Renewable Energy Engineering

At the forefront of CSP since 2006

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), is the field where all CADE capacities are clearly materialized since the sector start-up, as a strong and reliable partner along all project or asset life cycle, covering from Technology R&D to Operational Plants consultancy and engineering.

Nowadays, 18 Operating CSP plants over the world counts on CADE on a regular basis to evaluate,optimize and improve main plant systems and equipment. 

CADE, jointly with main world EPC contractors develops new technology concepts around efficiency and availability upgrade as well as new plant technology concepts aimed to reach the CSP grid parity.

renewable energy engineering ingenieria de energias renovables energia termosolar
Andasol 1 & 2 CSP plant (Spain)

Executed Renewable Energy Engineering Projects

  • Mechanical analysis of static equipment and heat exchangers
  • Failure analysis of molten salt tank (bottom)
  • Analysis and evaluation of failure in  ball joint assembly system (parabolic trough)
  • Feasibility study of flexible hoses as substitutive of ball joints
  • Evaluation of cracks in 30” HTF collector piping
  • Feasibility study of  line-stop installation
  • Evaluation of cracks in molten tanks nozzles
  • Evaluation of vibration phenomena in pumps of molten salt tanks
  • Evaluation of cracks in molten salt piping in creep range operation
  • Failure root cause analysis (RCA) in heat exchangers (SG, MS)
  • Drainage piping system of HTF Main and freeze protection systems to reduce equipment shut down time and improving of safety requirements
  • Design of drainage system of molten salts and HTF-Molten Salts separation system (heat exchangers failure)
  • Solar field by-pass. Solar field/power block independization
  • By-pass SGT: Availability upgrade
  • By-pass Molten Salts – HTF Heat exchangers: Availability upgrade
  • By-pass BP Preheaters: Maintenance upgrade
  • Definition of control valves for HTF boilers (surface temperature control in boiler tubes).
  • Optimization of the HTF level in expansion system to avoid nitrogen trapping.
  • Plant suitability for regulatory tests (steam side and HTF side).
  • Design of HTF / N2 condensing and cooling system in PSV shots: Quench tank design.

Static equipment: SG Train, preheaters, storage tanks, Molten Salt Train: 

  • Evaluation of nominal and partial real loads vs, proyect
  • Analysis of termal shocks
  •  Fatigue Evaluation
  • Vibration analysis. 

Dynamic equipment: Main Pumps, BFW pumps, Molten Salts Pumps

  • Analysis of operational points vs pump curve (Q min, Q max, BEP)
  • Vibration analysis
  • Analysis of O&M vs operation
  • Installation inspection and loads on nozzles

Results obtained:

  • Evaluation of operational accumulated damage and remaining life assessment.
  • Identification of operational limits (termal shocks, ramps, flows)
  • Evaluation of operational, maintenance and mechanical upgrades,
  • Optimization of pumping comsumption.
  • Thermal and hydraulic simulation of SGTrain:
    • Heat Exchanger simulation according to supplier’s drawings.
    • Analysis of DCS operation data

Results obtained:

  • Actual response of HEXs vs. project Performance analysis and heat losses
  • Identification of accerated fouling: low performance, DeltaP increase
  • Identification of mechanical failures: by passes, pores Identification of steaming and vaporization (in PH): fouling, erosion.
  • Identification of mechanical risk due to vibrations.
  • Proposal for operational improvement measures
  • Proposals for NDTs if required: boroscopy, thickness measurement, analysis of remains (during operation, during shut down)

Thermal and hydraulic simulation of molten salt /HTF Heat Exchangers:

  • Heat Exchanger simulation according to supplier’s drawings
  • Analysis of DCS operation data

Results obtained:

  • Power output opitmization and charge/discharge time: curves of exchanged power as a function of operating flows.
  • Influence Identification of ratio Q HTF / Q Molten Salts on tubes temperature: Integration of safeties in DCS in order not to reach limits defined by supplier
  • Operational limits due to vibrations

Simulations of failure event: operation with the rest of available heat exchangers

Results obtained:

  • Power curve as a function of number of available heat exchangers
  • Design of by-pass system in order to operate during failure event. Basic and detailed engineering
  • Analysis of performance of rest of available equipment as a function of equipment failure hypothesis.
  • Analysis of potential flow increase in available equipment to compensate power output reduction.
  • Design of by-pass systems (basic and detail engineering).
  • Analysis of boroscopic tests
  • Analysis of thickness measurements
  • Analysis of samples (analysis of elements, analysis of compounds

