INTERNSHIP: Analysis of the operating conditions of steam turbines in concentrating solar power plants

2.5 months internship consisting of running performance models of two state of the art tower based concentrating solar power plants (Gemasolar and Ivanpah) in order to compare and contract the operating conditions of their installed steam turbines.


The dynamic thermal modelling of steam turbines is crucial for the better understanding of their behaviour during transient operation. Studying such behaviour is especially relevant for those steam turbines operating in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. Due to the fluctuating nature of the solar supply, the number of start-up cycles endured by solar steam turbines is greater than those in base load plants, with multiple starts possible during a 24h period. In order to accomplish faster start up speeds while still ensuring safe operation of the turbine it is important to first understand the operating conditions that these machines are subjected to during their operation in CSP plants.

Accurate prediction models for the dynamic operation of CSP plants are thus necessary to be able to understand the operating conditions of the steam turbine. In the KTH-CSP group, this modelling is performed using an in-house tool called DYESOPT. Using this tool, published studies and models have been carried out on state-of-the-art tower based CSP plants like Gemasolar and Ivanpah. These studies, however, have not been focused on steam turbine operation. Therefore, this internship project will focus in quantifying these turbine aspects in CSP plants.   

Specific Tasks

T1        Get familiarized with the DYESOPT modelling tool

Understand the current modelling structure used in the KTH-CSP group. Especially those previously developed models for Ivanpah and Gemasolar.

T2        Gather information on power plant operating parameters

Perform a literature search about the nominal rated conditions of Gemasolar and Ivanpah in order to then tune the current models to the reality of these plants.

T3        Evaluate/Compare steam turbine operating conditions in Gemasolar and Ivanpah.

Run the annual performance analysis of both power plants and quantify the operating conditions of their steam turbines (number of starts, equivalent operating hours, start-up costs). Then compare and contrast these conditions in a written report.   

Expected Deliverables

  • Available DYESOPT models tuned to Ivanpah and Gemasolar operating conditions .
  • Report on Steam Turbine Operating Conditions in Tower-based CSP plants


Belongs to: Department of Energy Technology
Last changed: Jun 09, 2015