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Concentrated Solar Thermal Power

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies use systems of mirrored concentrators to focus direct beam solar radiation to receivers that convert the energy to high temperature for power generation. There are four main configurations that are commercially available- Parabolic Trough, Linear Fresnel Reflector, Parabolic Dish and Central Receiver Tower – with Parabolic Trough being the most prevalent.

Typically, this heat is transformed to mechanical energy through a steam turbine and then to electricity. CSP has advantages compared to photovoltaic as it can readily incorporate thermal energy storage and/or hybridization to provide dispatchable power. The use of relatively ‘low tech’ manufacturing methods for solar collector fields, together with the use of available steam turbine technologies, makes the prospect of CSP capacity quite feasible to get rapidly scaled up. 

SECI plans to undertake the following activities to further the progress of the CSP technology. 

Implementation of CSP Pilot projects:

Out of the 500 MW of capacity addition through solar thermal targeted by JNNSM Phase-I, projects worth 470 MW have been allotted and are due to be commissioned by end of 2013.

SECI is developing Pilot Concentrated Solar Power Projects to establish new technologies on commercial scale. Two CSP Plants, of 50 MW each, are being developed with the following parameters:

Project 1: 50 MW capacity project on Parabolic Trough technology with hybrid cooling and 3 hours Thermal storage, using up to 15% auxiliary fuel. It would reduce water consumption to 25% of a conventional CSP plant. 

Project 2: 50MW capacity project on Solar tower technology with a provision of high (>470 deg. C) operating temperature and 3 hours Thermal storage, using up to 15% auxiliary fuel.

These CSP projects of various configurations and storage types/capacities would demonstrate the efficacy and scalability of such plants for large scale installation in the country.

TitleConcentrating Solar Power Plant using Central Receiver Tower technology