Sulzer to provide hot and cold molten salt pumps for 100 MW solar project in China

A major concentrated solar power (CSP) tower project in China has selected Sulzer to supply both the hot and the cold molten salts pumps for the installation.

A concentrated solar power tower project
A concentrated solar power tower project - Image: Shutterstock/Sulzer.

Powerful energy storage systems are a prerequisite for solar plants to make a significant contribution to the security of supply. By retaining the heat energy, molten salt storage systems help overcome the challenge of intermittent renewable energy to ensure a reliable supply of electricity – night or day. 

For the 100 MW molten salt solar storage system, Sulzer will supply a mix of 18-meter-long hot and cold molten salt pumps. The cold molten salt pumps will be used to transfer more temperate molten salt from the cold storage tank to the tower, where it is heated by concentrated solar energy at the tower's receiver. The hot molten salt is then transferred by the hot molten salt pumps to the hot storage tank until it is needed for electricity generation.

In collaboration with engineers from Sulzer Pumps Belgium, all of the pumps will be manufactured at the Sulzer Pumps Suzhou production facility to provide a competitive delivery lead time while ensuring a streamlined spare parts inventory. Sulzer’s local engineers will be on hand to support the installation and commissioning of the equipment. Due to their length, the pumps will be assembled on-site before installation in the storage tanks.

Sulzer’s Flow Equipment Division President Jan Lueder said: “We are proud to see our innovative technologies help global industry surmount key challenges in energy, efficiency and the environment. We pioneered molten salt pump technology more than 20 years ago and have led many successful projects in this sector. This contract demonstrates our technical expertise in pump design and manufacturing for specialized applications as well as our commitment to the renewable energy industry.”

This installation follows several other successful projects in China for Sulzer including three hot pumps for another 100 MW CSP as well as six hot and five cold pumps for a 42 MW parabolic trough installation.