful thermal energy produced by the
solar plant on a very clear day at the equinox. .
siderea was obtained by simulating the per
formances of the power plant and taking into
account the thermal inertia.
Thermal inertia lowers the overall conver
sion efficiency by excluding, from the useful
energy, the hours in which solar energy is
exploited to raise the temperature of the plant
up to the 325 C working level. The results of
this analysis are shown in Fig. 11, in which
the useful energy produced is represented as a
function of time. The integrated energies are
tabulated in Table 1.
From these data it is possible to go deeper
into the thermal storage problem by making
the step from the conversion system to the
process heat.
In the following analysis, the data from the
singleaxis system will be used, but in relative
terms the results are also useful for the other
system, and any other system which operates
with the same distribution of energy as a func
tion of time.
TH ERMAL STORAGE OF SOLAR ENERGY
The target for a thermal process from which
a nondegradable endproduct is obtained is
the total quantity produced per year or the
equivalent total thermal energy stored.
Unsaturated thermal processes
When an unsaturated thermal process is
considered, the energy burned per day from
60
40
20
40
20
KWh/m
!

KWh/m*

D J F
HEAT PRODUCED AT A USEFUL
TEMP. LEVEL OF 290 C
M A M J J A S O
sS\ 2 AXIS CONC.
CONC. RATIO 71 y jj
/ ' S \ PARAB. TRO
SOUTH_^T^
time
CONC. RATIO 71
D J F M A M J J
1976 1977
Fig. 11. Useful thermal energy as a function of time.
TABLE 1
2axis
1axis
Useful heat at 290
(kWh/m
2
)
520
400
C Direct radiation
collected ( kWh / m
2
)
1780
1480
Mean conversion
efficiency at 325 C (%)
29
27
192
from the process is greater or equal to the
maximum energy produced by the solar power
plant (E
c
> E
M
). The case of E
c
= E
M
is con
sidered in Fig. 12. rif is the number of days of
full operation of the plant per month when
the energy produced by the plant permits the
saturation of all the channels of the thermal
process shown in Fig. 6(a), and n
e
is the num
ber of effective days of full operation per
month equivalent to the total energy produced
in a month measured in units of E
c
.
fn
e
dt measures the total quantity of end
product obtained from the plant. From Fig.
12(a) it follows that an unsaturated thermal
process operates on average for 11.5 days per
month, which means that the plant operates
for about 38% of the total time at disposal.
These plants will require very efficient auto
matic control systems.
Saturated thermal processes
The thermal storage problem is faced when
the saturated thermal process of Fig. 6(b) is
considered. Heat storage allows integration of
the number of days in which full operation of
the process is obtained because E
c
< E
u
; in
this case, a greater number of days exists in
which the energy converted is equal to or
greater than E
c
. The energy not spent in the
process (overflow) is put into the thermal
storage and used on those days when the solar
power plant produces a quantity of energy
smaller than E
c
.
The problem of the age of the heat arises
here, as the greater the age the more difficult
it is to maintain the operating level of the
temperature because of the energy losses from
the storage system.
We can now ask the following question:
with reference to the Mediterranean weather,
what is the most convenient maximum age of
the heat in the thermal storage, taking into
account the operative conditions of the pro
cess.
In Fig. 13 are compared the performances
of thermal processes when only n
f
days are
considered and all the energy overflow is
wasted. S
0
indicates this property.
In Fig. 13 the degree of saturation is mea
sured by the ratio E
C
/E
M
and increases when
E
C
/E
M
decreases. If the target of full operation
is 365 days/year, Table 2 follows from Fig. 13.
The total number n
{
increases when the
overflow of energy is stored. In Fig. 14 the
case of maximum age of the heat, S
4
(4 X 24 =
96 h),is considered. Table 3 follows from this.
The total energy produced and consumed
in the thermal process is derived from Fig. 15,
in which the effective number of full days of
operation n
K
is represented; a rsum of these
data is given in Table 4.
The values in Table 4 demonstrate that
continuous full operation of a thermal process
can be obtained by regulating the degree of
saturation of the thermal process when the
solar power plant is assisted by a thermal
300
200
100
ne I DAYS/MONTHS I UNSATURATED THERMAL PROCESS
%EM = 100%
(a
n. (DAYS/MONTHS)
J L .
(b
/ nedl
LEVEL
OF
FULL OPERATION
N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J
Fig. 12. Unsaturated thermal process with E
c
= E
M
.
193
, ( DAYS/ MONTH I
% E U 1 0 0 %
23. 6%
D J F M A M J J A S O
1976 1977
150

50
150
100
50
150
100
50
150
100
50
, dt ( DAYS )
'
'
.
f
I 1
time
D J F M A M J J A S O
1976 1977
Fig. 13. Performance of the thermal process when only n days are considered and all the energy overflow is
wasted.
N D ' J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O
Fig. 14. Performance of thermal process when the heat is stored to its maximum age S
4
.
TABLE 2
Thermal process when all energy overflow is wasted
E
C
/E
M
(%)
En
f
/ 365
100.0
70.0
47.6
23.6
30
142
161
199
8.2
39.0
44.0
54.5
TABLE 3
Thermal process with heat stored to a maximum age
S
4
E
C
/E
M
(%) ( Zn
f
/ 365
70.0
47.6
23.6
160
243
309
44.0
66.6
84.6
194
30
20
10
30
20
10
30
20
10
(DAYS/MONTH) % = 70%
lime
47.6%
23.6%
300
200
100
300
200
100
300
200
100
nedt
FULL YEAR OPERATION LEVEL"
N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O
Fig. 15. Performance of the thermal process when the effective number of full days of operation n
e
is considered.
TABLE 4
Thermal process with regard to the effective number
of full days of operation n
e
E
C
IE
U
(%)
70.0
47.6
23.6

6
/ 365
195
264
314
53.4
72.3
86.0
storage with the appropriate volume of energy
and the maximum age of the heat.
The thermal process with E
C
/E
M
= 47.6%
has been simulated for four different values of
the maximum age of the heat. The results are
given in Fig. 16, from which Table 5 follows.
By increasing the age of the heat stored up
to 96 hours it is possible to have full operation
of the process up to 72% of the days of the
n.dllDAYSI
N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O
Fig. 16. Thermal process with E
C
/E
M
= 47.6% for different values of the maximum age of the heat stored.
195
TABLE 5
Simulation of the thermal process with E
C
/E
M
47.6%
Age
So
S i
s
2
s
4
of heat
( 4h)
(24 h)
(48 h)
(96 h)

{
161
201
225
243


191
227
248
264
/365
(%)
44
55
62
66


(%)
52
62
68
72
/365
year. By taking into account the overflow of
the energy not exploited (age of het greater
than 96 h), the total energy produced by the
solar power plant (in the case of Table 5) is
equivalent to about 300 days/year of full
operation; then 79% is the maximum value for
the ratio Zrc
e
/365, and S
4
is the age of the
heat which leads to this ratio being very close
to its maximum physical limit. Figure 17
shows the law followed by tl overflow of
thermal energy as a function o. e maximum
age of the heat; from this Figure, a maximum
age of two days for the heat in the thermal
storage appears to be rather a good solution
under Mediterranean weather conditions, and
a thermal storage of up to four days limits the
overflow not used to 9% of the total energy
converted. These conclusions are rather depen
dent on the degree of saturation of the process,
together with the local weather. Nevertheless,
a degree of saturation around E
C
/E
M
= 50%
permits full operation of a thermal process for
65 70% of the days of a year, and this is not
far from the present efficiency of utilization
of industrial process systems. It must be re
membered, however, that the days of operation
follow the weather, not our calendar!
If the ratio E
C
/E
M
= 47.6% and a storage
heat age of 48 h (S
2
) are good figures for a
solar thermal process in the Mediterranean
area, the distributions for n and n
e
for this
process from 21 October 1976 21 July 1978
are represented in Fig. 18. From a comparison
of the integral distributions at an equal time
in different years, a good correlation is evident.
The size of the thermal storage is equal to the
product of E
u
and the number of days which
measure the heat age.
ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION
From the previous analysis the distribution
of the useful thermal power as a function of
time at a medium temperature (T = 290 C)
has been obtained. Thermal power can be
converted into mechanical and electrical power
at this temperature. The useful electrical
energy at a site will then be given by
= QvRVeVaVt = QVu(T, T') kWh(el)/m
2
(1)
En/ EM =46.7%

34.3%
!
22.2% I 15% |
657%
78%
85%
9 %
0
' 2 4 HEAT AGE (OVYSI
Fig. 17. Overflow of thermal energy as a function of the maximum age of the heat.
196
300
200
100
300
200
100
300
200
100
, I DAYS/ MONTH) % E M 4 7 6%
(a
(b
n. dt I DAYS)
FULL YEAR OPERATION LEVEL
N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J
1976 1977 1978
Fig. 18. Distributions of n
f
and n
e
for E
c
jE
u
= 47.6% and a storage heat age of 48 hours.
In (1), E
u
is the useful electrical energy per
m
2
of solar power plant, Q is the useful
thermal energy at a fixed maximum tempera
ture ,

(, ') is the Rankine efficiency of


the thermomechanical converter, and i?
e
, T/
a
and T?
t
are the efficiencies of the mechanical
to electrical converter, the direct longterm
storage of the electricity, and the grid for the
remote transmission of electrical power, re
spectively.
The collecting area
From (1) it is possible to evaluate the area
A covered by the collectors necessary to
produce electrical energy E
e
in a general ener
getic economy. If E
u
is the electrical energy
produced by solar means in a year from 1 m
2
of collecting area, then
E
--
E (, 7")
m
(2)
If we define A
Q
=

(, '), from (2) we


may evaluate the ratio E
e
/Q which depends
only on electrical needs and on the thermal
power produced per year. The slope of the
curve of AQ plotted against E
e
(Fig. 19) de
pends on Q (kWh(th)/m
2
year), and therefore
on the efficiency of the system converting
solar radiation into heat at the temperature T,
and on the local weather. The best exploita
tion of the energy produced over a large ter
ritory will depend on the improvements which
can be achieved in ?(T, T").
The effective conversion efficiency
With regard to the efficiency of exploitation
of the solar radiation, we have to distinguish
between the peak efficiency and the mean
effective efficiency. If W
p
is the peak energy
collected by a square meter of the solar power
plant on a very clear day, then the peak con
version efficiency of solar radiation into elec
tricity is
20 40 60 80 100 150 200 IO
9
K Wh ^ e a r
Fig. 19. A
0
= (, T') as a function of E
c
.
197
Vep
Eut
Op
T}R(T, T')T?
e (3)
W
p
are obtained from t he inte where Q
p
and
grals of t he distributions of Figs. 7 and 10.
The mean effective efficiency rf
e
is t hen
Q
W
riu(T, T
1
) (4)
where Q and W are obtained from t he integrals
of t he distributions of Figs. 9 11. It can be
verified t hat t he ratio Q/W is t he same when
evaluated by using all t he data from Figs. 9
11 for 21 consecutive mont hs, or by using t he
data from January to December of t he year
1977.
The mean efficiency

depends on t he
local weather, because t he transparency of t he
sky is variable and t he conversion efficiency
of radiation into heat at const ant t emperat ure
is a function of it,
6
also depends on t he
channels through which t he electrical energy
must pass t o the endproduct, which also
determine how much of t he electrical energy
has to be transported and stored.
A figure of merit for t he influence of t he
weather is given by t he ratio between

