Motivation & Impact
HYBRIDplus aims at improving the energy efficiency and flexibility of the next generation of hybrid CSP-PV plant in a cost-efficient manner.
The thermal energy storage (TES) is a key component of CSP plants, ensuring flexibility and power dispatchability. TES, however, represents an important cost source in traditional CSP plants, accounting for about 12-17 % of the CAPEX, figures comparable with the cost of the whole steam power cycle.
Therefore, to ensure more cost competitive CSP designs a cost reduction and efficiency enhancement of the TES unit are deemed. The EU in its CSP Integrated SET Plan has fixed an LCoE goal of less than 100 €/MWh by 2025 for a typical southern EU location with good solar conditions. To achieve this goal, a minimum TES specific cost reduction of more than 30 % is necessary. This cost reduction would reflect in savings between 7 and 12.5 M€ for a typical 100 MW CSP plant.
HYBRIDplus partners’ US and UDL have identified the use of recycled metal wool as one the best technical option to increase the thermal conductivity with a low cost. Additionally, the use of PCM cascade concept has been highlighted as potential low cost and high energy TES systems.The cascade design is expected to significantly reduces solar salt inventory (by 50% or more) and in many cases also reduces the tank size versus the hot salt tank of the 2-tank system and the use of PCM further increase the energy density and reduce the tank total volume. Therefore, this configuration potentially reaches lower capital costs than a two tanks molten salt configuration.
Impacts: HYBRIDplus improved technology will lead to higher-efficiency CSP plants with an mproved environmental profile and reduced the levelized cost of electricity of future CSP plant encouraging the deployment of additional renewable plant of that kind and increasing the share of renewable energy in EU.
Role of R2M