Tags Posts tagged with "CSP plants"

CSP plants

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The year of 2018 witnessed the rapid growth of CSP industry in China. According to data from CSP Focus, three demonstration CSP projects with a total capacity of more than 200 MW were completed and connected to the grid, arming China with three large-scale commercial CSP plants in operation in one year.

In 2018, China completed a total capacity of 215 MW CSP projects, almost 7 times of the 30 MW capacity made before 2018. China has become the No.5 country owning the biggest CSP capacity, and the most popular emerging CSP market with Morocco by contributing 23% of the new capacity in the world.

Looking at the global CSP market, nearly 1 GW CSP plants have been newly built up, of which Morocco contributed with 350 MW (200 MW from NOOR 2 and 150 from MW NOOR 3), China with 215 MW (three 1st batch of demonstration CSP projects and one 15 MW Fresnel CSP plant), South Africa installed 200 MW (100 MW, Ilanga CSP1 and 100 MW, Kathu Solar One), Israel contributed with the 121-MW Ashalim tower CSP project, and Saudi Arabia with the Waad Al-Shamal ISCC 50-MW CSP plant.

Coming to the year of 2019 for China, and looking at the 17 of demonstration projects: six projects with a total capacity of 350 MW are under construction and hopefully to be completed by the end of this year. One project, Shenzhen Jinfan Akesai 50 MW molten salt PT Project, was stopped construction due to some financial problem and the other 10 projects totaling 749 MW are now still under development, pending with little progress, mainly because of financial or internally political obstacles.

Other CSP commercial plants like Luneng 50 MW tower project are also under smooth development. Some industry sources predict that around 600 MW of CSP plants will be completed in this year. With no doubt, China is expected to lead the new CSP market.

As announced and provided by China National Energy Administration two years ago in 2016, only those pilot projects which would be able to be completed by the end of 2018 could enjoy the FiT of RMB1.5 per kWh. New price policy for the others hasn’t been published officially yet till now, however, as CSP Focus reported earlier, the latter projects will be completed, the lower price will be awarded.

At the same time, the 2nd batch of CSP pilot projects is always under great expectation. The practical operation of the completed three CSP demos is one of the key factors for the government to decide on the 2nd batch of demos, it is a quite crucial mission and responsibility for the project developers and O&Ms to continuously optimize the operation.

Source: CSP Focus

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TSK is an international company specialising in the implementation of turnkey projects and the supply of technological solutions for different industrial sectors: electrical infrastructures, industrial plants, conventional or renewable power plants, water treatment plants, oil&gas; and facilities for the storage and handling of raw materials; offering its own technology, engineering and capacity for managing complex projects.

It has accumulated extensive experience in the engineering, construction, assembly and commissioning of power plants that use different technologies: open and combined cycle, CHP, wind power, CSP, PV, hydropower and biomass; taking part in projects that together have an installed capacity of over 12,000 MW. TSK closed 2017 with a turnover of close to €1bn and a workforce of 1,050 employees. The energy sector represents the bulk of its activity, with conventional energy accounting for 30% of sales and renewables 35%.

The availability of proprietary technology is a strategic objective and, in this regard, TSK has enhanced its technological profile to position itself as an EPC contractor offering in-house technology in different fields. The company also has a high level of internal capacity to develop both basic and detailed engineering, clearly setting itself apart from its competitors by offering its clients greater added value, while guaranteeing the cost and execution periods of investments. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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Camión de limpieza del socio Ecilimp Termosolar. Imagen: Planta termosolar Gemasolar, propiedad de Torresol Energy © Sener, tecnología de limpieza propiedad de Ecilimp | Cleaning truck owned by Ecilimp Termosolar. Picture: Gemasolar CSP Plant, property of Torresol Energy©Sener, cleaning technology property of Ecilimp

CSP plants are often installed in dry areas where solar irradiation is high and water resources are scarce. This is a serious environmental barrier in sunny arid regions like North Africa, the Middle East, South West USA and Chile. In CSP plants, water is mainly used in mirror cleaning and cooling processes and particularly in this area, CSP plants that use traditional wet-cooling systems consume a large amount of water because of cooling system evaporation losses. The MinWaterCSP project addresses the challenge of significantly reducing the water consumption of CSP plants while maintaining their overall efficiency. Its objective is to reduce evaporation losses and mirror cleaning water usage for small- and large-scale CSP plants through a holistic combination of next generation technologies.

MinWaterCSP is an R&D project that aims to reduce water consumption and improve thermal cycle efficiencies of CSP plants. The project, which has received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, started in January 2016 and will be completed in December this year.

