SkyFuel, Inc. is the technology provider for the parabolic trough solar field being integrated into the heating loop of Enel Green Power (EGP) North America’s Stillwater geothermal power plant.
The solar field is designed to return the temperature of the brine from the geothermal wells to its original design point and thus recapture the full capacity and economic value of the existing turbine generator. All equipment for the solar troughs has been delivered and the system is expected to be operational by the end of 2014. This will be the world’s first commercial plant integrating solar thermal power with geothermal.
Parabolic trough collectors are considered the ideal technology for hybrid applications because of their wide temperature range capability and ability to scale to almost any size of thermal load. The collectors concentrate sunshine to heat a fluid, which can then be stored for later use; employed directly in an industrial process; or fed into a thermodynamic cycle to generate electricity.
EGP’s Head of Innovation Scouting and Selection, Fabrizio Bizzarri explained that, “We are ….integrating thermodynamic solar power into a geothermal plant, using the Sun to increase heating of geothermal fluid. The solar field adds about 17 thermal megawatts, equivalent to five megawatts of additional electric capacity…”
“Enel’s choice of our technology is the best validation SkyFuel could ask for,” commented Kelly Beninga, SkyFuel’s Chief Commercial Officer. “SkyFuel’s ability to offer Munich Re insurance coverage for our thermal performance warranty provided Enel with additional confidence to select our innovative design.”
Enel has invested significantly in the development of applications for parabolic trough technology, placing the first direct molten salt parabolic trough field into operation at their 780 MW Archimede combined cycle power plant in Sicily in 2010.
SkyFuel, Inc. designs and manufactures solar thermal power technology for utility-grade electricity generation and industrial applications. Its products include the high performance SkyTrough® parabolic trough concentrating solar collector – a breakthrough in cost and constructability resulting from significant design and material innovations.