GEMASOLAR is Torresol Energy’s first project to use central tower technology and heliostats. The plant incorporates significant technological innovations, including the solar receiver system, and also a molten salt thermal storage system, able to reach temperatures up to 565ºC. This is the first commercial plant to apply this type of technology in the world, and is therefore of considerable importance in the field of renewable energies as it opens the path to a new thermosolar power generation technology which could be the best alternative to the parabolic trough type commercial thermosolar power stations currently being built.
The installation in Fuentes de Andalucía (Seville –Spain) covers 185 hectares and will be able to generate 110 GWh/year when it is up and running. The energy generated will be sent via a high voltage transmission line to Villanueva del Rey substation where it will be injected into the electric grid belonging to the Seville Electricity Company (ENDESA), where it will supply energy to 25,000 homes. Furthermore, the savings on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in comparison to other standard plants (for example, coal fired thermal power stations is around 30,000 tons/year).
Thanks to its innovative technology, the plant in Seville will significantly increase the electricity production of conventional thermoelectric solar power plants. This is because most thermoelectric plants being developed have no thermal storage system and therefore they can only operate during hours of sunlight.
GEMASOLAR has the first high temperature thermal storage system (>500ºC) which makes it possible to extend the period of operation in these plants. Sodium and potassium nitrate salts are stored in molten state with the solar energy collected by the heliostats. This energy reserve enables the plant to produce electricity during 15 hours in the absence of solar radiation. What is more, the high temperature at which solar energy is transfer in the receiver to the molten salt provides steam at a higher pressure and temperature which considerably increases the thermal cycle efficiency.
Torresol Energy Gemasolar Plant Construction