and
7?
ep
when
3

= 1; for t he Mediterranean t ype


of climate (Figs. 9 1 1 )
7?e
*7cp
Q Wp
W Q
D
= 0.88
(5)
From eqn. (5), f
e
reaches a maxi mum when
the energy from t he solar power plant is con
sumed at t he site where it is produced and
only dynamical storage, through which there
is no loss of energy, is utilized; e.g., when t he
electricity produced from solar radiation at a
site automatically excludes electricity from
t he grid. In all t he ot her cases we have t o con
sider the reduction of t he efficiency owing t o
longterm storage and transportation of the
electricity.
The following figures of merit can be used
for numerical calculations with reference to
storage and transportation of t he electricity:
storage (hydraulic power, 0.6
hydrogen economy)
transportation to remot e distances 0.75
(6)
%
V i e
weat her and dynami cal local storage onl y
weather and dynami cal r emoi e storage
weather and l ocal not dynami cal storage
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 % of total energy
consumed
Fig. 20. TJe/^ep as a function of the total consumption
of electrical energy obtained from solar radiation.
The ratio
6
/

can t hen be evaluated with
regard t o different situations over a territory
as a function of t he total percentage consump
tion of electricity obtained by use of solar
energy. In Fig. 20, weather and dynamical
local storage only refers t o consumpt i on of
electricity at t he site where it is produced from
solar radiation and by substitution of electrici
t y from other sources, wi t hout any direct
storage of electricity; weather and dynamical
remote storage refers t o t he consumpt i on of
electricity far from the site where it is pro
duced, wi t hout any direct storage of electrici
t y; and weather and local nondynamical
storage refers t o the consumpt i on of electrici
t y from direct local storage at the site where
t he electricity is produced from solar radiation.
The curves in Fig. 20 refer t o weather, storage
and remote transportation in t he general case
in which electricity is consumed at t he site
where it is produced from solar radiation and
far from t he site and from direct local or
remot e storage. It can be seen from t he Figure
t hat rf
e
can be reduced t o less than half of its
maxi mum value when a very high percentage
of t he t ot al consumpt i on of electricity is
obtained from solar radiation in a place where
it is impossible t o have a solar power plant
which follows the density of energy consump
tion in t hat place e.g., the case in which elec
tricity is produced in the southern regions but
a high percentage is consumed far from t he
site of product i on.
198
CONCLUSIONS
In the Mediterranean area the differential
distribution of insolation is very variable and
the continuous operation of processes which
develop in short time intervals cannot be
secured; on the contrary, the integral distribu-
tion of insolation is quite stable and its proper
exploitation could produce process heat in
several industrial sectors.
With regard to electricity, a systematic
analysis of the territory, size of collectors and
storage of the available renewable direct
sources of energy, such as solar radiation, wind
and rain, has to be performed to integrate them
most efficiently into the present energetic
economy in the short, medium and long term.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 199 - 205
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
199
The Spilling Steam Motor*
G. SPILLING
Spilling Consult AG, Wohlen (Switzerland)
The symbiosis of new technologies with
proven conventional elements is indispensable
for harmonious evolution in the solar energy
field. But where are such elements? Indeed,
thermal power generation is a world-wide
proven technique, but as far as steam power
plants are concerned experience with plants
in the kW range has been collected in the past
century, and the few remaining producers of
steam power plants are now well experienced
only in the 10 - 1000 MW range.
Where, then, does experience exist with
respect to modern steam power plants in the
range 0.1 - 10 MW? It appears to be nearly a
joke that, although in no other country have
steam engine developments been realized
within the last 50 years, in Germany in the
postwar decade a dozen firms developed new
steam engine constructions, eleven of them in
a more or less traditional way, whilst one of
them followed a new line and, after another
decade of strong competition, this construc-
tion remained. Besides a lot of other reasons
this result, seen from our position today, was
possibly due to the preference given to the so-
called 'back-pressure operation'. This means
that this engine the Spilling steam motor
was not optimized for power production only,
but for optimal cooperation with heat proces-
ses.
Figure 1 symbolizes this motor, showing the
composition of the motor blocks, allowing not
only adaptation to the necessary output but
also extension later on, when the power de-
mand increases. The blocks themselves are also
composed of a casing and cylinder modules,
to be chosen in relation to the boiler pressure.
From this modular steam engine developed,
*Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 - 7, 1979.
in the following two decades, the Spilling
power plants, delivered completely mounted
and working fully automatically, fuelled by
oil, gas, coal or the waste of many processes,
e.g. husks of rice, cotton seeds, groundnuts,
coconuts, palmfruit, etc., generally called
'biomass' or 'stockable solar energy'. The latest
development is plants using direct solar radia-
tion as fuel. The radiation is transformed into
heat in the form of hot oil or other fluids such
as molten sodium. By means of heat exchangers
water, freon or other artificial or natural fluids
are evaporated to drive the engine. These
steams can also be produced by feeding the
respective fluids directly to the collectors.
The first of such automatic steam power
conversion systems has been delivered to CNRS
(Centre National de Recherches Scientifiques,
i.e. the French Ministry for Research and De-
velopment) for their first solar test power
plant.
Figure 2 shows the parabolic collector of
about 8 m diameter, which has been chosen
for further development from two different
types.
Figure 3 shows the test power plant with
the same collector, the vertical storage tank
for hot oil heated by the collector, and adja-
cent to the storage tank, a small building con-
structed of sheet metal, containing the Spilling
power conversion system.
Figure 4 shows the front view of the Spilling
power conversion system and Fig. 5 a side view
of the same plant. Figure 6 shows the over-all
SPILLINGMOTOR
MODULAR MOTOR
Fig. 1. Spilling modular motor.
200
Fig. 2. Parabolic collector.
dimensions of this small plant, completely
installed and ready for shipment.
This plant is fuelled by hot thermo oil at
300 to 325 C, which produces saturated steam
of 12 bar. By another heat exchanger the
exhaust steam is transformed into hot water,
demonstrating the possibility of delivering heat
in the form of steam or hot water to process
heat users in the neighbourhood.
The electrical output is only 4 kW, depend-
ing on the thermal output of the one collector
and the intention to make use of existing,
standardized elements for the power conver-
sion system. This is a Spilling motor, type 7,
with only one cylinder, which could produce,
with a good efficiency, an electrical output of
25 kW. Within this test plant, therefore, only
15% of the mechanical capacity has been uti-
lized. Consequently, this plant does not dem-
onstrate the highest possible efficiency, and
this was not the intention. The intention of
CNRS was, on one hand, to choose one collec-
tor from two different types, as already men-
tioned, and to demonstrate, on the other hand,
how such plants can be used in isolated regions
and this demands fully automatic operation,
which means that the plant itself begins to
make the warm-up operations, the first slow
turns and the acceleration up to full speed,
automatically controlling the output in such a
manner that the full boiler pressure will be
maintained. If the load goes down in the eve-
ning the plant also stops automatically.
Additionally, the French test plant allows
accumulation of the oil, heated by the collec-
tor for, say, 4 hours in the morning, and dis-
patch of the hot oil to the power conversion
system for 1 hour in the middle of the day
Fig. 3. Test power plant.
201
Fig. 4. Front view of Spilling power conversion system.
and for 3 hours after sunset, which in this way
gives 4 hours of full load at those times when
the energy is required by the village.
It may be mentioned that this French plant
has already had a predecessor. A year earlier,
tf
7
S
7
&z
- 2550ohne Verkleidi/ig.witnout casing
2700intVeikleidung.wilncosing
_Rohre zum Reen cei Anlage
iocuseitsl
Pipes tof roiling (ne plan!
delivery on sile)
' Transpor Islutzpn Sina noch dem
Aoloden aDzuschrauDen
The Ironspotl equipment nas lose
dismantled otter discharge the plant
Fig. 5. Side view of Spilling power conversion system.
Fig. 6. Main dimensions and transport attachments of
the packaged Spilling solar power plant.
Italy intended to install a solar power plant
with a 100 kW electrical output on the island
of Sardinia and, together with the Italian
power plant constructor Ansaldo, the Spilling
Group made a complete study for such a plant.
Receiving steam from a Francia-Ansaldo
boiler of 65 bar and 400 C and taking into
account atmospheric back-pressure, the plant
would have transformed the heat into electric-
ity with an efficiency of 20%. Unfortunately,
for political reasons, the financial decisions
could not be made at that time, preventing the
realization of this interesting demonstration
plant; this range of electrical output would
perhaps have been a good compromise between
the wishes of many developing countries for
even smaller plants and the economic means
to finance such plants, which should have a
reasonable specific price.
In the meantime, only recently, the IEA
(International Energy Agency) or, more ex-
actly, ten member countries of this organiza-
tion, decided to install two demonstration
plants in Spain, each having an electrical out-
put of 500 kW, one demonstrating the range
of 500 kW(el) and below, the so-called 'farm
202
concept', and the other constructed to the
'tower concept' for the range 500 kW - 10
MW.
For the tower project, an American firm
will deliver the heliostats. The German firm
Interatom will make the tower with the sodium
cycle, the firm Sulzer delivering the receiver
and the heat exchanger, which transforms the
heat of the sodium at 535 C to steam of 100
bar and 500 C.
For this plant the Spilling power conversion
system has been chosen, having under these
conditions an efficiency of 27% between heat
input and electrical output.
This output of 500 kW will be produced by
a single steam-motor unit. The largest unit of
these motors produces an electric output of
1600 kW. If such plants are intended for instal-
lation in isolated regions so far served by
diesel plants, which, for security reasons, have
at least four, and often 10- 20 diesel engines,
such solar plants with 10 Spilling motors could
be extended up to 15 MW, which will be even
more than the intended range of up to 10 MW.
It may be remarked with a certain limited
satisfaction that an efficiency of 27% was only
reached by public steam power plants about
three decades ago, after four decades of devel-
opment, and the over-all efficiency of electric-
ity-producing steam power plants all over the
world nowadays is no better than this terrible
efficiency of 27%.
Nevertheless, it would be dangerous to be
satisfied by the achievements of the past. Fu-
ture solar plants have to compete with future
power generation systems all over the world.
What is the future trend?
Currently, 6 years after 1973/74, after the
so-called 'oil-crisis', most energy experts agree
on the following points:
(1) The trend of oil prices will go upwards
during the next decades, even though short-
time variations downwards may occur.
(2) This fact is regarded as a welcome lever
to enable necessary changes within the energy
economy.
(3) Among all industrialized nations it has
been agreed that, in the future, this 'terrible'
efficiency will not be acceptable. It has be-
come common knowledge that there exist
proven practices to increase the efficiency from
25 - 30% up to 50 - 70% or even higher, if the
exhaust heat of the power production process
is utilized as input for other processes.
'Heat-power coupling', as it is called in
Europe, or co-production, as it is called now-
adays in the United States, or the recycling of
the waste heat of the power generation process
into other production processes is a practice
which is becoming more and more realizable;
only a few people know that already in
Germany 30% of the total electricity produc-
tion has been provided by industrial power
plants, a high percentage of which achieve high
efficiencies.
Also in Germany, the government has paid
for studies to check whether it is possible to
extend heat distribution lines (steam pipelines)
all over the country, as has already been done
with high voltage lines. The results show that
the provision of high voltage lines throughout
the country requires twice the capital required
by the power plants themselves. A heat dis-
tribution system cannot even be paid for. A
radius of 20 - 25 km around nuclear power
plants will, economically, be the maximum
allowable distance.
The question "Who goes to whom?", there-
fore, cannot be answered by placing all heat
consumers beside the power plants, but by
the contrary: power plant investors have to
look for places where a high concentration of
process heat demand exists; this demand
comes from some big cities with high require-
ments for heating or cooling purposes, and
industries which utilize heating or cooling
processes (e.g. most food-producing plants,
chemical, textile, ceramic and wood-working
factories, and many others).
This new trend to place public and indus-
trial power production beside heat consumers
implies an important change of trend from
more and more concentration in the past to
decentralized power production in the future !
(4) Generally accepted is also the necessity
to make use of all possible alternative energies,
which (besides hydraulic energy, wind, geo-
thermal and other sources) refers mainly to
theutilizationof solar radiation and of biomass.
It has not yet become generally known, and
is therefore not yet generally accepted, that
the development of new plants with alternative
energy sources must take into account this
new trend for more and more co-production
in industrialized countries.
The development of solar thermal power
plants is, indeed, primarily a technical problem,
but at the same time it is an economic prob-
203
lem in so far as in the first stage financial
means for research and development must be
made available, and the example of the 100 kW
solar plant for Italy is only one of many ex-
amples of negative results. After completion
of the development, mass production in small
series must be realized to bring down the cost
' of production. Perhaps in this phase public
finance is sometimes available, but nobody
will finance the mass production of products
with an insufficient pay-back time, perhaps
with the exception of poor countries with
state-governed economies. The pay-back time
for new products can only be estimated, since
not only the production cost of the said prod-
uct but also the production cost of those of
the competitors must be estimated. It is true,
as has been remarked already, that oil prices
will go up for all countries, industrialized and
developing, but prices for electricity produc-
tion in U.S.A. and Europe will also be influ-
enced by the new trend of decentralized elec-
tricity production by heat-power coupling,
reducing fuel costs by 50% and thus reducing
the investment costs.
Therefore, the pay-back time calculation
for solar power plants for developing countries
cannot be based only on the low efficiency of
the actual power plants of their competitors,
but must take into account the trend to de-
centralized, more economic plants in the in-
dustrialized countries too.
Nevertheless, decentralized plants provide
enormous opportunities for the future devel-
opment of many extensive regions in the
developing world where, at least not in the
next decades, and for some areas never, will
grids covering the whole country be installed.
For all these regions and for the people living
there, decentralized power production is tech-
nically the only possibility, but the high in-
vestment cost for such small isolated plants
did not, in the past, allow a realistic pay-back
time. Now, the developing world has a chance
to change these disadvantages into advantages.
As in the past, it will not be possible to give
plants now to all these places. Therefore, a
small number should be chosen for each coun-
try ; not only the means of power production,
but at the same time certain small industries,
with preference for agro-industrial producers,
should be installed, so that more irrigation by
means of solar energy gives a possibility of
more successful agriculture, agro-industrial
production itself making use of the exhaust
heat or delivering heat at low cost to other
factories, such as dairies, fish meal factories
or other heat consumers.
If such a village is planned, industrialized
and electrified in such a manner, it will pro-
duce electricity and products with the same
good efficiency as is possible in developed
countries. The initial difficulties will, for a
certain time, be balanced by the lower wages
in the beginning.
This will be true if oil is burned, as is mainly
done in the developed regions.
If these decentralized power plants in devel-
oping regions are fuelled by solar energy in
the form of biomass, like the husks from agro-
industrial production (for example, rice husks,
palmfruit, waste, coconut shells), production
in these regions has enormous economic ad-
vantages compared with the same production
based on fuel oil in the industrial regions.
Considering that more than a half, perhaps
three-quarters, of the world population lives
in such regions, which, for at least some de-
cades, will have and must have a growing en-
ergy demand, the importance of such planning
of development and electrification becomes
evident. As already mentioned, mass produc-
tion cannot be realized without sufficient pay-
time, which recycles the money for new
investment; in addition, it must be pointed
out that these thousands of villages in under-
developed regions cannot be developed with-
out their own economically successful ac-
tions.
Therefore, such a combined development-
electrification piocess, paying after a certain
time for its own extension, has also to over-
come the same difficulties as these of the in-
dustrialized nations; the latter, perhaps, may
also learn something about such regions, de-
veloping in a new manner these regions will
have to observe from the beginning the law
that they are not allowed to utilize more than
they can get out of the vegetation of their
region for food for themselves, and as fuel for
their energy demands, in addition to collected
solar radiation; solar radiation will be always
used, when it is available, like hydraulic energy
in developed regions today; for the other times
biomass, as a stockable fuel, will be used.
Such hybrid power plants exist in the form
of the previously described Spilling power con-
version systems and, therefore, a short survey
204
of the main technical data of these plants may
be given:
electrical output 0. 1 15 MW
live steam pressure 4 1 5 0 bar, normally
8 40 bar
backpressure according to the tempera
ture or pressure required by the process (heat
ing or cooling), normally 0.1 20 bar
fuelled by:
solar energy in the form of biomass
solar radiation collected by:
flat collectors
concentrating collectors
helio stats
heat transfer from the collectors to the
Spilling PCS by:
heated oil, sodium or other fluids
steam of different fluids produced
within the collector.
Some technical characteristics of the heart
of these power plants, the Spilling steam motor
itself, follow.
Figure 1, as has already been mentioned,
shows the important characteristics of this
type of modular engine.
Figure 7 shows not only the possibility of
having a simple concrete foundation, but also
the very light osculating foundation which
enables installation on any floor of a concrete
building or in the neighbourhood of a sensitive
environment.
Figure 8 shows the possibility of electrically
isolated operation, as well as isolated opera
tion, even if a public supply exists at the same
place. The lower drawing shows the operation
of the Spilling plant in parallel with the public
supplies, or with its other own power plants.
Figure 9 shows both possibilities: direct
drive of a working machine without losses and
the ability to drive a generator and to send the
electricity to an electric motor which drives
the working machine. The losses of this elec
trical 'deviation' are 15 20% at constant speed
and up to 40% if the working machine needs
a variable speed to follow variable demands,
as, for example, cooling machines, pumps and
so on.
Figure 10 describes a fivecylinder steam
motor delivered to a gas factory of a big Euro
pean city. This unit does not drive a generator
and it has no electrical motor to be driven.
(a)
(r.
xSto
rf T I

