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Concentrated Solar Power Plants

Calculations estimate, that about 1% of the surface of the Sahara desert would be sufficient to supply the current entire worldwide electricity demand from solar thermal power plants.

In contrast to photovoltaic plants, which rely on silica based panels and the photo-electric effects taking place, solar thermal power plants (also known as CSP’s) use the sunlight to heat up certain liquid media and to generate electricity through subsequent heat exchangers and steam generators.

Several different CSP technologies exist, but they all have in common, that the sunlight is reflected and focused to a single point where it is used to heat up a medium, most commonly thermal oils and molten salts. The heat stored in such media can reach up to 1100°F. For operators of CSP’s it is critical to supervise the flows of these media, especially at heat exchangers for steam generation or at interchangers when heating up molten salts (molten salts can provide heat storage for overnight operation of the power plant).

Flow measurement technologies such as Orifice Plates, Vortex Meters or inline Ultrasonic meters often face the problem of clogging and thus being unreliable. Clogging tends to occur when either metering the flow of molten salts, which start to freeze below 500°F, or on thermal oils, which have a tendency to cracking and coke formation during their lifecycle.

FLEXIM’s patented WaveInjector is the ideal solution for such extreme temperature applications. Simply clamped on to the pipe, no cutting or welding has to be done and no process interruption occurs.

Aside from the fact, that a clamp on flowmeter is impervious to clogging, operators of CSP’s also appreciate FLEXIM’s high turndown range, its high accuracy especially at low flow velocities, as well as its zero stability, repeatability and reliability.

Advantages of FLUXUS at extreme temperature CSP applications

  • No possibility of clogging due to freezing salts or coke formation
  • Completely non-intrusive - no invasive pipe work required
  • Virtually maintenance free due to permanent coupling
  • High turndown range and accuracy at low flow velocities
  • High repeatability and reliability
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