Sulzer supplies molten salt pumps for 100 MW solar tower in China

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Sulzer has been selected to supply both the hot and cold molten salts pumps for the installation of a 100 MW CSP tower project in China.

The 100 MW project, which features technology capable of delivering power 24 hours a day, is the first of its type to use Sulzer pumps for both the hot and cold circuits. All the pumps were manufactured at the company’s plant in Suzhou, China.

Three of Sulzer’s cold molten salt pumps will be fitted with 2.6 MW motors that will extend 18 meters below the base plate into the cold molten salt tank. These will be matched with two hot pumps. Sulzer said each pump had to be engineered to account for the increased pressure and slightly larger power requirement of the project.

The company said that the most significant challenge was the increased operating pressure required in the molten salt circuits, with this project requiring a 100 bar supply pressure from the pumps.

Sulzer was involved in pioneering the use of molten salts in the solar industry more than 15 years ago, designing and manufacturing pumps that transfer high-temperature fluids around the cooling circuits. The technology, which enables heat energy to be stored overnight, has been used in the nuclear industry for almost 70 years.

The latest installation follows several other projects Sulzer has undertaken in China, including three hot pumps for another 100 MW CSP and six hot and five cold pumps for a 42 MW parabolic trough installation.

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