Contributing Re.engineer: Kate Scarcella
The Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Plant in Ashalim, Israel has, as of April 2019, started commercial operations. this first of a kind unit is powered by 51m tall Solar Receiver Steam Generator which sits atop a concrete tower to create the world's tallest Concentrated Solar Power Tower. While similar units were assembled piece by piece on top of an existing tower, the height and technical difficulty of this design made that implementation impractical.
To meet the challenge, the SRSG was built at ground level while the tower and the rest of the plant were built alongside it. It then slid along rails into the tower and lifted to its final height, creating the massive 251m tall structure. Being the first of a kind design and the part of the project that was perceived as the largest risk from a technology standpoint, this Engineering team had a challenge ahead of it to meet the project schedule requirements, during both the design and construction phases. By creating a culture of collaboration, transparency, and personal ownership, the SRSG team was able to successfully navigate many technical issues which lead to a solid design and smooth construction and commissioning phases.
The relationships and personal responsibility that were forged during the design phase carried over into site support, even with a 7-hour time difference, allowing the site team to work hand-in-hand with Engineering in the United States to resolve issues as they came up. In the end, the SRSG was ready early as compared to the rest of the plant and operates with a high level of performance, in many ways, exceeding the expectations of the original design concept.