The MinWaterCSP project consortium consists of 13 partners from 6 different EU- and non-EU countries. It is coordinated by Kelvion Holding GmbH (Project Coordinator, Germany) and Enexio Management GmbH (Technical Coordinator, Germany). Other consortium partners are: Kelvion Thermal Solutions (Pty) Ltd. (South Africa); Fraunhofer ISE (Germany); Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), ECILIMP Termosolar SL (Spain); Stellenbosch University (South Africa); Notus Fan Engineering (South Africa); Laterizi Gambettola SRL – Soltigua (Italy); Enexio Germany GmbH (Germany); Institut de Recherches en Energie Solaire et Energy Nouvelles – IRESEN (Morocco); Steinbeis 2i GmbH (Germany); and Waterleau Group NV (Belgium). Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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In 2017, CSP reached a global installed capacity of 5.1 GW. According to the IEA, that figure is expected to grow to 10 GW by 2022, with almost all new capacity incorporating storage. Worldwide, 23 countries currently have CSP projects. While the largest installed capacities are in the USA and Spain, there are CSP plants in operation or under development in numerous other countries, including the UAE, Egypt, Israel, India, China, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In September 2016, China launched its first batch of CSP pilot projects and although this batch is progressing slower than expected, as CSP Focus reported earlier this year, China’s National Energy Administration has indicated that according to the construction status of the first batch of CSP pilot projects, China will launch a second batch of pilot projects in future.

In recent years, the Chinese CSP industry has made great progress and some positive changes are taking place. Through years of study and practice, China has successfully built commercial CSP plants like the SUPCON 10 MW tower CSP plant and the Shouhang 10 MW molten salt tower CSP plant. The local value chain is maturing and is making a great contribution to several traditional industries including chemicals, iron and steel, engineering and construction.

111 CSP projects with a total capacity of 9 GW took part in the application of China’s first batch of 20 1,349 GW CSP pilot projects in September 2016. Almost 18 months have now passed, however the projects corresponding to this first batch of pilot CSP projects in China are progressing more slowly than expected, and only a few can be completed by the end of 2018. However, we should not pass judgment regarding the future of China’s CSP industry simply from the completion of the first batch of pilot projects. The reason why the government is encouraging the development and construction of these initial pilot CSP projects is to verify the technology and feasibility of CSP project implementation and cultivate a local CSP industrial value chain, as well as to explore and set up a supporting regulatory mechanism. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018

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Acciona has reached an agreement to sell its five solar thermal plants in Spain (with a combined capacity of 250 MW) to ContourGlobal plc. The transaction amounts to €1.09 billion, which could increase by €27 million, to €1.12 billion, if certain milestones are met.

Once completed, the deal will enable the Acciona group to reduce debt by €760 million this year.

The disposal of the Spanish solar thermal assets (Palma del Río I and II in Córdoba, Majadas in Cáceres, and Alvarado and Orellana in Badajoz) rebalances Acciona’s portfolio towards its international business, which will reach 50% of generation EBITDA.

The sale is subject to approval by Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) and by the General Meeting of Shareholders of ContourGlobal plc. The controlling shareholder of ContourGlobal plc, ContourGlobal L.P., with a 71% stake, has made an irrevocable commitment to vote in favour of the deal.

Under the coordination of the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), a team of seven European R&D institutions have started the Horizon-2020 Research Project AMADEUS, aiming to the development of a new generation of ultra-compact energy storage devices based in molten silicon and solid state heat-to-power converters.

The storage of energy at temperatures higher than 1,000 °C using molten silicon-based alloys is the objective of the project AMADEUS , the first European project of the kind. The team of experts will seek for a new generation of extremely compact and lower cost energy storage devices, with potential application into different sectors.


Direct storage of solar energy in thermal solar power plants, or the integration of both electric power storage and cogeneration in the housing sector and urban areas, are just some examples of the potential applications of the devices to be developed by the Project. AMADEUS has been granted with the funding allocated for the Future Emerging Technologies (FET) Call of the European Horizon 2020 Programme, which constitutes an achievement in itself when considering that only 4 out of 100 proposals were granted in this call, one of the most competitive ones of the whole programme.

Counting on a total budget of 3.3 M€ for the next three years, AMADEUS (Next Generation Materials and Solid State Devices for Ultra High Temperature Energy Storage and Conversion) will search for new materials and devices allowing the energy storage at temperatures in a range among 1,000 and 2,000 °C , thus breaking the 600 °C mark, rarely exceeded by current state of the art concentrated solar power (CSP) systems.