3
(b)
Fig. 7. (a) Simple concrete foundation and (b) oscillat
ing foundation for the Spilling steam motor.
Three of the cylinders are working as an en
gine. In this case they do not receive high
pressure steam to work as an engine, but they
accept highpressure gas of 20 bar to expand
down to pressures of 5 12 bar. With this en
ergy differential they drive the other two cyl
inders, which work as a heat pump, compres
sing available lowpressure steam of 2.4 bar
saturated up to 24 bar at 320 C. The surplus
heat of the intermediate cooler between the
two compressor steps is utilized for heating
gasoline, which is necessary within the process.
This is perhaps the most convincing example
of the flexibility of the modular Spilling motor,
which is called a motor because it works as
an engine as well as a compressor or heat
pump.
Figure 11 again shows the flexibility of
this motor.
205
Isolated Operation
with 2 bus bars
TRAFO (c
bus bar (public arid)
Electrical
Consumers
~^rj
zr
bus bar (own power plant)
Generator switc hboard
Threephase sy nc hronous g enerator
Parallel Operation
with 2 bus bar s
TRAFO fc
El ect ri cal
Consume.
f
bus bar ( publ i c gr i d) ocv
! J J 1 J 1
Peak governor W
Stean motor for
parallel operation
bus bar (own power plant)
Frequency relais
Generator swi tchboard for
parallel operation
Threephase synchronous generator
Gas Splitting Plant
Gas
Expansion Motor
60360kW
Fig. 8. Operating possibilities for the Spilling power
plant.
Fig. 10. Fivecylinder steam motor.
Electrical Deviation"
lcies 15 2 in.
J Generator Motor (
M
i
I STEAM M0T0R
Direct drive rj =1
fl fr
t uni nt ( " t / 1000/ I *C^ '
Fig. 9. Direct drive of a working machine and drive
with an electrical deviation.'.
S P I L L I N G
fcii
MODULAR SYSTEM
Engine or Compressor
Steams or Gases
Highest Efficiencies
Optimal Profitability
Flexibility
Fig. 11. Flexibility of the motor.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 207 211
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
207
Integration Problems of an Intermittent Power Generating Plant*
DOMENICO BORGESE
Thermal and Nuclear Research Centre, National Electricity Board (ENEL), Bastioni di Porta Volta 10, 20121
Milan (Italy)
SUMMARY
Integration problems are arising from gen
erating power plants based on intermittent
energy sources when there is a continuous
load demand.
In the case of an isolated plant (plant
standing alone), storage is necessary in order
to match the power production and load. The
size of the storage must be chosen in accor
dance with the primary source's irregularities
such as intermittence, discontinuity and sea
sonal variability.
If intermittent power units are integrated
with conventional power plants, and are con
nected to a grid, the cost calculation for the
integrated system in the most simple cases
shows that, in some instances, the costs could
be comparable to purely conventional genera
tion.
These results confirm that the present
research efforts must be continued and di
rected in order to clarify the performance and
operative problems.
Consequently, the maximum daily produc
tion becomes
^d, g
=
PmT
s
The power source is said to be discontin
uous if one or more active days are separated
by days during which no power is available. In
other words, we assume that the power source
might be available or not, day by day.
We call the probability that the power
source is available and thus q = 1 is the
probability that it is unavailable.
Under these new conditions, the average
daily production becomes
E
d,s
P
n
PT
S
The power source is said to be variable if its
parameters (P
m
, p, T
S
) change their values
during the year.
We shall assume that P
m
is constant and
and T
S
are variable month by month according
to Table 1 in which the values represent the
daily theoretical and effective insolation
hours on an Italian site at a latitute of 37 30
North (the site of Eurelios at Adrano, Sicily).
DEFINITION
In this paper, an intermittent power source
is defined as one characterized by daily inter
mittence.
It will be assumed that the power diagram
is characterized by a daily period of r
s
hours
(symmetrically distributed around noon) with
an average capacity P
m
, and that outside this
period of time the power source is inactive.
*Paper presented during a course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Center
of the Commission of the European Communities
Ispra (Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA
Courses, September 3 7, 1979.
CASE A: INTERMITTENT POWER SOURCE
STANDING ALONE
First it is supposed that the power source
supplies a system of constant load P
L
.
If the production and the load are
compared at the same point, we can set forth
the condition that the energy produced is
equal to the consumption:

d
,
L
=2 4 P
L
=pP
m
r
s
P
m
= 24PJp
Ts
In this example, we assume that the power
source is continuously available every day.
However, in reality it is discontinuous, so we
208
TABLE 1
Insolation*
Theoretical
Effective
Jan.
9.1
4.8
Feb.
10.0
5.5
Mar.
11.3
6.0
Apr.
12.4
7.1
May
13.3
8.3
June
13.8
10.1
July
13.6
10.9
Aug.
12.8
9.8
Sept.
11.6
7.9
Oct.
10.3
6.0
Nov.
9.3
5.3
Dec.
8.8
4.6
Hours/day, starting from a sun altitude of 5.
have t o include an unavailability factor; we
reduce the period T
S
t o the value pr
s
.
In order t o match the load during the inter
mittence time, a storage system must be
provided such t hat
E
A
= P
L
( 2 4 p r
s
)
A different assumption may be t hat the
load is varying during t he day and, for
instance, we can consider a system whose
nightly load is a fraction r of the daily one.
Let t he daily load P
L
have a duration of r
L
hours, symmetrically distributed around
noon.
In this second case, the following condi
tions are t o be mat ched:
^d. L
= P
L
[r
L
+ r ( 2 4 r
L
) ]
P'
m
= PLITL +r(24 T
h
)]/pr
s
E'
A
= (P'
m
Pun
= P
L
[ r
L
+ r ( 2 4 r
L
) p r
s
]
We can now consider a case in which the
previous load diagram is valid during working
days, but for two days at the end of the week
there is a constant load of reduced value rP
L
.
In this new case the weekend production
will overflow unless it can be stored; if storage
has been provided, it is easy t o calculate the
weekly production and other parameters of
t he system according t o t he following equa
tions:

w
,
L
= P
L
[ 5 ( l r ) r
L
+ 7 X2 4 Xr ]
P'
m
= P
L
[5( 1 r ) T
L
+ 7 X 24 X r] /
P
T
S
X 7
W. A = 2P'
m
T.rPd 24 + T
S
)
In t he previous calculations, an evenly
distributed unavailability of power has been
assumed. However, it is more correct t o
assume t hat each day t he chances are under
active conditions (power source available)
and q = 1 when power is unavailable.
Under these more restrictive conditions it is
possible to calculate the probability t hat the
power source will match the load demand
over a sufficiently long period.
Referring to a mont hl y period, the follow
ing combinations of active and inactive days
are possible:
(30, 0) (29, 1) (28, 2 ) . . . ( 0, 30)
Each pair of numbers within brackets rep
resents the days on which t he power source is
active and inactive, respectively.
The probability of each combination is
,30 29.
29. 1 = ( ) 9, "2 8 . 2
, 28 2

