The SAMCA, S.A. renewable energy company owns the two SAMCASOL 1 & 2 Concentrated Solar Power Plants (CSP), built in the municipality of Badajoz (Spain), in which AKO has supplied and installed its complete AKOTRACE® electrical heat tracing solution, in the molten salts and oil (HTF) and steam (BOP) areas.
The most important feature in this type of power plants is their parabolic trough mirror technology where tracing is a critical auxiliary service, necessary for its correct operation.
This thermosolar power plant is a type of sustainable installation that uses solar radiation to produce clean, efficient and safe energy capable of covering the electricity supply of thousands of households, demonstrating the different factors of CSP technologies, contributing to energy safety, on using a local resource, exploiting natural resorces and without emitting greenhouse gases.
SENER has carried out the project engineering and it has been built by a Temporary Joint Venture made up of TSK and MAESSA.
These Concentrated Solar Power Plants (CSP) are a type of sustainable installation that uses solar radiation to produce clean energy, demonstrating the differentiating factors of the CSP technologies, contributing to energy safety, on using a local resource, without emitting greenhouse gases.
The maintenance of the temperature of the transport fluid above its freezing point, in periods of low solar irradiation and in periods in which no electricity is generated, makes SAMCASOL 1 & 2's production energetically efficient.
The distinguishing feature provided by this two plant project is that it is the first thermo-solar project in which AKO has supplied its global AKOTRACE® solution in the salt concentration, and oil (HTF) and steam (BOP) areas.
The heat collected by the salts (capable of reaching, in the process phase, temperatures of over 180 ºC) is used to generate steam and, with this, produce electrical energy when solar radiation is not available. The amount of salts is around 30.000 t capable of storing 1.000 thermal MWh of energy.
The project includes using natural gas as the base fuel, at a percentage of equal to or under 15%, is designed to maintain the temperature of the fluid above freezing point, and it reaches in process phase temperatures over 400 ºC.
These two thermo-solar plants are also equipped with an integrated electricity generation system made up of a steam turbine that transforms the kinetic energy provided by the turbine into electrical energy. To answer this technical challenge, the engineering firm SENER has contracted AKO as a partner to provide its electrical heat-tracing solution, AKOTRACE®.
Technical requirements, although largely already resolved by AKO in many projects executed in thermo-solar plants with parabolic trough and salt accumulation technology, HTF oil and BOP steam, added important differences such as:
The scope of the AKO solution has been the execution of the turnkey electrical heat-tracing system, AKOTRACE®. AKO's strategic commitment to this project has been personally promoted by Jose Luis Bescos, General Manager of AKO: "It should be highlighted that the execution of previous projects, such as Andasol 1 & 2 and Extresol 1 & 2, has been the deciding factor for us being awarded this project and has set us apart from our competitors".
Some of the answers during the basic engineering process were based on R&D activities, led by the Innovation Director, Miguel Ángel González: " The challenge has been basically two-fold: designing a valid solution for definitively resolving the tracing of valve bonnets and pump heads, and to integrate HTF and BOP control using a single distributed system architecture. The HTF tracing system is also critical for plant operation and requires having a control system based on PLC and not on mechanical thermostats".
In the AKOTRACE® solution, it is worth mentioning that we have chosen different key technical characteristics for this project:
All of the above in an execution deadline of 7 months, in which both installations have been overlapped in time and in which AKO's main qualities, customer proximity, which has provided it with all of the necessary engineering documentation, flexibility, taking part in managing the supplies and, in short, the capacity for carrying out the different works simultaneously, have been highlighted.
AKO started the Samcasol 1 & 2 Concentrated Solar Power Plant (CSP) project in March 2010 and finished it in November of the same year.
The results obtained in the introduction of the AKOTRACE® solution in such an emblematic project are:
The execution of this project complements the experience and knowledge acquired by AKO throughout its over 30 years of experience, which has positioned it as the world leader, committed to renewable energy future technologies in parabolic trough and concentration tower Concentrated Solar Power Plant (CSP) Projects.
Over 30 years of innovation and with 130 people team of in-house professionals AKO Electromecànica, S.A.L. is a Spanish company leader in the Regulation and Control of Temperature with Electrical Heat Tracing Solutions for Concentrated Solar Power Plants (CSP), that offers comprehensive support from project design and manufacturing, to technical assistance, to the System commissioning (turnkey projects) and after-sales service. Electrical Heat Tracing System AKOTRACE® based the heating cable technology, providing advantages and savings on energy and the overall cost of the installation, with a reliable and secure management, ensuring the health, safety and respect for the environment.