Concentrated solar thermalProject CSP Pilot Plant
This report presents a discussion of issues and challenges experienced by Vast Solar as the company undertook manufacturing and construction of the Pilot Plant in regional Australia.
Manufacturing and other challenges: Undertaking R&D and construction in regional Australia
This report provides an overview and discussion of some of the practical challenges (and opportunities!) that Vast Solar experienced as the company embarked and travelled upon the journey to undertake R&D development, trailing and testing of various aspects of our CSP technology at a rural location in western New South Wales. Construction of the 1MW CSP Pilot Plant at Jemalong, located some 36 kilometres west of Forbes on the Lachlan Valley Way, commenced in late 2013, subsequent to receipt of the Development Application approval from Forbes Shire Council that was received in September 2013. Construction of the plant was completed by late 2016, ready for grid connection in early 2017 and subsequent final commissioning and operation throughout 2018. Construction of the Pilot Plant project followed and built upon learning’s from the construction of two preceding small research and demonstration sites that each tested particular aspects of the technology, the second of which was also located at Jemalong.
This report focuses on our experience in constructing the Pilot Plant. The Pilot Plant is an industrial site. It includes elements of heavy engineering, such as the power block, as well as new and novel engineering elements that are at the heart of Vast Solar’s intellectual property and technological achievements. These novel engineered elements include the system of high temperature piping that contains and transfers the sodium heat transfer fluid, towers, receivers and a total almost 3,500 heliostats. All of these elements were either fully or in large part manufactured and constructed on site.