3
. = ( )
( ) p q
More generally, in a period of days the
probability associated with the combination
(N, i) (N i active days, inactive days) is
= (? )"
Also if a storage system designed for a
production of h days has been provided, there
are conditions under which our system is un
able t o follow the load demand; for example,
(a) for all combinations of days in which i'
is larger than h,
(b) when the difference N
q
N
p
is larger
than h in a period of (N
p
+ N
q
) days.
For a better explanation, let us putAT = 30
and h = 10.
AU the combinations included in the
interval <(0, 30), (9, 21)> have a production
deficit superior t o 10 days, at least at the end
of a 30day period. So there is no possibility
of matching the whole load demand.
Then let us consider the combination (10,
20) (10 active, 20 inactive days). At the end
of such a period, the production deficit corre
sponds t o 10 days, so it matches exactly t he
size of the storage system.
However, even with this combination there
will arise some conditions in which a tempo
rary deficit may appear.
This can be seen clearly if the combination
is split into the following subgroups:
209
2 0Q + 1P
19 Q + I P + (comb, of 9 Pa n d I Q)
18Q + 1P + (comb, of 9 P and 2 Q)
1P + (comb, of 9 and 20 Q)
where represents the active and Q the inac
tive days; the lefthand side terms must be
read as ' 1 active day (P) following nQ consec
utive inactive days' ; t he righthand side terms
(within brackets) are all the combinations of
(20 nQ) inactive days and 9 active days.
The number of combinations for each sub
group can be calculated as follows:
' ( n Q + l P )
20nQ +9
The sum of all t he subgrouped combina
tions is again the number of combinations
(10, 20).
As the storage system was designed to
supply energy in quantities corresponding t o
10 days of operation, the first listed group of
events (20 Q + I P) (in which there appear 20
consecutive inactive days) is unable t o satisfy
the load demand.
However, its probability, assuming = q, is
very low, being less than lO^"
9
.
Up t o the combination 11 Q + 1 + (9 Q +
9P) , all the following listed subgroups have
more than ten initial consecutive inactive
days, leading t o conditions of temporary load
deficit.
Starting then from t he next subgroup,
10Q + I P, it can be seen t hat there are pos
sibilities both of matching or not the load
demand.
It is therefore possible t o draft a "probabil
ity mat r i x" where each element (A
x Y
) rep
resents the number of combinations, within
the group X
Q
, having a temporary production
deficit equal to Y days.
XQ represents t he number of initial consec
utive inactive days.
Summing up all the combinations A
x Y
in
the probability matrix in which Y is larger
than h, and dividing by the total number of
combinations (io), we obtain the cumulative
probability t hat the combination (10, 20) will
not meet the load demand.
Repeating the same procedure for all
combinations up t o (20, 10), this last being
excluded, we are in the position t o calculate
the total probability of not matching the load
demand in a system provided with a 10day
storage. It should be recalled t hat each com
bination has t o be multiplied by the appropri
ate (p
N
~'q') values.
For example, t he probability for a period
of 60 days has been calculated, with = 0.53
and q = 0.47; the following results were
obtained:
Storage size (days) Probability of not matching
load (%)
9
10
11
12
8.2
5.9
4.5
3.2
If each storage size is associated with a
corresponding energy deficit, i.e. the yearly
quantity of energy not supplied t o the grid,
and if the value t o be given t o the lost supply
is known, the size of the storage system can
be selected by minimizing the energy cost
function
C
0
= C
1
P
m
+C
A
E
A
+
CeE
L
i + a
where C
0
is the total capitalized cost, C
1
is
t he plant cost per unit of capacity, C
A
is the
storage cost per unit of stored energy, c
e
is
the value t o be given t o the supply deficit per
unit of energy, E
h
is the energy supply lost,
and i + a is the annual interest and amortiza
tion factor.
A further example is represented by a
power source which is seasonally variable.
The generating system must be designed t o
face the load demand under the worst season
al conditions, so the capacity of the plant is
determined accordingly. The result is a large
overflow of production over the rest of year.
However, it is possible t o provide a storage
system which stores energy during good
seasons and allows its use during poor ones.
If the size of this storage system is
increased, t he production per unit of plant
generating capacity will also increase at the
design point. In other words, for a given load
demand curve, a larger size of storage system
corresponds t o a lower plant installed
capacity.
Also in this case, a more economical solu
tion can be obtained by minimizing the cost
function, t hat is, the sum of all capital costs.
210
To conclude, the case of an intermittent
power source standing alone can be solved by
providing a suitable and economically justif
ied storage system, the duties of which are:
t o compensate for the weekly load
variation,
t o meet discontinuities of t he power
source,
t o increase the yearly converted power by
transferring the seasonal surplus to less
productive mont hs.
CASE B: INTERMITTENT POWER SOURCE
INTEGRATED WITH A CONVENTIONAL POWER
SYSTEM
(1) The capacity of the intermittent power
plant can be calculated with the aid of the
equation
( l r ) P
L
r
L
= ( r p )
s
P
m
1
P~ =
irp),
,.
LTL
As it has been assumed t hat the load curve
presents a peak on working days only, t o face
the consequences of a power source discontin
uity it is sufficient t o provide a reserve equal
t o a fraction 5/7 of the energy deficit in a
period of inactive days. When an appropri
ate number has been selected for the
consecutive inactive days, it follows t hat
It is assumed t hat the load curve is charac
terized by a base load at a constant value of
(1 r)P^ and by a peak load P
L
; further
more, it is supposed t hat the load can be
covered by an i nt ermi t t ent power source
integrated with a conventional (thermal)
power system.
The cost in order t o cover the base of the
load diagram can be calculated as follows:
E'
A
= y i V ( l r ) 7
L
P
L
(2) The total yearly production of the
plant is
E
y
=P
m
X 365 X( r p)
y
l Xr
(rp)
;
365( r p)
y
P
L
r
L
Conventional power source
(i + a)C
T
+
c
t
8760
where C
T
is the capital cost and c
t
is t he cost
per unit of energy produced. The capital cost
must include all the extra costs connected, for
instance, with the plant' s unavailability.
Intermittent power source
(i + a) ( Ci P
m
+C
A
g
A
)
365 T
S
P
where E
A
is the energy stored for reserve and
seasonal storage and r
s
p is the source design
daily time, also a function of the seasonal
reservoir size.
By comparing the two costs, it is possible
t o select the best solution.
At t he present cost levels, there is no doubt
t hat the conventional power source is the
cheapest, at least in situations like those to
which we are accustomed.
To evaluate t he cost of the peak energy
product i on, t he following procedure can be
suggested.
where ( r p)
y
is the daily (yearly) average num
ber of hours in which the source is likely t o
produce (active) energy.
The energy used t o cover the peaking load
in the course of the year is

y
, o = 365 X (rp)
s
P
m
= ( 1 r ) X 365 X P
L
r
L
The difference between t he t ot al and t he
peaking production can be used t o replace an
equal amount of base energy, saving a corre
sponding amount of fuel in the base generat
ing plant:
?
y e
E
y
Ey
0
( 1 r ) X 365 X P
L
T
L
(rP)y
(rPh
Its economic value corresponds t o the direct
(fuel) cost c
c
of the substituted power source.
Its capitalized value is
C
e
= c
t
EyJ{i + a)
211
(3) Considering all t he previously men
tioned data, the total cost function for t he
i nt ermi t t ent power source becomes
C = C
x
P
m
+C
A
E'
A
"
y
'
e
'
= ( l r ) P
L
7 ,
I
' )(rp)s
i + a
5C\
365
(rp)y
L(rp)
s
i + a
(4) The corresponding cost for a conven
tional power plant is
C' = C
T
( l r ) P
L
'
+
^.
+ a
L ' L
X 365 X
So t hat t he i nt ermi t t ent power source be
comes economically convenient if
TL
< C
7
Ci 5C
A
N
365
(TP)>
(
T
p)
s
7 (rp)
s
i + ai
(5) It is possible t o raise t he peak produc
tion for unit generating capacity if we
increase (rp)
s
by storing some out of peak
product i on. Two solutions can be considered:
(a) The excess of product i on during week
ends can be stored and used on working days
for peaking purposes. The energy t o be stored
corresponds t o t wo days of product i on:
X = 2 ( r p ) ; P
m
= ( l r ) P
L
r
L
X 2

='
+
'

