Full Title: Utility-Scale Power Tower Solar Systems: Performance Acceptance Test Guidelines
Author(s): David Kearney
Publisher(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Publication Date: 03/2013
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Prior to commercial operation, large solar systems in utility-size power plants need to pass performance acceptance tests conducted by the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor or owners. In lieu of the present absence of ASME4 or other international test codes developed for this purpose, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has undertaken the development of interim guidelines (the Guidelines) to provide recommendations for test procedures that can yield results of a high level of accuracy consistent with good engineering knowledge and practice. The Guidelines contained here follow the general approach of the earlier NREL report2 on parabolic trough collector fields, but in this case are specifically written for power tower5 solar systems composed of a heliostat (reflector) field directing the sun’s rays to a receiver (heat exchanger) on a high central tower. The working fluid in the tower receiver can be molten salt, water/steam, air, CO2, or other suitable fluids, each with its own particular attributes.