Hydrogen Mitigation Process Installation at Nevada Solar One: Paper No. 110002

Greg Glatzmaier, Koenraad Beckers

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Acciona Solar Power (ASP) have developed and are implementing a process that addresses the issue of hydrogen buildup in parabolic trough power plants. Our method selectively removes hydrogen from the expansion tanks of the power plant to control hydrogen levels in the circulating heat-transfer fluid (HTF). During previous work, we developed a sensor that measures hydrogen partial pressure in the expansion-tank headspace gas. We demonstrated that our sensor measures hydrogen levels over a wide range of partial pressure—from 1.33 mbar down to 0.003 mbar. More recently, we conceived and developed an integrated process module that performs both hydrogen sensing and separating functions. The sensor/separator measures hydrogen partial pressure in the headspace gas in the same way as our original sensor design. Additionally, the integrated module separates hydrogen from the headspace gas to reduce hydrogen to the level needed to maintain the performance of receivers in the collector field. We demonstrated the performance of a laboratory-scale version of this module. Testing showed that the module performed as expected: the accuracy of the sensing function was ±7%, and the hydrogen extraction rate for the separating mode was consistent with our modeling predictions. The primary benefit of this module is its simple design, both in terms of function and incorporation into the HTF subsystem of the power plant. Most recently, NREL and ASP planned, specified, and designed a mitigation process that is based on the integrated module. We are currently completing installation of this process at ASP's Nevada Solar One power plant in Boulder City, Nevada, USA. The mitigation process is being installed at ground level below the HTF expansion tanks, where it draws headspace gas from the tanks, removes hydrogen, and returns the treated gas back to the tanks. In this paper, we report progress on the installation and describe some of the many design details and challenges that we addressed during the past year. We will generate initial performance data from the Nevada Solar One mitigation process in early 2020.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2020
EventSolarPACES 2019: International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems - Daegu, South Korea
Duration: 1 Oct 20194 Oct 2019


ConferenceSolarPACES 2019: International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems
CityDaegu, South Korea

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-74699


  • Acciona
  • concentrating solar power
  • CSP
  • hydrogen
  • parabolic trough
  • power plants


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