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mageba structural bearings have been used in the construction of the central tower of a huge concentrated solar power (CSP) facility in China, supporting the receiver onto which the sun’s rays are reflected by thousands of mirrors to heat molten salt and generate power.
The new Luneng Haixi Geermu power generation plant in Qinghai province, China has a capacity of 700 MW, primarily from wind turbines and photovoltaic panels but also including energy storage and a concentrated solar power (CSP) facility. The CSP facility, which will contribute 50 MW of capacity (generating well over 1000 GWh of electricity per year), is expected to reduce coal consumption by about 400,000 metric tonnes per year and dust emission by over 5000 metric tonnes.
The CSP facility has a central tower of height 188 m, with a receiver of height 14 m near the top onto which sunlight is reflected from the 4400 “heliostat” mirrors that are arranged around the tower in concentric circles. Each heliostat has an area of 138 m2, and is supported, high above the ground, on a column which enables it to rotate. The orientation of all heliostats is controlled by a computer system which ensures that all mirrors are optimally tilted to reflect the sun’s rays onto the receiver as the sun moves across the sky.
Eight RESTON®SPHERICAL structural bearings have been used in the construction of the tower, supporting the large receiver element that is so central to the facility’s functioning, and four of these are designed to protect against uplift forces. The decision to use RESTON® SPHERICAL structural bearings, which are essentially fabricated only from steel and high-performance ROBO®SLIDE sliding material, was particularly appropriate considering the high temperatures of up to 150 °C arising at the bearing locations.
We are always glad to contribute to projects that help local populations, as do the majority of the infrastructure projects for which we supply structural bearings, expansion joints and other bridge products. But we are especially proud to have been able to play a role here in the roll-out of CSP technology which will benefit humanity as a whole for decades to come.
Structure designer: John Cockerill / CMI
The concentrated solar power (CSP) facility of the new Luneng Haixi Geermu power generation plant in China has a central tower of height 188 m, with a receiver of height 14 m near the top onto which sunlight is reflected from the 4400 “heliostat” mirrors that are arranged around the tower in concentric circles