Peterborough, New Hampshire -- A recent report in Renewable Energy magazine says that fires in a number of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in Spain have been caused by the mineral wool used to line the piping containing the heat transfer fluid (HTF) in these plants' solar fields.
Writing in the magazine, Toby Price said that Renovetec, a leading renewable energy advisory firm in Spain, has assessed the recent proliferation of fires at Spanish CSP plants, which have not only endangered the lives of operatives on site, but also limited the availability of the plants.
Renovetec has published an article on its work which examines the relationship between the thermal insulation (mineral wool) used to line heat-transfer piping and the fires, after the company managed to reproduce the conditions leading to certain fires under laboratory conditions.
The tests by Renovetec showed that the thermal insulation can ignite at below 200 deg C, with the risk of spontaneous combustion even without a spark or other ignition source, and Renovetec says this explains some fires at CSP plants.
See more on this at www.renewableenergymagazine.com