The past 22 June, 2016, the European Consortium HYSOL celebrated the successful progress of their European Project in the Cobra T&I research centre at the Manchasol Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant, which has been carrying out during the last three years and will finish by the end of July.
The objective of the project has been to development of a prototype HYSOL, the key element for future solar capable of hybridising CSP technology with other energies (renewable and fossil) so as to be able to supply energy to the electrical network in a stable, firm and manageable way, independent of meteorological circumstances. Thanks to this prototype, the technology has been technically, economically and environmentally validated so that the HYSOL energy plants are ready to be implemented on a commercial scale.
HYSOL is a project co-funded by the European Commission and led by the Spanish business ACS-COBRA. It counts on the participation of eight partners from European countries, including the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA-CIEMAT, Spain), la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM, Spain), ENEA (Italy), IDIE (Spain), AITESA (Spain), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark) and SDLO-PRI (The Netherlands). By celebrating this event, the consortium puts an end to the phase of validating the technical, economical and environmental results of the theoretic models contrasted with the operating prototype.
The project HYSOL intended to implement an innovative way of CSP hybridisation with fossil (natural gas) or renewable (biogas, biomethane, combination gases) based fuels at a commercial level. This concept of hybridisation permits an optimal management of the electrical production with an elevated portion of solar energy (up to 74% in the studied locations), high conversion efficiency and an excellent flexibility in the operation to be achieved, which means a better economical, technical and environmental generation process from renewable sources.
The auxiliary fuels used in the plant are integrated with a CSP system by means of an aeroderivative gas turbine in a way so that the plant achieves electrical generation efficiency similar to combined cycles. The thermal energy of the escape gases produced by the gas turbine is recuperated thanks to HYSOL which takes advantage of this energy in order to heat the melted salts from the storage system which are sent directly to the vapour generator or are stored for later use when there is not enough solar resources to meet the demand.
As a conclusion, the achievement of the project HYSOL means a step forward in the development of CSP plants, opening up possibilities to promote new hybrid plants in order to overcome the barriers and constraints that the CSP plants currently have in terms of cost and management of their electrical production.
Source: HYSOL Project