Our first kWe from the new SG4 dish
Today, 17 Feb, the Solar Thermal Group at ANU produced its first kilowatt-hour
of solar electricity from the new SG4 dish. Using a new dish control system
developed by Greg Burgess and new steam pipework by Wie Joe, Geoff Major and
Paul Scott, the existing reciprocating steam engine from the SG3 dish has been
reconnected to the new dish.
Peak power output during our first tentative testing was 30 kWe, with peak
steam temperature of 380 °C and peak pressure of 4.5 MPa. Due to the limited
capacity of the steam engine, a large (but currently unmeasured) portion of
the superheated steam was vented directly to the atmosphere. Initially the
vented saturated steam was clearly visible, however as the steam progressed
to superheated, it gradually became invisible, although certainly not silent.