SENER is putting the components of the Noor Ouarzazate III solar thermal power plant into operation on a multi-phase basis.

This plant is the second plant designed and built by SENER using its own central receiver tower and molten salt heat storage technology, and one of the first ones in the world to apply this configuration on a commercial scale.

SENER recently carried out the start-up of the solar receiver, pointing the heliostats towards the receiver located on the top of the tower, at a height of 250m, to pre-heat it to 320ºC.

SENER has also been responsible for the receiver technology design and construction, applying its know-how from the aeronautical sector. This 600+ MW high-powered receiver has been developed in collaboration with Moroccan companies and, once in operation, it will enable the plant to reach a gross production of 150 MW and 7.5 hours of heat storage. Similarly, SENER has fully developed another key element for this type of installation: the integrated control system of the receiver and solar field.

As a preliminary step in the receiver start-up, SENER has completed the functional tests in the solar field, comprising 7,400 heliostats HE54, designed and patented by the company. This model (the HE54) incorporates improvements such as a larger reflective surface (178.5 sqm compared to the 115.7 sqm of the Gemasolar heliostats) and a highly accurate tracking system known as ‘solar tracker’, which uses SENER space technology.

Once the receiver pre-heating tests currently underway are completed, the next step in the commissioning phase will be to circulate the molten salt throughout the receiver to heat them to the daily commercial operation temperature (550º C). This milestone will be accomplished in the coming weeks. The last phase will consist of generating steam using the heat captured from the mentioned molten salts.

Noor Ouarzazate III forms part of the Noor solar complex located in Morocco and managed by Masen, and the largest solar complex in the world. In this complex, SENER forms part of the turnkey building consortium for the Noor Ouarzazate I and Noor Ouarzazate II plants, both of which use SENERtrough® parabolic trough technology, and Noor Ouarzazate III, with additional advanced innovations than those applied in the pioneer plant Gemasolar located in Seville (Spain), in commercial operation since 2011, which was designed and built by SENER.

In the Noor Ouarzazate III thermal power plant, SENER is responsible for the plant’s conceptual and basic engineering, detail engineering and supplying equipment for the thermal storage system, engineering and construction of the solar field and the molten salt receiver, as well as the commissioning of the entire plant. The plant’s delivery to the client is planned for the last quarter of 2018.