Delta’s Solar Tracking Solution Contributes to Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project
Delta Group recently announced its participation in SolarReserve’s Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, the world’s largest concentrating solar power plant with integrated molten salt energy storage. A key part of the electricity generation operation, Delta’s solar tracking solution offers industry leading performance and pointing accuracy to help synchronize and manage over 10,000 tracking mirrors, called heliostats. The heliostats reflect the sun’s thermal energy to a receiver tower, resulting in the generation of clean renewable electricity. Now operational, the Crescent Dunes facility can produce more than 500 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year to power 75,000 homes during peak demand periods, even after sunset, using only the power of the sun.
“Delta’s solar tracking solution offers industry leading performance and pointing accuracy, while using less energy to position the heliostats,” said Kevin Smith, SolarReserve’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our team worked closely with Delta’s engineering to develop advanced tracking technology that helps boost overall plant performance.”
“We are pleased to have worked together with SolarReserve on the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, which now generates clean renewable electricity to power 75,000 homes with zero emissions. The project fulfills Delta’s long-standing mission to provide innovative, clean, and energy-efficient solutions for a better tomorrow,” said M.S. Huang, president of Delta Products Corporation. “It’s a milestone for Delta in developing total solutions. This successful case uses Delta’s solar tracking automation systems that combine a series of Delta’s advanced technologies.”
Delta’s solar tracking automation systems are developed by its Industrial Automation team, and include programmable logic controllers (PLCs), servo motors, power conversion and networking products, and system management software. Delta’s DVP-Series PLCs offer high-speed, stable, and highly reliable performance for all kinds of industrial automation machinery. Delta’s control system and AC servo motors provide high-speed and high-precision motion control for a wide range of industrial automation applications.
SolarReserve’s 110 megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project located in Nevada uses 10,347 billboard-sized tracking mirrors called heliostats, each with an on-board Delta solar tracking automation system, to precisely reflect and concentrate sunlight onto a large 100-foot receiver atop a 540-foot tower. Within the receiver, molten salt flows through piping and absorbs the heat from the concentrated sunlight. The collected sun’s thermal energy heats the molten salt to over 1,050°F (566°C). After passing through the receiver, the molten salt flows down the piping inside the tower and into a thermal storage tank, where the energy is reserved as high-temperature molten salt until electricity is needed. The tank holds enough in storage to dispatch up to ten hours of electricity at nameplate capacity. When electricity is needed, even when the sun is not shining, the hot molten salt is used to generate high-quality superheated steam to drive a standard steam turbine.