China’s first high-capacity solar thermal power plant put into operation

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On Aug. 29, Delingha SUPCON 10 MW Power Plant in Delingha, Qinghai province began operation. SUPCON is China’s first solar thermal power plant with high-capacity energy storage, and just the third such power plant anywhere in the world. The other two are located in the U.S. and Spain.

The core technology is based on SUPCON’s independent research and development. The plant boasts advanced systems for solar collection, heat absorption, energy storage and electricity generation. Molten salt is used as the heat-exchange fluid, despite the fact that storage of molten salt energy is considered to be extremely difficult. Fortunately, after six years of hard work, SUPCON has overcome that difficulty.

China’s first solar thermal power plant with high-capacity energy storage successfully began operation in Delingha, Qinghai province on Aug. 29.

Molten salt has a wide temperature range in its liquid state. Thus, using the substance as the heat-exchange fluid means that the system’s generating efficiency will be improved, the heat-exchange process will be simplified and energy loss will be minimized. In this way, high-capacity thermal storage and large-scale generation are both made possible.

Solar thermal power generates stable, continuous and high-quality power that can be produced on a schedule. It is widely considered to be a clean energy most likely to replace coal. The International Energy Agency predicts that solar thermal power is capable of meeting 11.3 percent of global electricity demand in 2050.

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