Since years world has experienced a continually growing energy demand and this will be the trend also for the future. All major countries are looking for alternative energy sources. In this scenario, renewable energies are one of the solutions to environmental problems and Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) generation is among the most promising.
In a CSP system, a heat transfer fluid is heated while circulating in a net of parabolic solar receivers and returned to a series of heat exchangers in the power block, where the fluid is used to generate high pressure superheated steam. The steam is then fed to a conventional reheat steam turbine/generator to produce electricity.
The use of heat exchangers and IMB technologies in steam generation combined with IMB’s experience in the field of heat transfer has proved to be a key factor to win this new challenge, where heavy cyclic loads and unsteady conditions of Solar radiation result in state-of-the-art changing standards and design approaches.
Among our references in the Solar Thermal Power for the Spanish market, IMB Hairpin design turned out to be a convenient and compact configuration to for the STEAM REHEATER unit.
Two 28’’ IMB Multitube exchangers with fixed tubesheets for the first plant and two 33’’ IMB Multitube with Separated Heads closure for the second plant were recently awarded to IMB Srl representing fully new design standards for the market sector.
The original design included four conventional S&T exchangers for each plant. Reduction in installed surface and number of units has been achieved. The free-floating U tube bundles also compensate for differential shell-tubes expansion and eliminates needs for expansion joints. Large radius U bends are easily cleanable with flexible shaft tube cleaners and the separate tube sheets design handle high temperature differences and cycling more effectively than shell and tubes exchangers, being integrated in the piping overall system of the plant. The IMB solution made investment costs saving possible and will provide advantages in maintenance costs, time and procedures with no parallel robust design. One of the contract consists of multiple items, including high pressure boiling feed water heaters, kettle type steam generators, steam super heaters and low/high pressures feed water heaters.