The planning and process design of solar thermal power plants require software tools similar to the tools applied for conventional power plants. Such tools offer libraries of components, which can be put together to arbitrary configurations, as well as the thermodynamic simulation of those configurations. The planning tool developed and run by steag Energy Services GmbH, EBSILON®professional, was extended with components for solar thermal power plants with collaboration of DLR’s institute of solar research. Therewith, it is possible to thermodynamically simulate an entire solar thermal power plant.
For line-focus systems, the software offers components for modelling collectors (parabolic troughs as well as linear Fresnel) with different heat transfer fluids including oil, molten salt and water/steam. The solar field model may include header components that account for thermal and pressure losses in the distributor and collector pipes.
For tower systems, the tool offers components for heliostat fields and receivers. In the implemented heliostat field models, various efficiency matrices can be defined. The receiver model offers well-established mechanisms for the loss calculations. The component library is supplemented with two storage elements, one is for tank storage systems and another for indirect storage systems.
In addition to the numerous standard parameters, the user can input individual parameters, formulate own model equations, and enable or disable model components.
At the DLR, the tool is used by the departments of line focus systems and point focus systems for the analysis of innovative solar power plants concepts. Moreover, it is the standard tool for the thermodynamic planning of in-house experimental facilities.
Further information about the EBSILON®professional and the solar library can be found on the homepage of steag Energy Services GmbH.