Shams 1 uses parabolic trough technology to convert solar irradiation into solar heat which is fed into a steam turbine to provide power generation.
The steam exiting the steam turbine is condensed with an air-cooled condenser.
The solar field is a modular distributed system of solar collector assemblies (SCAs) connected in parallel via a system of insulated pipes. Cold heat-transfer fluid (HTF) flows at approximately 280/300°C from the steam generator into a cold HTF header that distributes it to 192 loops of SCAs in the solar field. Each loop consists of four SCAs. HTF is heated in the loop and enters the hot header, which returns hot HTF from all loops to the solar steam generator. The HTF enters the solar field at 280/300°C and leaves the field at 400°C.
The SCAs collect heat via a trough of parabolic mirrors, which focus sunlight onto a line of heat collection elements (HCE), welded in line at the focus of the parabola. The mirror-HCE trough is mounted on a mechanical support system that includes steel pylons and bearings. Single-axis tracking of the sun ensures best use of sunlight.
The absorber tubes are contained within the HCE and serve to convert solar irradiation to heat. A dual-fuel fired HTF heater (gas or diesel) is used in the HTF loop to provide the required thermal energy during cloud cover or low-solar insolation, in order to avoid shut down of the steam turbine and ensure Shams 1 is capable of producing 100 MW capacity power output.
In the solar steam generator, the HTF generates steam with a temperature of approximately 380°C. In order to enhance the efficiency of the steam turbine, the steam is further heated in a dual-fuel fired booster heater to a temperature of 540°C. The superheated steam is supplied to the condensing steam turbine, which generates power. An air-cooled condenser is used to condense the exhaust steam flow coming from the steam turbine. The condensate is then returned to the solar steam generator.