= (1)^( + 2 )
(rp)'s = (rp)
s
o
(b) It has been seen t hat by transferring
energy seasonally it is possible t o increase
(TP)
S
. The size of the storage system can easily
be calculated, and so it is possible t o intro
duce t he new value of {rp)
s
and E
A
into t he
costfunction formula.
CONCLUSION
The possible role of an i nt ermi t t ent power
source has been considered. Two main cases
have been developed: t he first in which t he
i nt ermi t t ent source is standing alone against a
constant or variable load, t he second where
t he i nt ermi t t ent source is integrated with a
conventional power plant. Very simple load
curves have been considered in order t o
simplify the formulae, as our main interest
was in t he general trends. However, the
characteristics of the power source have been
considered in a realistic way, and calculations
have been developed with real discontinuity
and seasonal variability data.
The preceding formulae can be used for an
evaluation of t he competitivity of intermit
t ent power plants compared with conven
tional generating plants.
By adopting the present cost data for t he
conventional generating plants and data extra
polated from t he literature for t he intermit
t ent ones, it seems possible t hat t he energy
costs of an optimized i nt ermi t t ent power sys
t em, as described above, integrated with con
ventional plants would not be much larger
under particular circumstances.
This result confirms t hat studies and exper
iments should be directed towards a better
knowledge of obtaining t he performance of
intermittent power plants as well as of t he
operative problems.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 213 226
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
213
SmallScale Solar Electricity Generation and Redundancy of the Grid*
FRIEDRICHJOSEF GLATZEL
RheinischWestflisches Elektrizittswerk AG, Essen (F.R.G.)
SUMMARY
In the interconnected system of the
F.R.G.'s public power supply as in many
other countries too the fundamental prin
ciple adhered to is that the simultaneous gen
eration and consumption of electrical energy
are to be achieved on an economic basis. A
solar power station is to be integrated into
this interconnected system. After having ex
plained the special features of the German
integrated operation, the author therefore
states how a solar power plant the gener
ation of which is practically a function of the
solar radiation can be fitted into the integ
rated system. At the same time, the character
istics of solar radiation are explained in detail.
From the analysis of the solar data, the
characteristic properties of solar power plants,
with and without energy storage devices, are
derived. Finally the types of costs are indic
ated which may be credited to solar power
plants in so far as they replace energy other
wise generated by conventional power plants.
INTRODUCTION
In recent times, several studies on the
future energy requirements of the Federal
Republic of Germany and on how they are to
be met show rather optimistic data on the
possibilities of the generation of energy from
such sources as wind and sun.
Nobody would seriously question the ne
cessity of founding studies on future energy
demand and the development of reasonable
programmes for meeting that demand. It can
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal
Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra
(Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September 3 7, 1979.
not be denied that, apart from the conserva
tion of energy, socalled regenerative energies
will have to contribute increasingly in the
future to ease the burden of the demand for
conventional energies, i.e. fossil fuels.
When replacing valuable hydrocarbons for
meeting energy requirements, electrical ener
gy will certainly play a major role, since it can
be generated from any primary energy and
can be used in all fields of application of
energy.
For this very reason it is indispensable
when considering the use of socalled renew
able or regenerative energies for the genera
tion of electricity also to take into account
the technicophysical characteristics of elec
tricity supply. It is imperative, therefore, to
go beyond the exclusively quantitative
considerations of the substitution, for
example, of mineral oil by coal and nuclear
energy and by regenerative energies, and to
occupy oneself with the 'small print' of this
secondary energy: electricity. As we say in
Germany: "The devil is in the detail". Thus we
have above all to comply with the condition
of simultaneity of generation and consump
tion of electricity, a consequence of the fact
that electricity itself cannot be stored.
Compliance with this condition is at the
basis of the electricity supply in all countries,
although different practices and priorities
have developed in the various countries as
regards the use of power plants for meeting
the electrical energy requirements, especially
as a result of the differing compositions of the
generating plants and of the different load
characteristics.
However, the statements which will be de
veloped on the basis of the German power sta
tion interconnected system will also provide
valuable information concerning the electrici
ty supply in other countries. In accordance
with the title of this paper, however, isolated
networks, which will certainly be of some
214
importance for solar power stations, will not
be dealt with. The basic characteristics of the
operation of the German electric utility sys-
tem will first be explained, and then the way
in which a solar power station, the generation
of which is in the main a function of solar
radiation, can be integrated into this inter-
connected system will be specified.
For the purpose of this paper, the class of
capability of the small-scale solar power sta-
tion is not defined exactly. What is meant
here are stations smaller than 1 MW, of a
capability ranging from a few kW to a few
100 kW, feeding into the low or medium
voltage grid according to their rated power.
Thus, such a small-scale generator may be
solar cells installed in the roof of a privately
owned house or a solar power station of
several hundreds of kW operated by a utility.
In short, the problem to be analysed here is
what would be the effect on an intercon-
nected system such as that of West Germany
if some of these small-scale, decentralized,
solar power stations fed their power into the
interconnected grid. In this context, some
indications will be derived from the operation
of the many small-scale, decentralized, run-
ning water power plants in the F.R.G.
When presenting the possibilities and re-
strictions of solar power stations, both de-
velopments solar-thermal and solar-electric
are taken into consideration. The main dif-
ference between these two types is that a
solar-thermal power plant operates only in the
case of direct insolation, i.e. during sunshine,
whereas the solar-electric power station
converts light into electricity also when the
sky is overcast. This difference is reflected by
the power plants' availability, the annual
number of hours of utilization, etc., and de-
serves some basic remarks.
The technological details of these solar
power plant lines will not be considered in
this paper, but only their properties as
converters of energy. In this context, some
criteria for assessment will be given.
When considering the use of solar power
plants in our northern latitudes, one cannot
avoid apart from the problem of their tech-
nical use looking into the costs. It is
certainly not difficult to 'kill', for the fore-
seeable future, solar electricity by cost
figures. This, however, is not the intention of
this paper.
The costs will, however, be dealt with
not numerically, but in such a way that the
type of costs will be explained which are to
be classified before comparing the costs of
solar power stations with those of conven-
tional power plants, in order to avoid compar-
ing 'apples and oranges'.
THE DEMAND FOR ELECTRICAL ENERGY
As the electrical power supply industry is
subject to the laws of nature, its customers
determine the time, amount and duration of
the not directly storable electricity
supply by switching on appliances. The utility
adapts its output to the demand prevailing at
any particular time, because the economic
possibilities of storing energy in order to use
it for secondary generation are limited.
The demand for electricity is expressed by
the daily load profile which is largely deter-
mined by
the size of the consumer collective,
the degree of saturation of the consum-
ers' electrical appliances,
the individual habits in the use of appli-
ances,
the day of the week (working or non-
working day),
the time of year.
The load variations obtaining to a greater
or lesser extent during a daily cycle are
characteristic of the daily load curve.
The total load curves of the public elec-
tricity supply industry in the F.R.G. on a
typical work-day in summer and in winter are
depicted in Fig. 1. In this Figure the load
profiles especially for the day in summer
clearly show the so-called 'night valley', large-
ly characterized by the rythm of man's life.
Thus the ratio between the daily peak and the
lowest night dip in summer is 1.8 to 1, and in
winter it is 1.3 to 1. The winter load curve
in spite of the fact that the peak is higher here
by approximately 20% is more balanced
out than the summer load profile, which is
imputable to the fact that the traditional
night dip is largely filled up in winter in the
F.R.G. by the operation of night storage
appliances, the connected load of which is
approximately 28 GW. The night storage heat-
ing system is an example of the successful
efforts undertaken by the German electricity
215
GW
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
IO
5
O

, 1

S^,

_
h
*~
'
_ u ^
,
t
_
_! .
. .
.
U
'
_ December
~
/


y
| ,
4=
1
,
'.
t t
j
t \
4^
'
,__

)
, h
V i
zs*^
1
__1
, ,
*
1


|
_| _


'
" ^
.
, ^.
4 4
^*
S
U
\


\
h
. _ ) _ .
i
1
' '
:



= ^

;

__ ,
!
! ;
Fig. 1. Overall West German load profiles for a
summer and winter day in 1976.
GW
0
i
^
| 1
|
,
D
1 1
ecemb
S
A
ug us t

