10 Oct 2013
Italian CSP receiver tubes manufacturer Archimede Solar Energy (ASE), has supplied the 4th release of Molten Salt receiving tubes to Archimede ISCC Plant in Sicily, Italy.
The new tubes have been installed in order to maximize the performance of the solar field, in accordance to the long term and profitable cooperation agreement between Enel Green Power-tha plant owner-and ASE. Archimede ISCC is the world's first and largest parabolic trough concentrated solar power plant operating with Molten Salt as HTF, based on technology developed by Italy's research center ENEA.
ASE claims to be the first and most experienced manufacturer of receiver tubes, stable at high temperature and suitable for Molten Salts. With thousands hours of tests and operation since 2007, the tubes have been constantly improved optimising the best optical and thermal performances and guaranteeing the required durability of the most rigorous market standards.
The company says that molten salts are considered as the preferred HTF to enable the necessary technology leap that the CSP industry is expecting. A clear sign of this trend is demonstrated from the growing number of new entrants in every segment of the value chain. This confirms the efforts that ENEL, ASE, ENEA and the Italian supply chain have taken during the last years.
In order to increase the know-how about Molten Salts and improve consistently the receiver tubes, ASE is operating since last July 2013 the first stand alone Parabolic Trough Molten Salt Test Loop (realized with the effort of Chiyoda and of other contributors) located close to the ASE manufacturing plant in Massa Martana, as previously reported here at CSP World. The test loop is confirming the excellent performances of last ASE receivers and the reliable operability of MS parabolic trough plant even in location with poor DNI resource, like the central part of Italy.
Apart from the Archimede ISCC Plant, ASE already secured the exclusivity, as receiver tubes supplier, in several Molten Salts CSP projects planned in Italy, China and Egypt for about 300 MW.
On July 2012, the Italian Minister of Economic Development and the Minister of Environment approved a new decree that regulates the renewable energy market. The new decree includes CSP as key RES Southern Cross for the Italian Renewable Energy Mix. In order to benefit from the incentive, the following two conditions have to be observed:
- It is mandatory to use a non-polluting and no flammable heat transfer fluid, unless the solar plant is in an industrial area (this requirement allows molten salt while rejecting the most widely used thermal oils).
- Installations must show the minimum thermal storage capacity established by the Decree
Archimede Solar Energy, a subsidiary of Angelantoni Group, is the most experienced manufacturer of receiver tubes to be used wth molten salt as heat transfer fluid. The company also produces receiver tubes for Oil and DSG-Direct Steam Generation (mainly superheated) based solar thermal power plants. ASE's current production capacity reaches 75,000 tubes per year, expandable to 140,000 receivers per year to reach an equivalent of 350MWe per year.