Results obtained:

  • Analysis of causative mechanisms: steaming, vaporization, corrosion mechanisms, etc.
  • Influence over thermal performance
  • Influence over remaining life expectance
  • Proposal of monitoring and improvement measures
  • Water quality: revision of operation conditions (DCS and plant’s analytics) Vs recommendable values.
  • Effect/impact of water quality over main equipment.
    • Heat exchangers: corrosion, depositions, performance loss
    • Steam turbine: fouling (Na, Si, metallic oxides) and performance loss
  • Mechanical carryover analysis in Steam Generator (fouling of SH and steam turbine).
  • Revision of sampling procedure along continuous operation.
  • Definition of monitoring procedures.
  • Renewable Energy Engineering tool to fouling monitoring of steam turbine.
    • Calculation of fouling rate
    • Time estimation until next shut-down for cleaning maintenance
  • Identification of susceptible points to present N2 accumulation and calculation of accumulated N2
  • Evaluation of N2 carryover velocity in each point
  • Evaluation of venting requirement as a function of its influence on downstream equipment
  • Venting system design and enginnering

At the forefront of the Solar Thermal sector since 2006
Engineering & Consultancy in CSP Plants

Thermosolar and Renewables

Oil & Gas

Power Generation

Other Industries

Thermosolar and renewables

Activities and Capacities

Solar thermal generation technology (Concentrated Solar Power – CSP) is where all of CADE’s capabilities clearly materialize from the beginning of the sector, as a strong and reliable partner throughout the entire project life cycle, ranging from I + D to operating plants.

CADE develops new technology and engineering concepts around improving the efficiency and availability of existing CSP plants, as well as new concepts of solar thermal technology applied to the heat consuming industry.

CSP Projects

Property Engineering

Permitting. Ready-to-Build

Basic and Detail Engineering


Construction Supervision


Plants in Operation

Process Solutions

Integrity and Performance Consulting

Comprehensive Modification and Improvement


Adequacy to Level C Inspections


solidTES – Thermal Storage

processCSP – Industrial Heat

ZeroLD – Water Recovery

MSLoop – Salts CSP Plants like HTF


Digital Twin


Property Engineering

FEED Engineering (Front-and-End-Engineering Design)
Selection and evaluation of main equipment and systems
Technical-Economic Feasibility Studies (CAPEX-OPEX)
Generation EPC Sheets and Specifications
EPC project execution control

Permitting / Ready-to-Build

Basic Project
Project Applications and Authorizations
Processing with the Administration

Basic and detail Engineering

Multidisciplinary engineering for conceptual and detailed development of CSP >50MW plants:

  • Solar Field- HTF
  • Steam Generation
  • TES – Thermal storage system in molten salts
  • Power Block

Equipment, Package Units, Contractors
Specifications of purchase and technical tabulation of offers
Manufacturing and supply monitoring and monitoring
Workshop inspection and equipment reception

Construction Supervision

Civil, Mechanical Systems, I&C, Electricity


Definition of protocols, manuals and PEM tests

Process Solutions

Solar Field:
Hydraulic Balancing

  • Performance analysis
    Tube status analysis: replacement strategies.
    HTF thermal degradation risk analysis.

TES: Improved storage system

  • Loading/unloading strategies
    Hot drainage systems
    Leak Management Systems (HTF / Salts)
    Simulation of salt tanks.
    HTF / Salts Exchanger Train Analysis

TGV: Exchanger Train Analysis

Feeding water system / Steam

  • Desgasificator

  • Power pumps

  • PSV networks

  • Improvements in dosing and sampling system.

  • Steam turbine performance analysis

  • Operating strategies to avoid operational problems (steaming, corrosion, fouling, thermal shocks)
Integrity and Performance Consulting

Condition assessment of main systems and equipment. Determination of accumulated damage, remaining life and probability of failure.

Definition and implementation of Improvement Strategies for the operation, availability and reliability of equipment and main systems (CS / HTF / TES / GV).

Integrity consulting and root cause analysis of failure in service of equipment and main systems.

Technical Consulting (owner’s advisor) for the evaluation and resolution of disputes with suppliers in relation to guarantees, performance and / or reliability of equipment and systems.

solidTESThermal Storage

Concrete and aggregate-based thermal storage technology

Evaluation of the Dispatchability of a Parabolic Trough Collector System with Concrete Storage – EDITOR

Feed and conceptual engineering
Integration with:

  • existing processes (steam, hot water, thermal oil, air, electricity)  
    existing energy sources (residual heat, PV, thermal or electrical discharges)
  • Basic and detail engineering
  • Turnkey Projects
processCSP – Industrial Heat

Solution for thermal contribution to the industry based on concentration plot with parabolic cylinder or Fresnel technology and with thermal storage.

