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04 Apr 2011 10:04:08

Maximising output with Ferrostaal



As part of the CSP Yield Optimisation Europe Conference & Expo (31 May – 1 June, Seville), CSP Today has been speaking to the biggest companies participating in the summit to find out why the CSP industry should be concerned with the optimisation of new and existing plants. Research has indicated that balance of plant costs are now over 50% of the total lifetime cost of a CSP plant. Addressing this topic first is Ferrostaal, a company that offers turn-key construction of solar thermal power plants with fresnel, trough and tower technology, and other industrial services for the power industry.

So why is CSP optimisation an important issue? As a company involved in the petrochemical, oil and gas industries, as well as the solar sector, Ferrostaal is well placed to answer the question. "Optimisation of layout, process, technology and operation reduces cost and increases annual output," says Ferrostaal. "Optimisation of cost and performance of CSP plants is thus crucial for becoming cost competitive with other renewable and fossil energy sources."

"In existing plants it is the optimisation of operation" that Ferrostaal believes will bring the quickest wins for optimising yield. In particular, the "reduction and shortening of start-up procedures and optimisation of storage operation can improve the annual output significantly." For new plants, the problem is more complex: "standardisation, procurement of key components, value engineering and optimisation of construction play an important role in cost reduction. To reach competitive cost levels finally the amount of steel and concrete has to be reduced. This requires also higher efficiencies, which leads to higher operation temperatures."

Ferrostaal is actively developing solutions to optimise CSP plants, based on their experience in the engineering and construction of plants. In partnership with their technology partners they are "exploring the second generation of solar thermal power plants, and the cost reduction potential of technologies and components" that will enter the market in the upcoming years.

To hear more from Ferrostaal, managing director Markus Pfaender will be discussing in detail the importance of plant modelling at the CSP Yield Optimisation Conference & Expo Europe (31 May – 1 June, Seville). This technical event will show how to maximise CSP plant output through improved balance of plant engineering.


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