ABB powers China’s largest on-going Concentrated Solar Power project

2018-09-04 - Successful deployment of ABB electrification products in the Dunhuang 100MW Molten Salt Tower Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project leads the future of sustainable Chinese development

Shouhang 100MW Molten Salt Solar Power Tower Plant

Low- and medium-voltage solutions from ABB are guaranteeing the safe and efficient operation of the Dunhuang Molten Salt Tower Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project, the first 100MW CSP plant and currently the country’s largest stand-alone solar field.

With gross investment over RMB 3 billion and owned by Beijing Shouhang IHW Resources Saving Technology Company Ltd. the project started construction at the end of 2015, and is expected to be connected to the grid in December 2018. As one of China’s CSP pilot projects, the power plant has the world’s largest stand-alone solar field, with a total of 10,000+ heliostats installed.

To ensure reliable and stable operation of the CSP plant, ABB provides an integrated LV and MV product solution to be deployed in the power distribution system of the station, including VD4 vacuum circuit breakers, Emax 2 air circuit breakers, Tmax molded case circuit breakers, AX contactors and relays. As an ABB flagship product, the VD4 vacuum circuit breaker, which has a lifetime up to 40,000 mechanical operations, is mainly used to control and protect lines and loads. Its global installed base exceeds 1 million, and all have reported safe operation.

“I’m very glad that ABB’s electrification products are deployed in the first 100MW CSP project in China. This marks another milestone and also a new starting point of our business in China. As a global leader in power and automation technologies, ABB is committed to developing and providing one-stop solutions to drive new energy development. In the future, ABB will continue contributing to China’s sustainable development, helping build a greener China for all of its citizens,” said James Zhao, lead division manager, Electrification Products, ABB China.

CSP represents an important direction in new energy utilization. It concentrates solar energy and uses a heat exchange unit to produce steam, which drives turbines for power generation. Suitable for centralized and large locations, CSP plants can be deployed for region-wide or even country-wide power supply.

Different from conventional PV power generation technologies, the concentrated solar power technology deployed in the Dunhuang 100MW Molten Salt Tower CSP project uses molten salt to absorb thermal energy in sunlight, and then uses steam turbines to convert thermal energy to electric power. It is thermal power in nature, but its thermal energy is provided by a solar collecting system, which provides feasibility for large-scale thermal storage. As a result, the thermal storage system represents an important feature of CSP that is different from other power generation technologies. The greatest advantage of CSP over other renewable power generation is that the ability to control it is far higher than that of wind power and PV power technologies. Consequently, a power grid is more willing to accept the relatively stable CSP power. In this regard, CSP is a very bright prospect.

ABB can offer CSP and PV power industries electrification products, systems and solutions across their entire value chain, and provide professional support for grid-connected and off-grid solar power applications from power generation through to power consumption. At the end of 2017, ABB opened its Shenzhen New Energy Technology Center to further improve its local R&D capability, thus better supporting the development of the solar segment and clean energy in China.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees. ABB has a full range of business activities in China, including R&D, manufacturing, sales and services, with 18,000 employees located in 142 cities, 40 local companies, and online and offline channels across over 300 cities.

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