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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Solar Direct Steam Generation Power Plant Combined with Heat Storage Unit", for Approval

August 29, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventor Levin, Alexander (Binyamina, IL), filed on February 4, 2013, was made available online on August 14, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The invention proposes a concentrating solar power plant, which includes a heat storage unit allowing operation of the power plant for some hours on the base of heat accumulated in a heat storage unit. It is widely recognized that application of concentrating solar collectors with direct steam generation (DSG) instead of thermal oil allows significant diminishment of electricity generation cost in the concentrating solar power plants and, at the same time, to achieve higher efficiency.

"Detailed discussion regarding solar power plant with direct steam generation is presented in an article: J. Birnbaum et al. 'A Concept for Future parabolic Trough Based Solar Thermal Power Plant', PREPRINT--ICPWSXV, Berlin, Sep. 8-1, 2008.

"Heat accumulation in such concentrating solar power plants presents a serious problem.

"U.S. Pat. No. 7,331,178 describes a generating facility, which is provided for generating electricity from both solar and non-solar energy sources. The solar generating portion of the facility includes capability to directly generate electricity from solar insolation, or to store the solar energy in a tangible medium, including stored heat, or solar generating fuel. The generating facility is configured to generate electricity simultaneously from both solar and non-solar sources, as well a solely from immediate solar insolation and from solar energy stored in a tangible medium.

"U.S. Pat. No. 7,836,695 describes a solar energy system includes a plurality of concentrating dishes and a plurality of heated air collectors. Each collector receives directed rays of sunlight from one of the concentrating dishes. A heated air distribution assembly collects air heated in the collectors. A thermal storage assembly is operably connected to the heated air distribution assembly and has a plurality of thermal storage elements. A steam generator is operably connected to the heated air distribution assembly and the thermal storage assembly. A steam turbine is operably connected to the steam generator.

"U.S. Pat. No. 7,845,172 describes a generating facility, which is provided for generating electricity from both solar and non-solar energy sources. The solar generating portion of the facility includes capability to directly generate electricity from solar insolation, or to store the solar energy in a tangible medium, including stored heat, or solar generating fuel. The generating facility is configured to generate electricity simultaneously from both solar and non-solar sources, as well a solely from immediate solar insolation and from solar energy stored in a tangible medium.

"U.S. Pat. No. 7,954,321 describes a method for storing heat from a solar collector CSTC in Concentrating Solar Power plants and delivering the heat to the power plant PP when needed. The method uses a compressed gas such as carbon dioxide or air as a heat transfer medium in the collectors CSTC and transferring the heat by depositing it on a bed of heat-resistant solids and later, recovering the heat by a second circuit of the same compressed gas. The storage system HSS is designed to allow the heat to be recovered at a high efficiency with practically no reduction in temperature.

"U.S. Pat. No. 8,087,245 describes a method of generating electricity under a Rankine thermodynamic cycle; the method includes: a) providing a solar concentrator electric plant; b) generating saturated water vapor at a pressure of at least 96 bar utilizing a two-dimensional solar concentrator from water; c) subsequent to step b) generating overheated water vapor utilizing a three-dimensional concentrator from the saturated water vapor; d) subsequent to step c) generating electricity using a steam turbine from the overheated water vapor; e) in a first operating condition, flowing the water in a continuous cycle through a piping system so as to flow in sequence through the two-dimensional solar concentrator, the three-dimensional solar concentrator, the turbine and back to the two-dimensional solar concentrator; and f) in a second operating condition, flowing the water in a continuous cycle through a piping system so as to flow in sequence through the two-dimensional solar concentrator, through a back up fossil fuel generator adapted to provide backup heat to the water, through the turbine, and back to the two-dimensional solar concentrator, bypassing the three-dimensional solar collector.

"U.S. Patent Application No. 20120102950 describes a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, which comprises: a solar field; a gas turbine; a steam turbine system; and a thermal transfer system configured to store and/or transfer solar heat energy; wherein the thermal transfer system is downstream of the gas turbine system; and wherein the thermal transfer system is coupled to the gas turbine and to the steam turbine system.

"U.S. Patent Application No. 20110252797 describes a gas turbine plant associated with a solar thermal electric generation system that has a heat receiver and receives heat from the sun, a gas turbine having a compressor and a turbine which operates with an operating fluid compressed by the compressor and heated by the heat receiver, a temperature sensor which detects heat from the sun, an auxiliary driving device which is driven based on the temperature of the heat detected by the temperature sensor, and which starts the gas turbine, and a generator which converts kinetic energy generated as a result of the rotation of the turbine into electric energy.

