Concentrated solar power for a DHC network in Jaén

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Analysis of potential and integration opportunities for DHC networks

The development of concentrated solar power (CSP) technology has received a boost over recent years by the increase in electricity generation plants. Despite this, Spain currently has very few CSP facilities for thermal applications, largely designed to cover the demand for heat in industrial processes or for the temperature control of buildings. However their application for thermal use has a huge development potential in the country given that some regions have a very high availability of direct solar irradiation. The Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE) has undertaken a technical-economic study on the incorporation of CSP into district heating & cooling (DHC) networks, using a reference network situated in Jaén. The results obtained conclude that the incorporation of CSP installations into DHC networks is a viable and attractive alternative that is both technically and economic competitive.

According to the census undertaken by the Spanish Association of DHC Networks (ADHAC), there are currently around 270 DHC networks in Spain with a total combined installed capacity of 1,139 MW for heating and cooling. Out of the existing DHC installations, approximately 30% use renewable energy (mainly biomass) and only one incorporates solar power. This is the DHC network at the Balearic Science and

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Technological Innovation Park, ParcBIT. This network is supplied by a CCHP plant that provides electricity, hot and cold water to the technological park as well as to 5 buildings belonging to the Universidad de las Islas Baleares. Hot water is generated by two cogeneration motors of 1,460 kWt and 1,115 kWt each, backed up by a 1,000 kWt biomass boiler, a solar installation with a 900 m2 flat collector and a 2,000 kWt fuel boiler. The hot water is distributed through the network to cover hot water demand and also to feed the absorption chillers (432 kWt and 1,318 kWt respectively) to generate cold water. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016