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Olds Elevator™ LLC Delivers High Temperature Elevators for Concentrating Solar Power Pilot Plants

June 23, 2014 Hudson, NH

Olds Elevator™ LLC, a manufacturer of bulk material elevators, has delivered 2 elevators for high temperature particulates for 2 Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) pilot projects. Both projects were partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.).

CSP uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight. The heat from the concentrated sunlight is captured in a Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) and delivered to an on-site power plant for conversion to electricity. A percentage of the hot HTF can be stored in insulated vessels for use in generating electricity after the sun has set.

One of the high-temp Olds elevators has been delivered to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where it will be installed in Power Tower that will use Sand as the HTF. The lift height for this elevator is 46 feet. The second elevator has been delivered to Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This Olds elevator will also be deployed in a CSP Power Tower where it will circulate Ceramic Beads as the HTF. The lift height for this elevator is 25 feet. Both pilot plants are scheduled to be activated in the second half of 2014.

“The HTF will be heated to approximately 1,000°C at the Solar Receiver and then used to generate electricity.”

The Olds elevators will deliver HTF to a Solar Receiver where it will then be exposed to an intense, concentrated, beam of sunlight. The HTF will be heated to approximately 1,000°C at the Solar Receiver and then used to generate electricity. The spent HTF, now at 600°C will be returned to the Solar Receiver by the Olds elevator to be re-heated. The elevators use 304 Stainless Steel product contact parts and the lift tubes are insulated to retain the residual heat of the HTF.

Olds static screw elevators utilize a fixed screw and a rotating lift tube to elevate bulk materials. The screw and tube are designed to grow within a design range as the elevator heats up with solar-heated HTF. The Olds elevators are also used as precision volumetric feeders that allow the CSP operators to adapt instantly to changing conditions by altering the flow rate of HTF delivered to the Solar Receiver.

Olds elevators are also used in other High-Temperature applications including circulating Heat Carrier particles in Biomass to Energy plants. Biomass conversion to usable synthesis gas is accomplished by heating the biomass in the absence of oxygen. Heat Carrier particles of Steel or Ceramic Beads are used to deliver the heat to drive the thermochemical reaction. Olds elevators are used to circulate the Heat Carriers.

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