24 h
Fig. 3. Overall Spanish load profiles for summer and
winter days in 1976.
supply industry to integrate electrical installa
tions, thus contributing to the compensation
of the variations of the daily load curve.
The relative load variation of the summer
day, which is 1.8 to 1, may appear to be ex
tremely large, but it is much less than that of
smaller consumer collectives.
The seasonal requirements of electrical
energy may be seen from Fig. 2. It can be
seen that the electricity demand in winter
months is obviously higher than that in
summer months. The occurrence of the
annual maximum peaks in winter is obviously
due to the cold weather, a phenomenon
which not only occurs in the F.R.G., but also
in other European countries. This statement is
confirmed by the load curve of the Spanish
electrical utilities depicted in Fig. 3.
From all this we can derive the following
typical load characteristics :
large load variations occur during the
daily cycle,
in many European countries the annual
load peaks occur during the winter months.
USE OF THE POWER PLANTS IN
INTERCONNECTED OPERATION
The daily load curve, which cannot be
foreseen in full detail, has to be followed up
simultaneously by the generation of the
power plants. For the fulfilment of this task,
numerous power stations are used in the
German interconnected network.
In 1977, the proportion of thermal power
plants in the total maximum gross capability
installed in the F.R.G. of approximately
67 GW was about 91% (Fig. 4), and their
contribution to the generation of approx
imately 269 TWh was about 94%.
Among the thermal power plants are
brown and bituminous coal power plants,
OthtrsO.f/.
^IT^
JAK FEB MAR APR MAV JUN JUL AUG SEPT OCT HOV DEC
Fig. 2. Monthly average values of the daily electricity
consumption (public electricity power supply, West
Germany, 1976).
Natural gas 11,67.
O il 16.3 V .
Hard caal with
oil or gas 11.97,
Running water 3,27
Storage and pump
storage 5,57
Brown coal
13.97.
Hard coal 11.17.
Fig. 4. Proportions of the primary energy sources in
the installed power station capacity (public electricity
power supply, West Germany, 1977).
216
natural gas power plants and nuclear power
plants. The common characteristic of all
thermal power plants is that sufficient quanti-
ties of primary energy can be stored in them.
The hydraulic power plants are broken
down into running water power plants, power
stations with reservoirs, and pumped storage
stations, with and without natural afflux.
As to the power stations with reservoirs,
we classify the power plants as capable of an-
nual, weekly and daily cycles on the basis of
the storage capacity of the reservoir in rela-
tionship to the generation output capacity.
By a power plant with an annual reservoir
we mean such a power plant the natural
afflux of which can be stored for several
months in the reservoir, so that it allows a
seasonal delay between the time of input and
the moment of generation of electric energy.
The nominal capacity of the reservoir suffices,
as the case may be, for several hundreds or
several thousands of operating hours over the
years.
Such power plants are mainly to be found
in the high and low mountain areas, and
constitute only an infinitely small portion of
about \%o of the total generation of the
public power supply in the F.R.G.
The pumped storage stations without
natural afflux are designed as daily reservoir
power plants and have a capacity for a
specific energy capability of 4 - 9 kWh/kW.
This means that the full reservoir can be
operated at a nominal rating for 4 - 9 hours a
day.
The generation of the running water
power plants, for which, generally speaking,
no reservoir capacity worth mentioning exists,
depends on the instantaneous water condi-
tions and, in 1977, was 4.6% of the total gen-
eration of the public utilities in the F.R.G.
Within the power plant interconnected
system, these thermal and hydraulic power
stations are used for covering the base load,
the medium load, and the peak load. Figure 5
depicts the ranges of base load, medium load
and peak load.
To cover the base load we use apart
from having recourse to the running water
power plants which contribute only to a low
degree the thermal power plants according
to thermal costs per kilowatt hour.
Figure 6 shows how the generation costs
of the thermal power plants depend on the
12 15 18 21
Fig. 5. Ranges of base load, medium load and peak
load.
annual hours of utilization. A typical feature
of base load power plants is that their specific
fixed charges are relatively high, but their
variable costs are low, whereas the peak load
power plants, operated only for short periods
over the day, show the reverse cost structure,
and thus high variable costs.
s
peak load power slation
medium laad power station
base load power station
DM
costs
I
0 1000 2000 3000 1.000 5000 6000 7000 6000 6760
Fig. 6. Electricity generation costs of peak, medium
and base load power stations (principle diagram).
Moreover, the peak load power plants
must be quickly mobilizable (e.g., gas turbine
sets, power plants with reservoirs).
Base load, medium load and peak load
power plants concur to meet the requirements
of the daily maximum load. It is particularly
during the annual peak load periods in West
Germany mainly in winter that the high
217
availability of a power station is of impor
tance, because in the event of its nonavail
ability a standby power station would have to
take over its share in covering peak loads.
The secured capacity of a group of power
plants is that part of the available capacity
having a highly probable availability which
guarantees a secure supply.
Any aggregate, in technology, being as
signed a probability of failure, one can speak
of secured capacity of an individual power
plant only in connection with the provision of
reserve capacity.
The necessary provision of reserve gener
ating capacity can differ with each type of
power station. The generating costs of a
standby power station have to be added to
those of the group of power stations it serves.
The result is that, particularly owing to the
installed reserve generating capacity, the cost
per unit (price per kWh) increases. From this,
it follows that the generating costs of specific
power stations can only be compared if the
reserve capacity required for each type of sta
tion is taken into account.
The high availability of the thermal power
stations used in West Germany during peak
load periods is possible because the sources of
primary energy, such as coal, oil, gas or uran
ium, can be stored in adequate quantities and,
in addition to the reliability of the power sta
tion equipment, depends to a not inconsider
able extent on the technical reliability of the
power plants.
Besides those power plants which can be
broken down into base load, medium load
and peak load power plants, certain power
plants are also called control power plants.
These power plants are used in order to
balance out rapid load variations. Owing to
their high speed of control capacity, these are
mainly hydroelectric power plants with
reservoirs.
The intermediary between requirement
and generation of electrical energy is the load
dispatching centre. It is responsible for
scheduling the operation of the power sta
tions according to the daily load forecast. It
must also provide sufficient reserve for un
planned standstills and schedule maintenance
work on days of low total load. In West
Germany and other European countries these
days are those of the vacation months in
summer.
PROPERTIES OF THE RUNNING WATER POWER
PLANTS
The running water power plants are the
nearest to the solar power stations because
they have relatively small rated capacities,
they are scattered all over the service area and
they use variable amounts of constantly re
generating energy.
Figure 7 shows that about 60% of the 555
running water plants in operation in West
Germany in 1977 had a rated capacity of less
than 1 MW, and 90% of them less than 10 MW.
It is true that the overall installed capacity of
these 501 running water power plants consti
tutes only onethird of the total gross max
imum capacity of all running water power
plants existing in West Germany. Given
their duration of utilization of more than
5700 h/a they belong to the base load power
plants.
Considering the seasonal variations of the
running water power, largely responsible for
the reduction to twothirds of the possible
generation, we distinguish between the dis
charge characteristics of rivers draining the
high mountains and the low mountains.
The water load of alpine rivers is very
heavy, especially during the melting snow
period (May to September), whereas the low
mountain rivers normally attain their highest
level during rainy winter time. In summer the
555
500
0 *
1020MW
2050MW
50100MW
MW
2172
1500
50100 MW
number 5
capacity /MW 319
2050MW
26
1004
1020MW
54
110MW
233
2099
<1MW
555
Fig. 7. Number and rated capacity of running water
power stations (public electricity power supply, West
Germany, 1977).
218
discharge of the low mountain rivers is typic-
ally low, whereas the rivers draining the high
mountains suffer from water shortages mostly
in winter.
Not only the low water level but also the
high water level reduces the generation of a
running water power plant because the useful
difference in level between the upper and tail
water may depending on the high water
level be reduced or may even disappear
completely. Owing to the wide distribution of
West Germany's running water power plants
in the alpine and low mountain rivers, we
reckon to have a partly secured capacity.
Figure 8 shows, in relation to the gross
maximum capacity of all running water power
plants, the capacity in operation during the
annual maximum load in the 11-year period
1966 - 1976. It can be seen that during this
decade the secured part of the capacity was
approximately 50% of the gross maximum
capacity.
1966 1967 1969 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1971 1975 1976
Fig. 8. Availability of the running water power sta-
tions at the moment of yearly peak power demand
(public electricity power supply, West Germany).
Running water power plants are not
controlled by the dispatcher but follow the
grid, according to the water flowrate.
THE USE OF SOLAR POWER STATIONS
In contrast to the storage of fuel in conven-
tional thermal power plants, nuclear power
plants included, the primary energy of a solar
power station, i.e. the electromagnetic radia-
tion emitted by the sun and felt as light or
heat, cannot be directly stored. In a solar
power station, therefore, two different ener-
gies not directly storable are coupled. Thus
investigations must be carried out in order to
find out the regularity of solar radiation and
how the generation of a solar power station
following the rhythm of solar radiation can be
fitted into the existing interconnected system.
Here, a secondary energy storage device
(such as a heat tank or a battery) can certain-
ly perform a valuable balancing function and
harmonize, within certain limits, solar radia-
tion and the run of the load.
After analysis of the characteristics of solar
radiation at two places in West Germany,
first the generation of a solar power station
without an energy storage reservoir will be
explained, and then the introduction of a
storage reservoir and some aspects of its di-
mensioning will be discussed.
THE AVAILABILITY OF SOLAR ENERGY
Extraterrestrial normal solar radiation
intensity is constant, it is true, but the solar
radiation coming down at a certain spot on
the earth changes constantly as a result of the
relative movement of the earth in relation to
the sun, and as a result of the cloudiness of
the atmosphere.
The constant changes of solar radiation
caused by the relative movement of the earth
which can be calculated in advance may be
described by the daily and seasonal variations
of the solar radiation.
The other parameter, viz. the cloudiness of
the atmosphere, which, in our regions, is the
main cause of diffused solar radiation, is
strongly influenced by the formation of
clouds and is therefore more likely to be
subject to accidental variations. Moreover, the
frequency of the formation of clouds and
their intensity is also determined by local
conditions. In Germany, the average annual
duration of sunshine is 1300 - 2000 hours
(Fig. 9).
In Germany we have only one measuring
station at the Meteorological Observatory in
Hamburg, where, for several years, data have
been collected which are suitable for detailed
analysis with a view to the use of solar radia-
tion for the generation of electrical energy.
The figure of 1600 - 1700 hours of sunshine
per year which applies to Hamburg is an aver-
age figure for Western Germany.
In Hamburg, the hourly values of the global
and diffuse solar radiation on a horizontal sur-
face have been collected since 1949. In order
to eliminate the accidental influences of a
219
Durchschnittliche
Sonnenscheindauer
in Stunden pro Jahr
19311960
HUS 13001.00
miDU.001500
^ ^ 1 5 0 0 1 6 0 0
1 11600 1700
C D 17001800
^1B00 1900
G
Wh/ m'
0
Wh/m
1
700
RU
son
(00
300
100
0
Quelle
RWEAnwendungstechnik/
Deutscher Wetterdienst (1977)
Fig. 9. Sunshine map of Western Germany.
single year on the solar data, these are
analysed for the 10year period 1967 1976.
For the purpose of comparing the Hamburg
data (54 N, 10 E), solar data from the
Munich region (Weihenstephan: 48 , 10 E)
are being analyzed; this region has 1800
1900 hours of sunshine per year, and has one
of the highest annual durations of sunshine.
For the period in question, 1967 1976, the
hourly values of global and diffuse solar radia
tion in Weihenstephan are unfortunately only
available for two years, viz. 1972 and 1974.
THE DAILY DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR
RADIATION
Figure 10 shows the average variation of
the intensity of global and direct solar radia
tion on a horizontal surface in June (summer)
and December (winter) in Hamburg in the
year 1974.
The four daily curves depicted are averages
of 30 or 31 individual daily curves. The exist
ing irregularities may be concluded to be from
the influence of the daily 'weather', especially
in the case of direct radiation.
Apart from the large share of the diffuse
solar radiation in the global radiation, marked
by the hatched areas in Fig. 10, we notice a
great difference between the summer and
winter radiation, the ratio of which (in the
example given) is roughly 11 to 1 (total daily
Fig. 10. Global and direct insolation on a horizontal
surface (Hamburg, daily average, 1974).
global radiation) and about 4 to 1 (maximum
hourly value of the global radiation). Conse
quently, much less solar energy is available in
winter.
DIRECT SOLAR RADIATION
The daily quantity of radiation available is
of utmost importance. It is only a small pro
portion of the available global radiation
(50 Wh/m
2
d during the tenyear period
considered), it is true, but on many days dur
ing the main winter months (November
February) there is no direct solar radiation at
all.
Table 1 depicts for the years 1967
1976 the number of days per month on
which there was no direct solar radiation, and
the longest continuous period, for each year,
without direct solar radiation.
It can be seen that, on average over the 10
years, between November and February near
ly half of the days were without direct solar
radiation and that also on average each
year a continuous period of one week with
out any direct solar radiation was recorded.
The above values would be still greater if
those days were also classified as being with
out direct solar radiation on which a certain
minimum of direct solar radiation was not
attained, this minimum value being necessary
for the operation, however short it may be, of
a solar thermal power plant.
220
TABLE 1
Days without direct insolation (Hamburg)
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
Average
No.
Jan.
15
10
22
21
15
19
21
20
12
14
17
of days
Feb.
6
13
13
17
11
13
12
11
7
14
12
without direct insolation
Nov.
13
17
8
12
13
12
3
15
9
14
12
Dec.
18
21
18
15
24
13
15
18
17
8
17
Total
52
61
61
65
63
57
51
64
45
50
57
Maximum No. of consecutive days
without direct insolation
8
8
5
8
8
8
10
4
7
4
7
SOLAR RADIATION ON BIAXIAL TRACKING
COLLECTORS
For the solar thermal power station, the
tracking of the collectors according to the
position of the sun is necessary for concen
trating the direct radiation and, hence, for
operation. In the following, therefore, the
radiation on a plane surface is examined, the
normal to which corresponds to the direction
of the sun.
Since only values of radiation measured on
a horizontal surface are available, direct radia
tion is computed on the basis of the position
of the sun, which is known for every hour of
the year, the hypothesis being that the diffuse
radiation is the same for horizontal and for bi
axial tracking planes.
As compared with the radiation data
computed exclusively from the position of
the sun, the cloudiness factors, etc., the
converted solar data have the same advantages
as the measured basic data.
SEASONAL SOLAR ENERGY
Figure 11 shows the annual variation of the
accumulated global and direct radiation densi
ty on the biaxial tracking plane, averaging
over the years 1967 1976. From this Figure
it can be seen that the share of the winter
semester (1st October 31st March) is, on
average, 23% of the annual global radiation
and also 23% of the annual direct radiation.
The difference between summer and winter
radiation is therefore pretty great.
1100
1300
1200
1100
1000
9 0 0
A
1
D I
kWh/m
2
: t ^
o
kWh/m
2
Global insolat
Direct insoluti
ion G
on D
X "
JUL AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FED MAR APR MAV JUN
Fig. 11. Cumulative averages of the daily global and direct insolation (biaxial tracking, Hamburg, 1967 1976).
221
VARIATION OF THE RADIATION
Apart from the seasonal variations, solar
radiation at the Hamburg measuring station
also exhibits variations from one day to the
next, which are due especially to frequently
changing cloud formation. These variations are
observed not only for the direct but also for
the global solar radiation. Figure 12 contains
the minimum and maximum daily totals of
global radiation density on the biaxial track
ing plane for each calendar day of the years
1967 1976 in Hamburg. The highest daily
global radiation density is 13 463 Wh/m
2
, the
lowest 50 Wh/m
2
; the range of variation of
269 to 1 is therefore pretty large.
20
10
kWhWd
0.1
0.08
0,05
0.02
0.01
G max.
G min.
1967.BS .69.70 .71 .72 .73 . .75.76
Fig. 12. Maximal and minimal daily global insolation
per year (biaxial tracking, Hamburg, 1967 1976).
SOLAR RADIATION AT WEIHENSTEPHAN
(48 , 12 E) NEAR MUNICH
Only the solar data on an hourly basis over
two years are available. Therefore, a compar
ison with the tenyear average values for Ham
burg cannot be made. In the following, there
fore, the solar data for 1972 are compared.
Figure 13 shows the course of the total dai
ly global and direct radiation on a biaxial
plane following the position of the sun. With
a global annual radiation of 1634 kWh/m
2
,
the solar radiation at Weihenstephan is 24%
higher than that 'caught' in Hamburg in the
same year. The share of the winter semester in
the annual radiation, for global and for direct
radiation as well, is 28% each, and is some
what higher than in Hamburg.
For the biaxial tracking system, the varia
tion of the daily value of global radiation, 35
to 1, as compared with 117 to 1, is definitely
better than in Hamburg.
As to the days without any direct radia
tion, none were observed in January and Feb
ruary, three in November and six in December.
It must be noted here that on several days the
direct radiation was extremely weak.
If we include the days with a quantity of
direct radiation of less than 30 Wh/m
2
d as
deficiency days, we already have five days
without sunshine. This increase shows that
the smaller number of days without sunshine
does not necessarily mean a new quality of
reliability in the sunshine at Weihenstephan.
The share of direct radiation in the global
annual radiation is 62%, and consequently is
1 5 0 0
t :
G
kWh/m
2
t :
1
0
kWh/m
2
G ^y
/^
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUK JUL AUG SEPT OCT
NOV DEC
Fig. 13. Cumulative averages of the daily global and direct insolation (biaxial tracking, Weihenstephan, Munich,
1972).
222
somewhat higher than in Hamburg in 1972
for biaxial tracking plane (57%).
In a nutshell: the solar energy we receive
(a) is subject to heavy variations,
(b) in the winter semester amounts comes
to only roughly one-third of that in the sum-
mer semester,
(c) is characterized by frequent black-outs
of direct radiation in winter.
These typical properties are more pro-
nounced for Hamburg in the north than they
are for Munich in the south.
SOLAR POWER STATIONS WITHOUT STORAGE
Solar power stations without integrated
storage generate electricity in time with solar
radiation. Their generation pattern therefore
exhibits the snme typical features as that of
solar radiation.
The variation of the generation of solar
power stations, however, is not so great as
that of solar radiation, since, on the one hand,
the size of solar power stations is not calcu-
lated for the maximum possible instantaneous
output capacity and, on the other, a min-
imum radiation intensity is required for the
partial load operation of thermal solar power
stations.
With a given collector surface, the max-
imum output capacity of the photovoltaic
power station is limited by the rectifier,
whereas that of the thermal solar power sta-
tion is limited by the turbogenerator.
Figure 14 depicts the annual duration
curves (10-year average) of the hourly values
of global and direct radiation on a plane bi-
axially tracking the position of the sun in
Hamburg. This Figure shows us that with an
average minimum number of hours of opera-
tion at a rated capacity of, say, 1000 h/a, we
have to reckon with a radiation intensity of
560 W/m
2
for the rated operation of a photo-
voltaic power station, and with 350 W/m
2
for
that of a solar thermal power station without
storage. The value given for the solar-thermal
power station is already so low that the
dimensions required for rated operation are
highly expensive.
Apart from the strongly varying generation,
attention must also be paid to the fact that
the available solar energy and the require-
ments for electrical energy oppose each other
throughout the year (Fig. 15). For example,
during the winter, owing to the lower position
of the sun, the shorter days and the heavy
rainfalls, the smaller amount of solar energy
available occurs at a time of greater demand
for electrical energy.
Table 1 shows that in Hamburg, out of the
120 winter days from November to February,
on a 10-year average, 57, i.e. about half, were
without direct solar radiation. It is true that
in Weihenstephan near Munich as is certain-
ly also the case in other places in South
Germany the number of days without sun-
shine is less. Taking into account the min-
imum radiation intensity, the starting-up time
of a thermal solar power station and the re-
1200
1050
900
750
600
150
300
150
0
560
3 5 0
t l
Wh/m
2
h
fi
D
Wh/ n
2
h
Globo insolat ion G
, Di rect insola tion 0
IDO 800
Fig. 14. Averages of the annual duration curves of the daily global and direct insolation (biaxial tracking,
Hamburg, 1967 - 1976).
223
Global i nsol ati on
El ectri ci ty demand
JAK FEB MAB APR MAV IUN JUL AUC SEPT OCT NOV DEC
Fig. 15. Electricity demand and global insolation
(biaxial tracking, Hamburg).
quirement of guaranteed availability of these
power stations during the winter, we must
state that even if many such power stations
without storage were scattered all over
West Germany these thermal solar power
stations provide no secure capacity. This is
brought home to us if we realize that an 'un-
favourable general weather situation' could
cut off solar radiation over the whole of West
Germany.
This statement does not fully apply to the
photovoltaic solar power station, though the
lower limit of 50 Wh/m
2
d for the daily
global radiation density suggests that we, in
West Germany, must not expect too much
from the utilization of diffused light. Apart
from the necessity of apportioning the low
winter day total which can certainly be
improved to a certain degree when taking in-
to consideration many small solar power sta-
tions scattered all over West Germany to
the hourly or instantaneous values, we must
take into account that solar power stations
without integrated storage can only feed into
the interconnected grid until around sunset.
From the beginning of November until the
middle of January the sunset takes place be-
fore 5 p.m., and thereafter until the end of
February before 6 p.m., so that after 6 p.m.
even a photovoltaic solar power station can-
not contribute to meeting the requirements of
the second high of the daily demand for elec-
trical energy.
Therefore, solar power stations, without an
integrated energy reservoir, cannot, in
West Germany, ease the burden of additions
to the conventional output capacity, since the
necessary installed gross maximum capacity is
mainly a function of the availability during
the peak loads on winter days.
Now, the question could be raised whether
the outage of a solar power station as a conse-
quence of an overcast sky could not be
considered as an outage of a conventional
thermal power plant, so that the spinning
reserve of the grid could be used in place of
the solar station capacity.
This is possible, of course. In that case,
however, this reserve capacity can no longer
be used for the purpose it is meant for, viz.
during the outage of part of the generation as
a result of an equipment failure. There is a big
difference between a power plant's not being
in operation (with a high degree of probabili-
ty) as a consequence of the lack of primary
energy and its being operated at lower capaci-
ty, or completely shut down, as a result of an
equipment failure, this latter case being less
probable. In the German interconnected sys-
tem, solar power stations without integrated
storage require an additional reserve capacity,
in case of their outage, equalling that of their
rated capacity. This means that, for each solar
power station, a conventional thermal power
plant of equal capacity would have to be
erected as a reserve.
Now, the common generation of the solar
and reserve power station can be compared
with that of a conventional thermal power
plant. The generation costs of the solar power
station with a reserve capacity are very high
because of the double installed capacity.
The solar power plants without storage can
contribute solely to the conservation of
primary energy in other power plants.
SOLAR POWER STATIONS WITH STORAGE
An energy storage may be integrated into a
solar power station in order to bridge the
times of poor radiation or of no radiation at
all. This storage also allows the variations or
radiation to be balanced out and, within cer-
tain limits, the solar radiation and electric
power requirements to be harmonized.
A suitable storage for the photovoltaic
solar power plant could, for instance, be an
electrochemical secondary element, a battery,
and for the thermal solar power station, as an
alternative, a high-tern perature heat storage.
In the following, I am trying to dimension
the storage capacity with the aim of securing
224
a certain minimum amount of electrical ener-
gy to be fed into the grid per winter day. This
study will be based on the variation of the ac-
cumulated radiation for the most favourable
case of the collectors' biaxial tracking of the
position of the sun.
For the photovoltaic solar power station it
may be seen from Fig. 16 that the volume of
an energy storage corresponding to the equiv-
alent of a radiation density of approximately
370 kWh/m
2
would be required if the total
radiated annual energy (a radiation equivalent
of 1348 kWh/m
2
) were to be fed into the grid
in equal daily quantities. The storage holds
about one-quarter of the annual radiated ener-
gy and has, therefore, the size of an annual
storage.
Should only half or a quarter of the above
daily quantity of energy be guaranteed to be
fed into the grid on every winter day, the
storage has to be dimensioned according to
the equivalent of 90 kWh/m
2
or 10 kWh/m
2
.
So the necessary minimum size of a storage
decreases more than does the daily minimum
power generation (Fig. 17).
Table 2 shows some characteristic values
for different daily minimum generations.
Thus, with the smallest storage of 10 kWh/m
2
of radiation equivalent, a daily 4-hour opera-
tion at a constant electrical capacity can be
assured, which corresponds to a radiation
intensity of 231 Wh/m
2
. Related to the 4-
hour guaranteed capacity, the discharge time
of the storage is 43 h.
Owing to the higher radiations at Weihen-
stephan, the conditions are more favourable
there. Table 3 contains energy storage size
data. The four-hour guaranteed capacity is
higher by approximately 20% than it is in
Hamburg, but the necessary storage volume is
less than half, which corresponds to the
radiation of 0.280 kW/m
2
.
In Figs. 16 and 17, as well as in Tables 2
and 3, neither the partial capacity efficiency
of the photovoltaic solar power station nor
the load/discharge efficiency of the energy
storage is taken into consideration. The stor-
age efficiency of a lead-acid battery is, for
example, roughly 60%. Moreover, the 10-year
average of the radiation course was taken as
a basis for the dimensioning. A more accurate
approach would require the choice of the
most unfavourable variation of radiation over
a winter for many years. Taking into consider-
ation the above-mentioned factors of influ-
ence makes the dimensioning of the storage
and, consequently, the pattern of generation
less favourable.
From the point of view of cost structure,
the guaranteed 4-h generation of the photo-
voltaic solar power plants with integrated
storage belongs to the peak generation class of
the highest value. It is true, however, that the
costs of the storage are high. Moreover, it is to
be borne in mind that the electrically coupled
energy storage, a secondary battery for ins-
tance, can also be loaded during the low load
hours, e.g. during the night dip, from the gen-
1300
1200
1100
1000
py
\
1
G .
kWh/ m
2
store g capa
\ ,
"><
nf
ity ^-
370 kWh
SH
S^ ins
l abal
olation
JUL AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC
JAN
FEB MAR APR MAV JUN
Fig. 16. Layout of the storage (guaranteed daily output - average daily output; biaxial tracking, Hamburg, 1967
1976).
225
1300
1200
1100
1000
t
G .
kWh/m
2
10 kV
5'
quivolence ai
y
Global insolation^