To that end, the research team will work with different silicon and boron metal alloys melting at temperatures higher than 1,385 °C, and allowing for the storage of amounts in the range of 2-4 MJ/kg, an order of magnitude higher than to those of currently used salts.

In addition, the project will search for a material able to contain these molten metals over long periods, along with achieving a good thermal isolation. Devices able to achieve an efficient conversion of heat into electricity will also be studied.

To this development, the Project will work on a new concept combining thermionic and photovoltaic effects to achieve direct conversion of heat into electricity. Unlike conventional heat engines, this system does not require physical contact with the heat source, as it is based on direct emission of electrons (thermionic effect) and photons (thermo-photovoltaic effect), enabling an ultra high temperature operation.

Besides the capability of operation at high temperatures, these new devices would also lead to the simplification of the whole system as well as an important cost reduction. This is mainly because the use of the most expensive elements of the currently used systems, such as pipes, heat exchangers or heat transfer fluids, would be avoided.

The Project counts on seven partners from six European countries, with a high experience in the field of metallurgy, thermal isolation, fluid dynamics and solid state heat-to-power conversion. The research consortium, coordinated by Alejandro Datas and Antonio Martí, both from UPM , will count on the participation of the National Research Council (Italy), Foundry Research Institute (Poland), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), The Centre for Research & Technology, Hellas (Greece), University of Stuttgart (Germany) and IONVAC Process SRL (Italy).

Source: AMADEUS Project

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Solar thermal plants run at high temperatures for extended periods and over time heat transfer fluids will degrade through thermal cracking or oxidation or both. It is important that these processes are routinely monitored to ensure a plant continues to operate safely and efficiently. Laboratory analysis can be used to assess both the state of thermal cracking and oxidation. A model for assessing these is discussed in this article.

Reports indicate that the global heat transfer fluid (HTF) market will increase in value from $1,684 million in 2011 to $2,557 million in 2017. This demand is dependent on Europe which was reported to account for one-third of the global HTF demand and be driven by growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

There are a wide variety of HTFs with a wide range of uses including the production of energy, for example, in concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. The most commonly used solar HTF is the eutectic mixture of biphenyl and diphenyl oxide (e.g., Therminol VP-1, Globatherm Omnitech and Dowtherm A). The two most common types of thermal degradation are thermal cracking and oxidative stress. Thermal cracking comprises the breaking-up of larger hydrocarbon molecules into smaller molecules; oxidation is the gaining of oxygen. At high temperature, a HTF will degrade through thermal cracking or oxidation or both. During thermal cracking, carbon will accumulate and the flash point temperature will start to decline. During oxidation, carbon accumulates and the total acid number (TAN), an indicator of oxidative state, will start to increase. Read more…

Christopher Wright
Global Group of Companies

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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Masdar Institute researchers have successfully demonstrated that desert sand from the UAE could be used in concentrated solar power (CSP) facilities to store thermal energy up to 1,000°C. The research project called Sandstock has been seeking to develop a sustainable and low-cost gravity-fed solar receiver and storage system, using sand particles as the heat collector, heat transfer and thermal energy storage media.

Desert sand from the UAE can now be considered a possible thermal energy storage (TES) material. Its thermal stability, specific heat capacity, and tendency to agglomerate have been studied at high temperatures.

A research paper on the findings developed under the guidance of Dr. Nicolas Calvet, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, was presented by PhD student Miguel Diago at the 21st Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES 2015) Conference in South Africa. The paper was co-authored by alumni Alberto Crespo Iniesta, Dr. Thomas Delclos, Dr. Tariq Shamim, Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Masdar Institute, and Dr. Audrey Soum-Glaude (French National Center for Scientific Research PROMES CNRS Laboratory).

Replacing the typical heat storage materials used in TES systems — synthetic oil and molten salts — with inexpensive sand can increase plant efficiency due to the increased working temperature of the storage material and therefore reduce costs. A TES system based on such a local and natural material like sand also represents a new sustainable energy approach that is relevant for the economic development of Abu Dhabi’s future energy systems.

The analyses showed that it is possible to use desert sand as a TES material up to 800-1,000 °C. The sand chemical composition has been analyzed with the X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques, which reveal the dominance of quartz and carbonate materials. The sand’s radiant energy reflectiveness was also measured before and after a thermal cycle, as it may be possible to use the desert sand not only as a TES material but also as a direct solar absorber under concentrated solar flux.

Dr Nicolas Calvet said: “The availability of this material in desert environments such as the UAE allows for significant cost reductions in novel CSP plants, which may use it both as TES material and solar absorber. The success of the Sandstock project reflects that usability and practical benefits of the UAE desert sand.”

