Project: Abengoa/Solana Solar Generating Plant.
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Location: Gila Bend, AZ United States
PNL Services: Non-Destructive Testing, QA/QC Inspection
Project Scope: The estimated $2 billion construction of the new plant was on a three square mile site, approximately 70 miles southwest of Phoenix, AZ. The plant utilized the parabolic trough technology for concentrating solar radiation on a receiver tube filled with a heat transfer fluid. This super heated liquid gets transferred for direct use in two electricity producing steam turbines, and also sent to tanks of molten salt, which retain the heat long enough to drive the turbines for six hours during the night time. Work was started on the project in 2010 and completed in 2013. The plant's electrical output is rated at 283 MW and at the time was the largest solar generating plant in the world. Today output has exceeded design ratings.
Project Challenges: Phoenix National Laboratories was selected to provide the NDE and QA/QC services required for this new type of power plant. Many innovative NDE processes were used by PNL including phased array ultrasonic weld examinations and computed radiographic examinations in keeping with the "green" requirements for the project. In addition PNL provided welding qualification services consisting of WPS development, PQR testing, welder qualification and training. NDE and QA/QC services were provided on the heat transfer tube welds, the power block, turbine area and on molten salt storage tanks. In all, PNL provided as many as 30 certified technicians on site during construction in order to keep the project on schedule.
Summary: PNL continues to provide services to this plant to the present date for maintenance, outages and repairs. PNL has provided services to other solar projects utilizing the experience it gained from the Solana project.
Dates: May 2011 through January 2014