"U.S. Patent Application No. 20110131988 proposes a solar-fossil-fuel-hybrid power plant with higher power generation efficiency; this solar-fossil-fuel-hybrid power plant has heating working fluid with a concentrating solar field by directing a first portion of a steam turbine drive working fluid from an economizer of a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) of the solar-fossil-fuel hybrid power plant into a concentrated solar power ('CSP') field where the first portion of the steam turbine drive working fluid is heated to a predefined temperature and pressure above that which is in a CSP inlet to the steam boiler while a second portion of the steam turbine drive working fluid is directed from the economizer to a steam boiler and the first portion of the steam turbine drive working fluid is combined with the second portion of the work fluid at the inlet.

"Patent Application WO/2012/159924 describes a solar thermal power plant 20 comprising a solar radiation receiver 28 mounted on a tower 22 surrounded by a heliostat field 24 to receive solar radiation reflected by heliostats 26 forming the heliostat field 24. The power plant 20 comprises a power generation circuit 30 including a steam turbine for driving an electrical generator to produce electrical power, and water in the power generation circuit 30 is capable of being heated directly by solar radiation reflected onto the solar radiation receiver 28 by the heliostat field 24 to generate steam to drive the steam turbine. The power plant 20 also comprises an energy storage circuit 36 including a thermal energy storage fluid, such as molten salt, which is capable of being heated directly by solar radiation reflected by the heliostat field 24. A heat exchanger 44 is also provided for recovering thermal energy from the thermal energy storage fluid in the energy storage circuit 36; the recovered thermal energy may then be used to generate steam to drive the steam turbine."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "This invention proposes a novel design of a concentrating solar power plant including combination of a field of concentrating solar collectors with a heat storage unit.

"The field of the concentrating solar collectors of the power plant is subdivided into three sub-fields:

"The first one serves for pre-heating and evaporation of high-pressure water with obtaining saturated steam; the second one serves for superheating the obtained saturated steam, and the third one serves for heating dry steam, which circulates via the heat storage unit with charging heat in it during a charging mode.

"The heat storage unit can be of recuperative or regenerative types.

"In the discharging mode of the heat storage unit, superheated steam with relatively low temperature is passing via this heat storage unit with elevation its temperature; thereafter, this superheated steam is mixed with condensate with reduction its temperature and increasing its volume; the obtained superheated steam is split into two streams: the first one is directed in the steam turbine, which actuates an electrical generator, and the second one is directed into the heat storage unit for further elevation its temperature.

"The recuperative versions of the heat storage unit can operate on a principle of sensible heat charging and discharging from a liquid medium flowing via a recuperative heat exchanger.

"One regenerative version of the heat storage unit comprises a packing containing a phase change material, which change its state from solid to liquid and vice versa at a proper temperature. Another version of the regenerative heat storage unit comprises a solid packed bed system with application of solid packing elements.

"It should be emphasized that the second and third sub-fields of the concentrating solar collectors operate with different temperatures of steam emerging these sub-fields, when the temperature of steam emerging the third sub-field of the concentrating solar collectors is preferably higher than the temperature of steam emerging the second sub-fields.

"Therefore, these sub-fields can be designed in a different manner; for example, the concentrating solar collectors of the first and second sub-fields are designed as concentrating solar collectors of a trough type and the concentrating solar collectors of the third sub-field is designed as a heliostat-tower solar collector.

"The outlets connectors of both second and third sub-fields of the concentrating solar collectors can be in fluid communication with backups heaters energized by combustible fuel, which provides required temperatures and superheating levels of steam directed into the turbine--electrical generator unit and into the heat storage unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

"FIG. 1 shows a general layout of a concentrating solar power plant, which includes a heat storage unit.

"FIG. 2 shows a general layout of concentrating solar power plant, which includes a deaerator for degassing condensate, which is obtained in a condenser, and backup heaters operating on the base of fuel combustion."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Levin, Alexander. Solar Direct Steam Generation Power Plant Combined with Heat Storage Unit. Filed February 4, 2013 and posted August 14, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=7592&p=152&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140807.PD.&OS=PD/20140807&RS=PD/20140807

Keywords for this news article include: Energy, Patents, Oil & Gas, Power Plant, Solar Power, Steam Turbine.

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Source: Energy Weekly News


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