Order Focus: Emerson to provide Crescent Dunes project with Ovation control system

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Emerson Process Management has won a contract to deliver its Ovation control system to the 110MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada.

Scheduled to come online at the end of 2013, the 110MW CSP project will be the first commercial scale facility in the US to generate power from solar energy that is captured and stored in liquid molten salt, according to Emerson.

The project is being developed by Tonopah Solar Energy, an affiliate of SolarReserve, while the EPC services will be provided by Cobra Thermosolar Plants, which awarded Emerson the contract.

The facility will use SolarReserve’s CSP technology which enables energy from the sun to be captured and stored to generate electricity on demand.

It will be equipped with 10,500 mirror assemblies which focus the sun’s energy on a central receiver located atop a 540-foot solar power tower to heat molten salt that flows through it. The molten salt will flow from the cold storage tank, up the tower where it circulates through the receiver and is heated by the sun’s energy from 500 degrees Fahrenheit to 1,050 degrees. The molten salt then flows down to the hot storage tank, where the thermal energy will be used to produce steam to power a standard steam turbine, which then generates electricity. Excess thermal energy will be stored in the molten salt.

Emerson’s Ovation control system will directly control the circuit and heating process of the molten salt system, the water and steam cycle and auxiliary processes. The control system will also provide supervisory control of the mirrors and interface with the turbine control system.

The system incorporates the company’s AMS Suite which provides online access to instrument and valve diagnostics and automatic documentation of field device maintenance information. The data received will contribute to the monitoring of the ongoing efficiency of the solar plant.

“This is a truly innovative project that will be an important source of clean, reliable electricity,” said Bob Yeager, President of Emerson Process Management’s Power & Water Solutions. “By providing integrated control of major equipment and processes, our Ovation system and the predictive intelligence of AMS Suite will play a key role in the smooth, efficient operation of this noteworthy solar project.”

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