The direct steam generation (DSG) is an attractive option regarding the economic improvement of parabolic trough technology for solar thermal electricity generation in the multi megawatt range. According to [1] and [2] a 10% reduction of the LEC is expected compared to conventional SEGS like parabolic trough power plants. The European DISS project has proven the feasibility of the DSG process under real solar conditions at pressures up to 100 bar and temperatures up to 400°C in more than 4000 operation hours [3]. In a next step the detailed engineering for a pre-commercial DSG solar thermal power plant will be performed. This detailed engineering of the collector field requires the consideration of the occurring thermohydraulic phenomena and their influence on the stability of the absorber tubes. A design tool has been developed at DLR calculating all relevant process parameters including pressure drop, temperature field and stress in the absorber tubes. The models implemented in this design tool have been validated in detail at the DISS test facility under real DSG conditions for pressures between 30 and 100 bar and inner diameters between 50 and 85 mm. The models have been implemented into a MATLAB® program to allow for a first quick determination of critical process conditions. Once critical process conditions have been identified the FEM package ANSYS® is used for a detailed investigation. This article summarises the models used and shows the design procedure for a DSG collector field. The design program has proven to be a reliable tool for the detailed design of DSG collector fields.

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