Steam Drum In Place at Unit 2 Tower
An impressive construction milestone was reached at Ivanpah! Construction workers completed the placement of the Unit 2 steam drum, an integral part of the steam production process. A steam drum is a cylindrical vessel mounted atop each of the solar towers at Ivanpah, situated inside the super heater tube section of the boiler. After the water is boiled in the evaporator section of the boiler, the steam / water mixture enters the drum. The steam is still in a saturated stage or considered “wet steam.” The steam drum has internal parts which serves to separate the water from the steam before it is sent to the super heat section of the boiler where it receives more energy from the sun before being used in the turbine generator to produce electricity.
Construction workers used a tower crane to lift the steam drum to the top of the tower, where construction workers guided the steam drum into position. Lifting the steam drum from the ground to the top of the 450+ foot tower took approximately 7 minutes. The steam drum’s approximate dimensions are 6.5’ in diameter and over 30’ long, and weighing approximately 90 tons. The steam drum is made of steel and has walls that are almost 6 inches thick! With the steam drum now in place, the team can continue work on installing and connecting the boiler tubes and placing the boiler panels. See the pictures below of the steam drum lift. Subsequent to the drum placement, the tower structure has now reached its maximum height, and is now topped out.