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Solar Tres is a planned 15 MW power plant based on solar thermal energy. It is located west of the city of Écija, in Andalusia, Spain.[1]

Solar Tres is based on the solar power tower concepts pioneered in the U.S.'s Solar One and Solar Two demonstration projects. Solar Tres uses a molten salt as its working fluid, allowing it to be stored in the molten state for power generation at any time.

The project, which has received a subsidy of five million Euro from the European Commission, makes use of the Solar Two technology tested in Barstow, California, but will be approximately three times the size. Solar Tres will make use of several advances in technology since Solar Two was designed and built.[2] These include:[3]

  • A larger plant with a heliostat field approximately three times the size of Solar Two and an improved plant availability with a 6% improvement in overall annual plant efficiency.
  • 2493 glass-metal heliostats (96-m²) with higher-reflectivity glass and because of simplified design 45% reduction in manufacturing costs.
  • A larger thermal energy storage system, storing 6,250 T of molten nitrate salt (16 hours, 600 MWh).
  • Advanced pump designs that will pump salt directly from the storage tanks, eliminating the need for pump sumps.
  • A steam generator system that will have a forced-recirculation steam drum.
  • A more efficient, higher-pressure reheat turbine, and
  • A simplified molten-salt flow loop that reduces the number of valves by 50%.[4]

Although the turbine will be only slightly larger than that at Solar Two, the larger heliostat field and thermal storage system will enable the plant to operate 24 hours a day during summer and have an annual capacity factor of approximately 65%.[2]

See also

References

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