SOLAR based sCO2 Operating Low-cost plants
The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N° 952953
October 2020 – September 2024
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:
- 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.
- 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:
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