257.
IUL AUG SEPT OCT
NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
Fig. 17. Layout of the storage (guaranteed daily output = 25% or 50% respectively of the average daily output;
biaxial tracking, Hamburg, 1967 1976).
TABLE 2
Energy storage for a photovoltaic power station (Hamburg, 10year average, biaxial tracking)
Guaranteed yearly
electricity generation
(%)
Equivalence for
storage capacity
(kWh/m
2
)
Average of daily
global insolation
(kWh/m
2
d)
Constant power for 4hour Storage capacity
operation of storage per day (h)
(kW/m
2
)
100
50
25
370
90
10
3.693
1.847
0.923
0.923
0.462
0.231
401
195
43
TABLE 3
Energy storage for a photovoltaic power station (Weihenstephan, 1972, biaxial tracking)
Guaranteed yearly
electricity generation
(%)
Equivalence for
storage capacity
(kWh/m
2
)
Average of daily
global insolation
(kWh/m
2
d)
Constant power for 4hour Storage capacity
operation of storage per day (h)
(kW /m
2
)
100
50
25
300
20
5
4.477
2.238
1.119
1.119
0.560
0.280
268
36
18
eration of thermal power plants, the gener
ation of which would otherwise have to be
reduced.
In that case the full storage capacity for the
generation of electricity would be available on
every day. With the same daily use of four
hours per day this would mean, for Hamburg,
an improvement of the available rated capaci
ty by the factor 10, as compared to the integ
rated solar power station system. For Weihen
stephan the increase in capacity would be 4.5
times. That means that the installed storage
capacity could be utilized much better in an
interconnected system.
For the Hamburg thermal solar power sta
tion the dimensioning of the storage is given
in Fig. 18 and in Table 4. The size of the stor
age is similar, in its range in hours, to that of
the photovoltaic power stations, it is true, but
the fact must be taken into account here that,
owing to the lesser density of direct radiation,
a greater collector surface is required than is
the case for the photovoltaic power plant of
the same rated capacity. Add to this the stor
age losses of a hightemperature heat storage,
which, given the long storage times, would
lead to additional overdimensioning of col
lector surfaces and storage volume.
226
1100
1000
9 0 0
-\
\
kWh/m
2
,
1
210
00V.
kWh/ m
2
6
_^
^^-
25 V.
lOkWh/ m
2
U^O
rect
o lotion
25/.
JUL
AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
JUN
Fig. 18. Storage capacity (guaranteed daily output = 100% or 25% respectively of the average daily output;
biaxial tracking, Hamburg, 1967 1976).
TABLE 4
Energy storage for a thermal solar power station (Hamburg, 10year average, biaxial tracking)
Guaranteed yearly
electricity generation
(%)
Equivalence for
storage capacity
(kWh/m
2
)
Average of daily
global insolation
(kWh/m
2
d)
Constant power for 4hour Storage capacity
operation of storage per day (h)
(kW/m
2
)
100
50
25
210
50
6 1 0
2.148
1.074
0.537
0.537
0.268
0.134
391
224
4 5 7 5
TABLE 5
Energy storage for a thermal solar power station (Weihenstephan, 1972, biaxial tracking)
Guaranteed yearly
electricity generation
(%)
Equivalence for
storage capacity
(kWh/m
2
)
Average of daily
global insolation
(kWh/m
2
d)
Constant power for 4hour Storage capacity
operation of storage per day (h)
(kW/m
2
)
100
50
25
200
25
1 0 1 5
2.773
1.386
0.693
0.693
0.347
0.173
289
72
5 8 87
Even if we base the dimensioning of the
storage on the more favourable radiation
figures at Weihenstephan (Table 5), we notice
that trying to 'graft' upon the thermal solar
power stations the properties of a conven
tional thermal power plant would lead to un
justifiable expense.
In summary, it can be said that solar power
stations without storage would not stem the
increase of new thermal power plants in
Western Germany. The integration of a stor
age into the solar thermal power station
aimed at guaranteeing a certain minimum out
put would lead to unjustifiable expense,
whereas the integration of a battery storage
into a photovoltaic power station would be
rivalled by the better utilization of this stor
age by the other interconnected power plants.
It must be pointed out, however, that val
uable primary energy in other German power
stations can be conserved through the genera
tion of solar power stations.
Electric Power Systems Research, 3 (1980) 227 265
Elsevier Sequoia S.A., Lausanne Printed in the Netherlands
227
The U.S. Solar Thermal Power Program*
C. S. SELVAGE
Sandia Laboratories, Livermore, CA 94550 (U.S.A.)
INTRODUCTION
The Department of Energy (DOE) is devel
oping three categories of largescale power
generating systems: (1) storage coupled, (2)
line focus, and (3) hybrid. The storage
coupled central receiver concept, presented in
Fig. 1, consists of a field of individually
guided mirrors called heliostats that redirect
the sun's energy to a receiver mounted on top
of a tower. In the receiver, the radiant solar
energy is absorbed in a circulating (working)
system for use during a later period. Develop
ment has been conducted on designs which
use one of five different working fluids
air, helium, salt, sodium, or water/steam. The
air and helium systems are coupled to a Bray
ton cycle turbine; the salt, sodium and water/
steam systems are coupled to a Rankine cycle
turbine. The line focus solar central power
system is a storagecoupled power system that
collects and concentrates solar thermal energy
along a linear receiver and transports this
energy to a central location for conversion in
to electricity. The two types of storage
coupled system, line focus and central re
ceiver, are discussed separately because of
their technological differences. In the hybrid
concept, the storagecoupled system is com
bined with a conventional fossil fuel power
generation system so that the plant can oper
ate using either solar energy or fossil fuel, or
the two simultaneously.
A schedule for the Large Power System
Program is shown in Fig. 2. The development
of firstgeneration receivers, heliostats, and
energy storage subsystems has been com
pleted and is being used in the detailed design
and construction of the 10 MW(el) pilot plant
at Barstow, California. Improved systems and
component technology are being developed so
that additional technical options will be avail
able early in fiscal year 1981 for the detailed
design and construction of one or more re
HELIOSTAT FIELD
CODLING TOWER
Fig. 1. Storagecoupled central receiver concept.
Paper presented during a Course on Solar Thermal Power Generation held at the Joint Research Centre of
the Commission of the European Communities, Ispra (Varese), Italy, in the framework of ISPRA Courses,
September3 7 , 1979.
228
10MWe
BARSTOW
PILOT PLANT
CENTRAL
RECEIVER
TEST
FACILITY
REPOWERING
SYSTEMS
DEVELOPMENT
HELIOSTAT
DEVELOPMENT
RECEIVER
DEVELOPMENT
ENERGY STORAGE
SUBSYSTEM
DEVELOPMENT
(DIVISION OF ENERGY
STORAGE SYSTEMS)
| CY79 | CY80 | CYB1 | CY82 | CYB3 |
FY7S | FY80 | FY81 | FY82 | FY83 |
PREPRODUCTI ON
HELIOSTAT DESIGN & TEST
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTI ON

