eltherm South Africa lands Kathu solar plant heat tracing contract

eltherm South Africa has been awarded the electrical heat tracing (EHT) system design and installation contract for the 100 MW Kathu Solar Park CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) plant in the Northern Cape. The contract also confirms eltherm’s dominance in the provision of EHT for CSP plants worldwide.

The Kathu Solar Park contract was awarded to eltherm by a consortium comprising ACCIONA, ENGIE South Africa and SENER Engineering and Construction.  The company will deliver EHT to the solar park’s Thermal Energy Storage (TES), Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) and balance of the plant (BOP).

eltherm was also responsible for last year’s successful installation of the EHT system at Xina Solar One in Pofadder, in the Northern Cape and is currently involved with the maintenance and repairs of the heat tracing systems at Kaxu Solar One and Bokpoort CSP, also in the Northern Cape.

Globally, eltherm is among others responsible for the heat tracing at the Noor Ouarzazate Solar Complex in Morocco as well as Ashalim Power Station in Israel.

Comments Peter Stone, Managing Director at eltherm South Africa: “The Kathu Solar Park contract undoubtedly reconfirms our strength in the South African CSP marketplace. We’re extremely excited to form part of eltherm’s significant growth phase and leadership in this important global market segment.  EHT plays an important role in the successful running of CSP plants and ultimately contributes to the world’s strides towards renewable energy provision.”

The installation

The TES which features the plant’s molten salt storage will compromise the majority of eltherm’s EHT installation where temperature classes of T1 – T3 will be maintained.

EHT is required in CSP plants to maintain temperatures and prevent heat losses.

Essentially, EHT pre-heats empty pipes and equipment to maintain the right temperature throughout the process and to avoid solidification of the fluids. It also compensates for the loss of heat when fluids flow to pipes with a lower ambient temperature.

The Kathu Solar Park’s EHT system will be managed by eltherm’s innovative TraceVision software and controllers that enable efficient and uninterrupted operations at the plant. It is estimated that the plant’s parabolic trough technology will provide up to five-hour TES storage capacity to meet peak energy demand, after sunset.

The eltherm EHT installation phase of the Kathu Solar Park will take approximately six to eight months to complete.



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