Abengoa Solar has begun commercial operation of its second solar power tower plant. Located near Seville, Spain, the 20-MW PS20 tower recently went through three days of production and testing, during which the facility surpassed the predicted power output.
The PS20 features a number of significant technological improvements compared to the 10-MW-capacity PS10, the first commercial concentrated solar thermal power tower, which is also located in the Solucar Solar Park. Abengoa says the enhancements include a higher-efficiency receiver, various improvements in the control and operational systems, and a better thermal energy storage system.
PS20 consists of a solar field made up of 1255 mirrored heliostats designed by Abengoa Solar. Each heliostat, with a surface area of 1291 square feet, reflects the solar radiation it receives onto the receiver, located on the top of a 531-foot-high tower, producing steam which is converted into electricity generation by a turbine.
The CSP plant, which was built by Abener, will produce enough electricity to power approximately 10,000 homes.
PS10 and PS20 are part of the Solucar platform project, which will eventually generate 300 MW of energy produced by a combination of trough, tower, and dish Stirling solar thermal concentrator installations as well as a modes deployment of photovoltaic modules.