EPRI /BOEI NG ADVANCED 1
E P R I / B & V RECEIVER |
ISSUE RFP CONCEPTUAL DESIGNS 1
ISSUE PON I
FOR PROJECTS J PROJECT DETAI L DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTI ON
* t
*
ADVANCED RECEI VER SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT '
HYBRI D. LINE FOCUS 1
CONCEPT DESIGN .
\
2nd GENERATI ON 1
NEW IDEAS
1 I d GENERATI ON
* |

ADVANCED RECEIVER DESIGN 1
ADVANCED RECEIVER EXPERI MENTS 1
1
_ ADVANCED
WATER/STEAM DESIGN 1
I NTERNAL I NSULATI ON DEVELOPMENT 1
DESIGN AND TEST BUFFER STORAGE
DESIGN AND TEST DI URNAL STORAGE
Fig. 2. Large Power Systems Program schedule.
powering projects which will start in about
1982. Further improvements in heliostat,
receiver, and energy storage subsystems will
continue to be made through fiscal year 1983
with the goal of incorporating them in later
commercial applications.
The technology described here can be used
for many applications such as the repowering
of existing electrical generating plants, retrofit
of industrial processes to replace fossil energy
with solar energy, and the construction of
new electrical generation, industrial or agri
cultural process plants. The initial emphasis of
the Large Power Systems Program was on the
design of new electrical power generation and
thus much of this information relates to this
application. More recent studies have shown
promising markets for the other applications.
The storagecoupled, hybrid, and line focus
systems incorporate a number of common
subsystems. The storagecoupled and hybrid
designs are very similar except for the hybrid
nonsolar components (i.e. boilers and
heaters). The line focus systems are similar to
the storagecoupled systems except for the
design of the collector/receiver. The storage
coupled subsystem is presented first, followed
by a discussion of the subsystems which are
unique to hybrid and line focus systems, re
spectively.
STORAGECOUPLED SYSTEMS
The goal of the U.S. studies on the storage
coupled systems is to develop technologies for
improving the cost effectiveness and increas
ing the potential breadth of application of the
central receiver concept. Five receiver work
ing fluids water, salt, sodium, air, and
helium have been proposed for storage
coupled applications. This design limits the
system performance because it contains two
separate steam loops : steam from the receiver,
and steam from storage. The steam generated
from the receiver is at a higher temperature
and pressure than the steam generated from
storage (520 C/10 MPa vs. 280 C/3 MPa).
The steam generated from storage is at the
lower temperature because (1) the maximum
operating temperature of the storage fluid is
approximately 300 C, and (2) there is a tem
perature drop associated with the transfer of
energy in the two heat exchangers. A dual
admission turbine is required to accept the
229
steam efficiently at the two different inlet
temperatures.
The efficiency and relative subsystem cost
for the proposed first-generation water/
steam commercial plant are presented in
Table 1. Fifty-five per cent of the energy
directed to the heliostats reaches the receiver.
The balance of the energy is lost because of
atmospheric attenuation, cosine losses and
optical losses. Only a small fraction of these
losses is directly attributable to the heliostat.
The receiver and storage subsystems are rel-
atively efficient, and their percentage of the
total cost is relatively low. The turbine effi-
ciency is lower than might be expected be-
cause of the constraints imposed by the stor-
age system.
TABLE 1
Efficiency/cost o
terns
Heliostats
0
Receiver/tower
Storage
Turbine
f first-generation
Efficiency
3
(%)
55
88
87
31
water/steam sys-
Cost
b
(%)
51
16
11
7
a
Annual average; solar multiple = 2; 7 h of storage;
12% attenuation.
b
% of total plant cost, nth plant.
c
Includes attenuation, cosine losses and shadowing.
Even though the cost of the turbine is a
small percentage of the total system cost, it is
cost effective to increase the turbine effi-
ciency, primarily because it reduces the num-
ber of heliostats required for a given output.
Thus, emphasis has been placed on minimiz-
ing heliostat costs and developing techniques
for improving the efficiency of solar central
receivers. Three promising technologies for
improving the plant efficiency were defined in
preliminary studies. These studies indicate
that it may be possible to improve the effi-
ciency of solar central receivers by using alter-
nate 'working fluids' in the receiver. Specific-
ally, four candidate materials are examined:
air, helium, molten salt, and sodium. The air
and helium are coupled to a Brayton cycle
turbine; the draw salt and sodium are coupled
to a Rankine cycle turbine. In the Brayton
systems, the working fluid, helium or gas, is
used to drive a gas turbine where they are
compatible with cyclic loading and tend to
have high efficiencies. In the sodium and salt
systems, the working fluid may be used as the
storage material; however, a heat exchanger is
required to transfer the energy to a Rankine
cycle turbine loop. This configuration is high-
ly desirable because it is possible to have high-
temperature storage and the turbine is only
subjected to steam at one temperature and
pressure. Thus, high-efficiency reheat turbines
can be used. In addition, the turbine is isol-
ated from the short-term insolation transients
imposed on the receiver.
Collectors
The collector subsystem has as its basic
function the interception, redirection, and
concentration of direct solar radiation to the
receiver subsystem. The collector subsystem
for a solar central receiver consists of a field
of tracking mirrors, called heliostats, and a
tracking control system to maintain contin-
uous alignment of the direct solar radiation
on the receiver. In a 100 MW(el) solar central
receiver power plant, there can be 15 000 -
25 000 heliostats, depending mostly on the
size and reflectivity of the