Kittiwake Procal has been awarded contracts to supply three Spanish solar power station utility providers with Kittiwake Procal 5000 monitoring systems.

A new application for Kittiwake Procal’s technology, the development of the analyser and necessary calibration equipment and techniques has produced a solution to reliably monitor very low concentrations – of less than 20 ppm – of Di-Phenyl Oxide.

In principle, a solar thermal power plant works no differently from a conventional steam power plant, but without the need to burn coal or natural gas. The “green” power is produced using the energy from the sun and operators are required to monitor for leaks of Di-Phenyl Oxide (C12H10O), as part of an operating licence.

There are two main types of solar powered utilities; tower plants and reflector plants. In both, it is important that the heat transfer fluid does not escape from both the heat exchange system and storage tanks. Leaks in pipe connections are inevitable as is the degradation of the heat transfer fluid with time. This results in small concentrations of Di-Phenyl Oxide escaping into the head-space of storage tanks, and similar concentrations being vented from expansion and overflow vessels of the Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) system into the atmosphere.

Dr Jason Potter, consultant, Kittiwake Procal explained: “Use of the Ultra Violet absorbance spectra of Di-Phenyl Oxide can be made to monitor the head space of storage tanks or gas vented from the expansion vessel. The Kittiwake Procal 5000 UV gas analyser is able to easily detect the distinct spectra of Di-Phenyl Oxide, providing a measurement range of 0-20ppm. This can be achieved even in the presence of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (up to 4000ppm) and in high temperature environments where 300° C is typical.”

This in-situ technology has a sample cell, which can be flushed with calibration gas for in-situ zero and span calibration with certified gases. Taking only minutes to complete and without removal from the process, the system will automatically generate daily auto zero and calibration reports.

Chris Daw, Kittiwake Procal CEO commented: “The proliferation of solar power stations has been driven by the need for renewable energy. As for every power generation plant, emissions are governed by strict regulations and require reliable and accurate monitoring and reporting. This new application for Kittiwake Procal’s analysers demonstrates our ability to diversify into new markets, developing cost effective technical solutions for our customers.”

Following contracts in Spain, with two more on order for delivery in January 2011, Kittiwake Procal is now responding to similar enquiries from Italy.