An innovative solar receiver designed and manufactured by Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, Inc. (B&W PGG) has performed well during initial operations at eSolar’s Sierra SunTower commercial plant in southern California. B&W PGG is an operating unit of The Babcock & Wilcox Company.
Since startup, eSolar has been evaluating the performance of the tower-mounted receiver, which is capable of producing enough steam to generate 2.5 megawatts of zero carbon emissions electricity at the Sierra SunTower facility. B&W PGG’s design has already attained design temperature and pressure, while also starting up and achieving maximum steam flow quickly.
“We’re very pleased with our solar receiver’s performance,” said B&W PGG President and Chief Operating Officer Richard L. Killion. “We believe B&W PGG’s receiver design has advantages that make it the optimal technology for solar thermal steam generation. For example, our design features external evaporator panels that make efficient use of the sun’s energy, and our unique vertical steam separator reduces temperature-related issues during start-up.”
B&W PGG’s solar receiver is designed for eSolar’s model for utility-scale concentrated solar thermal power plants. At the Sierra SunTower plant, a field of sun-tracking mirrors reflects solar energy onto the tube surface of the receiver, which is mounted on a 153-foot tower, heating water to produce steam. That steam is sent to a turbine to generate clean electricity for homes and businesses, while producing zero carbon emissions