Feed Engineering, Conceptual and Technology Assessment
Integration with existing processes (steam, hot water, thermal oil, air, cold systems)
Basic and Detail Engineering
Turnkey Projects

Digital CSP plant

Digitalization portfolio and industry 4.0 focused on solar thermal plants
Improved asset management and O&M under paradigm 4.0, from specific equipment or asset, units or systems, to complete plants

Intelligent 3D plant model:

  • LASER 3D SCAN: Point clouds generation and photorealistic plant models for improved management
    SMART 3D mockups: 3d model generation including asset data and information and operation and maintenance

Digital twin: real-time critical asset monitoring and analysis for decision-making and prediction: 

  • Condition-based and predictive maintenance
    ANALYSIS-MONITORING of status, integrity, life and failure prevention of critical equipment
    Complete DIGITAL TWIN of equipment or systems with sensorization, monitoring, intelligent analysis, simulation and experimentation capability, to improve the performance and efficiency of the equipment or system.

Methodology for the analysis and optimization of renewable steam cycles.
Water Quality Analysis vs Industry Standards and Regulations

  • Review of the sampling system
    Review of the dosing system
    Analysis of the current status of computers:
    • Corrosion (pitting, FAC, low tank, …) 
      Fouling, performance, by-passes, etc).
      Accumulated damage from current operation (fatigue, thermal shocks)
  • Identification of operational improvements to avoid detected deviations (increased service life, improved performance)
    Cycle performance analysis
    Reduction of leaks (PSVs, drains, purgers)

Plants we serve

Currently, 25 CSP plants operating around the world count on CADE to evaluate, optimize and improve the main systems and critical equipment of the plant

Executed Type Projects


Static Equipment: Steam Generation Train, Train Salt Exchangers, Salt Storage Tanks

  • Evaluation of partial nominal and actual loads vs. project
  • Thermal shock analysis
  • Fatigue Assessment
  • Vibration analysis

Dynamic Equipment: Main Pumps, Feed Water Pumps, Molten Salt Pumps

  • Analysis of operation points vs design curves(Q min, Q max, BEP)
  • Vibration analysis
  • Analysis O&M vs operation

Main Results:

-Assessment of accumulated damage and determination of remaining life
Identification of operating limits (thermal shocks, heating ramps, flow rates)
Identification of operational improvements, maintenance improvements and mechanical improvements
Optimizing pump consumption
Identification of thermal losses
Status of general plant maintenance or plant systems


Thermal and hydraulic simulation of HTF/ Salts exchangers

  • Simulation of heat exchangers according to manufacturer’s documentation
  • Operating data analysis according to DCS

Main Results:

  • Energy delivery optimization and load/discharge curve: Exchanged energy curves  based on operating flow rates
  • Influence and identification of ratio Q HTF / Q SALTS Vs. Tube temperature: Integration of safeties in DCS to avoid reaching the limits set by the manufacturer
  • Operational limits due to vibrations

Simulation of failure events: Operation of the system with the rest of the exchangers

Main results

  • Power curve depending on the number of exchangers available
  • By-pass system design to operate in case of failure. Basic engineering and detail

Thermal and hydraulic simulation of the Steam Generation train

  • Simulation of heat exchangers according to manufacturer’s documentation
  • Operating data analysis according to DCS
Main results:
  • Equipment actual response Vs. Project
  • Performance analysis and power loss (heat)
  • Accelerated fouling identification: low performance, DeltaP increase
  • Identification of steaming and vaporization phenomena in
  • Preheater: fouling, erosion.
  • Identification of mechanical risks due to vibrations
  • Proposed operational improvements
  • Proposal and definition of DDs if required: boronscopy, thickness measurement, analysis of samples and residues (during operation, during stoppage)
  • Analysis of the performance of the other equipment available under the hypothesis of failure of one of the train equipment
  • Analysis of the potential flow increase in all other available equipment for production reduction compensation for equipment that fails
  • By-pass system design (basic and detail engineering)

Root cause analysis to determine the origin of cracks in the roofs of salt tanks and definition of proposals for improvement and solution of the problem.

