Delivering digital solutions to harness maximum heat from the sun

8/5/19, 2:07 PM -

ABB is supporting the Chinese government in its efforts to produce emissions-free electricity, delivering automation control solutions at the country’s first two concentrated solar power (CSP) plants.

Delivering digital solutions to harness maximum heat from the sun
CSP technology, unlike photovoltaics, concentrates sunlight and converts it into heat.

Building on the successful delivery of power at the first 50 megawatt CSP in Delingha with China General Nuclear Power Group in late 2018, ABB has been awarded a second contract to deliver an integrated automation solution for a 100MW Urat solar energy project in the Inner Mongolia province of China.

“We are delighted to have been awarded a second project to deliver our digital solutions as part of the 20 pilot CSP solar programme, aimed at boosting China’s efforts to meet the 2030 target of producing 20 per cent of its overall electricity from renewable sources,” said Kevin Kosisko, Managing Director, Energy Industries at ABB.

“As a digital leader in the energy transition, ABB offers innovative digital solutions that are future-focused. This is complemented by our customer focus and heritage in intelligent project delivery, ensuring confidence in ABB as an automation provider.”

Unify production processes into one user-friendly system

The plant is the first of its kind in Inner Mongolia, and at 500 hectares it is one of the largest capacity solar parabolic projects in China’s 20 pilot plant initiative. It is set to save approximately 90,000 tons of coal per year.

ABB will deploy its flagship ABB Ability Symphony Plus distributed control system (DCS), incorporating a power island, heat storage and transfer, as well as auxiliary controls, and co-ordination control of solar fields. The DCS will unify all of the plant’s production processes into a single user-friendly system, including the heat transfer system, which transports the heat to molten salt tanks where it is stored, and the power block where the electricity is generated and fed into the transmission grid. ABB Ability Symphony Plus is the world’s market-leading distributed control and SCADA system for the power generation and water industries.

“We chose ABB to deliver this project because of their expertise as a world-leading supplier of integrated electrical and automation systems for CSP plants, with demonstrable experience that extends across Asia, North and South America, Europe and North Africa,” said a spokesperson of China Shipbuilding New Power Co. Ltd.

Thermal energy from CSP can be stored

With over 174GW in solar power generation capacity in 2018, China is the leading producer of solar power globally. With more than US$430 million in subsidies provided by the Chinese government for new solar power projects in a recent year, China is considering various efficient technologies to harness energy from the sun. CSP technology, unlike photovoltaics (PV), concentrates radiation from the sun, and converts light into heat, which drives an engine that connects to an electric generator. Whereas PV does not store heat, thermal energy from CSP can be stored to help overcome intermittency issues, due to the availability of sun or environmental fluctuation.

With over US$368 million total investment, this greenfield project led by China Shipbuilding New Power Co. Ltd is anticipated to be delivered soon. (mfo)

The videos from the 2019 pv Guided Tours at The smarter E Europe (Intersolar Europe, ees Europe, Power2Drive, EM-Power) in Munich are now online.

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