In parallel to sand characterization, a laboratory scale prototype was tested with a small solar furnace at the laboratory of PROMES CNRS 1 MW solar furnace in Odeillo, France. Masdar Institute alumnus Alberto Crespo Iniesta was in charge of the design, construction, and experiment.

The next step of the project is to test an improved prototype at the pre-commercial scale at the Masdar Institute Solar Platform (MISP) using the beam down concentrator, potentially in collaboration with an industrial partner.

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Morocco is poised to make history soon, once the first phase of one of the world’s largest CSP plants starts generating electricity. When fully operational, the Ouarzazate solar complex will produce enough energy for more than one million Moroccans, with a possible surplus to export to Europe. The complex will moreover reduce Morocco’s fossil fuel dependence by 2.5 million tonnes of oil. Located on the edge of the Sahara desert, some 7 km from the Moroccan city after which it is named, the Ouarzazate solar complex is putting Morocco on the map as a solar superpower.

The Ouarzazate complex comprising the Noor I, II and III plants, is being built and will be operated, as a public-private partnership. The private partner for the development of Noor I was selected through a competitive bidding process with the contract awarded in September 2012 to a consortium headed up by ACWA Power in which Spanish companies Sener Ingeriería y Sistemas, Acciona, TSK and Aries are taking part. The first three are EPC contractors while Aries acts as site engineer. Construction works started in summer 2013, and the plant will shortly enter into commercial operation. In January 2015 the result of the bidding process for phases II and III were announced, awarded to the consortium made up of ACWA Power and Sener.

The complex is made up of four plants, three of which are equipped with CSP technology and the fourth with PV technology. Noor I, (160 MWe) is equipped with SENERtrough® cylinder parabolic trough collectors. The 200 MWe Noor II however will be installed with second generation Sener collectors – the SENERtrough®-2 system. Lastly, the 150 MWe Noor III will use the configuration of a central tower with a salts receiver, a solution applied by Sener at the Gemasolar plant in Seville, and as such represents the natural evolution of this state-of-the-art facility. In every case, the plants incorporate a molten salts storage system that enables electricity to be produced when there is no solar irradiation. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY November 2015

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Schneider Electric and Saft win two projects from Langa Group for the installation of energy storage systems for two solar power plants in Corsica (France), awarded under the French public tender schemes – Commission de Régulation de l’Energie (CRE).

Langa’s new solar power plants will be based near Corte and Castifao, on the French island of Corsica. With a nominal solar power of 1 MWp and a storage capacity of 1 MWh, each plant will produce more than 1,300 MWh per year, in compliance with the CRE specifications.

Schneider Electric and Saft partnered to meet Langa’s requirements on those two projects. The consortium proposed a solution including the design, supply and installation of the equipment, management system, and the maintenance services.

The combination of photovoltaic power generation and a storage system optimizes the integration of variable solar energy into the island electric grid. Energy produced during day times when sun irradiance is at its best  can thus be stored in batteries, and redistributed in the evening, during peak times and after sunset. The two photovoltaic plants will generate enough energy to meet the electricity needs of more than 400 Corsican homes annually.

Leader of the consortium, Schneider Electric will implement its solutions dedicated to storage and solar energy: PVBox for solar power conversion, ESBox for battery power conversion, Energy Management System (EMS) for global equipment management and control of Saft batteries, project engineering and services to guarantee the system performance. Schneider Electric is also in charge of the interconnection between the various components of the plants, and with the electric distribution network. Schneider Electric developed and industrialized an offer for energy storage and its coupling with renewable energy production assets, and supports its customers projects with expert engineering and services teams.

For each project, Saft will deploy its energy storage solution Intensium® Max+ 20E. This integrated solution is fully developed and manufactured by Saft, and composed of a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery of around 1 MWh in a 20 foot container. The container also includes the thermal and safety management systems, as well as the operational battery management through a BMS (Battery Management System), the interface with the Schneider Electric control system. Saft supports its customers during their projects lifecycle, reaching from early optimization of storage system sizing to maintenance services once the installation is completed. The Langa project comes in a series of contracts won by Saft for Li-ion storage systems for island grids around the world.

« Energy storage systems are required for continued growth of renewable energies: they will allow to integrate energy production into the distribution grid in an optimized way. We were convinced by the solution proposed by Schneider Electric and Saft, two French leaders in their markets. Their expertise in solar energy and energy storage, their competitive offer, along with their local presence have been key in our choice » said Hervé Guérin, founder and CEO of Langa Group.

The contract was signed in June between Langa and the Schneider Electric – Saft consortium, and the two installations will be grid connected by the end of the year.