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SOLAR based sCO2 Operating Low-cost plants.

Funded by:

The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 952953

Time period:

October 2020 – September 2024

Project partners:


In its 2030 goals, EU is strongly pushing on renewable energy sources (RES). The achievement of this goal is only possible with a strong development of RES based plants, which can provide the needed flexibility to the grid. Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is a dispatchable RES, whose potential market/need would be widely enlarged if coupled with flexible, high performant and low CAPEX power conversion units. Supercritical CO2 (sCO2) has been studied for several years as an enabling technology to promote CSP widespread all over the world. SOLARSCO2OL presents sCO2 cycles as key enabling technology to facilitate a larger deployment of CSP in EU panorama, which is composed of medium temperature application and small medium size plants, by enhancing their performances and reducing its Levelised Cost of Electricity (LCOE). Particularly, the use of sCO2 cycles represent the potential future key technology to un-tap the potential flexibility of CSP plants and reduce their LCOE to values below 10 c€/kWh in Europe, with the goal of promoting an innovative power plant cycle layout not requiring water. One of the possible sCO2-CSP flexible integration schemes is shown in the figure below.

Aims and objectives

The main objective of SOLARSCO2OL is to demonstrate up to TRL 8 in a real CSP Power plant (MAGTEL, La Africana) a first-of-a-kind, economically viable and easy replicable sCO2 power block. Fast-reactive electric heaters and efficient heat exchangers (HEXs) will enable the operation of the designed power plant layout.Within SOLARSCO2OL, a MW-Scale demonstration will be performed in a 50 MW parabolic trough plant which is exemplar of current EU CSP panorama and the concept will be also studied for upscale and replication in Noor III solar tower plant in Morocco (MASEN), stimulating international cooperation with MENA countries as promoted by CSP SET Plan, so guaranteeing a wide replicability potential.

Besides, the SOLARsCO2OL industry driven consortium will promote a cross-fertilizing collaboration to work on:

  • sCO2 turbomachinery (compressor, turbine, shaft-integration, gear units) design and prototypation towards their upscale and exploitation also with other thermal sources
  • pressurized sCO2 heat exchangers to be exploited also in chemical processes
  • grid oriented controller and Molten Salts electric heaters to be embedded in thermal energy storages to increase current and future CSP plants flexibility


The SOLARsCO2OL project is articulated in 10 Work Packages (WPs). KTH participates in all WPs, however, its largest contribution and leading role is in WP1. WP1 titled “SOLARSCO2OL plant definition via the support of Techno-economic modeling” has two main objectives:

  1. To develop flexible simulation tools for assessing the techno-economic viability of the novel CSP layouts with sCO2 under different market and cost boundary conditions, also including hybridization with PV.
  2. To carry pre-engineering works and de-risking analyses for optimization and ultimately definition of the pilot demonstration layout and integration strategies for key components and infrastructure.

The Principal Investigator (PI) and project leader at KTH is Dr. Rafael Guédez. The PhD student involved in the project are Salvatore Guccione and Silvia Trevisan.


Publications coming out of this project will be available through Diva

Project contact persons:

Recycling of end-of-life wind blades through renewable energy driven molten salt pyrolysis process
I-UPS — Innovative High Temperature Heat Pump for Flexible Industrial Systems
FLUWS — Flexible Upcycled Waste Material based Sensible Thermal Energy Storage for CSP
STAMPE – Space Turbines Additive Manufacturing Performance Evaluation
Digital Twin for smart grid connected buildings
PED StepWise — Participatory Step-by-Step Implementation Process for Zero Carbon District Concepts in Existing Neighbourhoods
ADiSS — Aeroelastic Damping in Separated Flows
MERiT — Methane in Rocket nozzle cooling channels - conjugate heat Transfer measurements
CARE – Cavity Acoustics and Rossiter modEs
SCO2OP-TES – sCO2 Operating Pumped Thermal Energy Storage for grid/industry cooperation
POWDER2POWER (P2P) – MW-scale fluidized particle-driven CSP prototype demonstration
eLITHE – Electrification of ceramic industries high temperature heating equipment
DETECTIVE – Development of a Novel Tube-Bundle-Cavity Linear Receiver for CSP Applications
USES4HEAT – Underground Large Scale Seasonal Energy Storage for Decarbonized and Reliable Heat
ADA – Aggressive Duct Aerodynamics
VIFT — Virtual Integrated Fan and Turbine
HECTAPUS — Heating Cooling Transition and Acceleration with Phase Change Energy Utilization Storage
SUSHEAT — Smart Integration of Waste and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Heat Upgrade in the Industry
Analysis of PV system in Sweden
EVAccel — Accelerating the Integration of Electric Vehicles in a Smart and Robust Electricity Infrastructure
Towards Sustainable Energy Communities: A Case Study of Two Swedish Pilot Projects
HYBRIDplus – Advanced HYBRID solar plant with PCM storage solutions in sCO2 cycles
SHARP-SCO2 – Solar Hybrid Air-sCO2 Power Plants
RIHOND – Renewable Industrial Heat On Demand
A turnkey solution for Swedish buildings through integrated PV electricity and energy storage (PV-ESS)
A new standard methodology for assessing the environmental impact of stationary energy storage systems (LCA-SESS)
EleFanT – Electric Fan Thruster
Circular Techno-Economic Analysis of Energy Storage– IEA Annex Co-coordination
Optimization of Molten Salt Electric Heaters
FLEXnCONFU: Flexiblize Combined Cycle Power Plants through Power To-X Solutions using Non-Conventional Fuels
ARIAS - Advanced Research Into Aeromechanical Solutions
PILOTS4U – A network of bioeconomy open access pilot and multipurpose demo facilities
Cavity Purge Flows inside axial turbines
Effective thermal storage systems for competitive Stirling-CSP plants
ENFLOW: Energy flow metering of natural and biogas for residential applications
H2020 Pump Heat
BRISK II – Infrastructure for Sharing Knowledge II
Improved flue gas condensate treatment in MSW incineration via membrane distillation
Integrated modelling and optimization of coupled electricity and heating networks
Membrane distillation for advanced wastewater treatment in the semiconductor industry
Microgrid for Tezpur University
Smart and Robust Electricity Infrastructure for the Future