  • Tank inspection (visual inspection, thickness measurement, identification of areas with internal corrosion using MRUT methodology, temperature control and measurement in hot areas of the tank)
  • Operating data analysis according to DCS
  • Thermal-structural simulation under standard operating conditions
  • Assessment against fatigue and thermal shocks
  • Tank simulation during the warm-up process
  • Assessment of foundation settlements in tank structural behavior
  • Vibration assessment in piping systems
  • Corrosion assessment due to air tank contamination.
    Stress Corrosion
  • Cracking Assessment (SCC).
  • Chemical analysis of salts
Main results:
  • Identification of mechanical risk associated with vibrations in connections
  • Identification of mechanical risk in piping due to the effect of settlements
  • Identification of mechanical risk due to the preheating process
  • Identification of mechanical hazard due to vibrations
  • Water Quality: Operating Condition Review (DCS and Plant Analytics) Vs. Recommended Values
  • Effect/Impact of water quality on core equipment
  • Exchangers: corrosion, depositions, loss of performance
  • Steam turbine: Fouling (Na, Si, Metal oxides) and loss of performance
  • Mechanical carryover analysis in Steam Generator (SuperHeater fouling and Steam Turbine)
  • Review of the dosing system.
  • System review and sampling procedures.
  • Thermal analysis of exchangers: by-pass identification, fouling, steaming.
  • Mechanical analysis of TGV exchangers (accumulated damage per operation, operational limits)
  • Definition of commissioning and stop procedures for the reduction of steaming, corrosion and soiling in equipment.
  • Definition of operating strategies to increase the TGV’s lifespan.

Engineering tool for steam turbine fouling monitoring

  • Fouling rate calculation
  • Determining times until next stop for maintenance and cleaning
  • Identification of points likely to present accumulation of N2 and cumulative N2 calculation
  • Evaluation of venting requirements based on their influence on downstream equipment
  • Design and engineering of venting system

Thermal/hydraulic/mechanical design
Supplier selection
Supervision of manufacturer’s engineering documents
Manufacturer design review and recommendations
Workshop inspections

  • Steam Generator (Kettle Type) (HTF/Steam)(SalTs/Steam)
  • Steam Generator (Forced Circulation Type) (HTF/Steam)(Salts/Steam)
  • Economizer (HTF/Vapor)(Salts/Vapor)
  • Boronscope analysis
  • Analysis of thickness measurements
  • Sample analysis (analysis of elements and compounds)
Main results:
  • Failure mechanism analysis: steaming, vaporization, corrosion, thermal shock, freezing, buckling, SCC, etc.
  • Influence on thermal performance
  • Influence on remaining life
  • Proposal for monitoring and improvement measures
  • Visual inspection
  • Measuring thicknesses
  • Identification of areas with widespread corrosion and local corrosion using MRUT methodology
  • Study DCS signals
  • Thermal-structural analysis against normal operating conditions and thermal shocks
  • Fatigue analysis
  • Performing metallography and metallographic replicas
  • Study of the operating logic of the tracing system.
  • Chemical analysis of salts
  • Corrosion analysis. Sample analysis (analysis of elements and compounds)
Main projects:
  • Analysis of mechanisms and causes of failure: overheating associated with tracing, corrosion due to salt degradation effect.
  • Proposal for monitoring and improvement measures
  • Defining optimal control logic
  • Definition of a predictive maintenance plan.
Root cause analysis to determine the breakage origin of ball joints. Definition of corrective measures and improvement proposals. Definition of predictive maintenance plan
  • Plant inspection
  • Assessment of fault record
  • Standard definition of failure
  • Operating data analysis according to DCS
  • Thermal-structural simulation of the solar collector, ball joint system and receptor tubes
  • Assessment against fatigue and thermal shocks
  • Analysis of the detail of the kneecaps and simulation process of blocking them
Root cause analysis to determine the breaking origin of the receptor tubes
  • Plant inspection
  • Assessment of fault record
  • Standard definition of failure
  • Operating data analysis according to DCS
  • Thermal-structural simulation of the solar collector, receiver tubes and ball joints system
  • Assessment against fatigue and thermal shocks
  • Vacuum loss assessment in tubes
  • Radiation effect assessment
Root cause analysis to determine the origin of shoes breakage and cross over deformations
  • Plant inspection
  • Thermal-structural analysis of the solar collector and cross over system
  • Evaluation of the malfunction of the shoes and ball joint system
  • Thermal shock effect assessment and fatigue analysis
  • Evaluation of large cross over system deformations

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