This week’s CSP Today news brief includes the following companies and organisations: US Department of Energy, University of California–Los Angeles
Yale University, University of California–Berkeley University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Georgia Tech; University of Colorado; Torresol Energy, Honeywell; Protermosolar.
US university teams to develop new heat transfer fluids
The US Department of Energy has confirmed new investments totaling $10 million over five years for two university-led projects to advance promising CSP system technologies, as part of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative.
Two university teams were selected to develop new heat transfer fluids:
The selected projects are working to develop heat transfer fluids that can operate at temperatures up to 2,350 degrees Fahrenheit, while simultaneously maintaining high levels of performance.
DOE announces new research projects
The University of Colorado is to use tools at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to research high-temperature inexpensive materials for CSP technologies.
The development emerged as the US Department of Energy unveiled five new research projects as part of its plans to lower the cost of photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies. These investments will enable collaborative research teams from industry, universities, and national laboratories to work together at the Department’s Scientific User Facilities.
The proposed award amount for the University of Colorado’s project is $450,000. The team will develop a model to examine the use of solid particles as a high-temperature, inexpensive heat-transfer material in concentrating CSP plants.
This project is part of two that have been chosen to establish research partnerships and carry out research using existing tools at Energy Department Scientific User Facilities. The other project features Berkeley, California-based PLANT PV. It will partner with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Molecular Foundry to develop 3D mapping tools for higher performing thin film solar material.
Torresol to boost performance of its plants
CSP specialist Torresol Energy is gearing up to further optimise the performance of three of its thermo solar power plants in Spain.
Torresol has chosen Honeywell’s UniSim Operator Training Simulator (OTS) and business support planning tools for this move. With these tools, Torresol intends to create a model for operational performance of thermo solar power plants. The company, a venture set up by Spanish engineering and technology group Sener and Abu Dhabi-based alternative energy provider Masdar, is also going to train the plants operators and engineers regarding how to respond to a range of potential plant incidents. The objective is to identify, document and track changes to operational procedures and capture operator experience and best-practices as part of a sustainable operator competency plan.
The three plants are: the 19.9 MW Gemasolar plant, located near Seville that started commercial operation in May last year, and plants one and two of the 2x50 MW Valle facility located in San José del Valle, near Cadiz that started commercial operation in January this year.
CSP reaches a new milestone in Spain
Solar thermal plants currently operational in Spain recently achieved a new milestone. The 35 fully operational Spanish CSP plants accounted for 3.23% of the country’s total electricity demand on July 15. This percentage is a new record, according to the nation’s CSP industry association Protermosolar.
It also emerged that on July 11, another unprecedented recorded was set at 5.00 pm when the plants supplied 4.1% of national demand.
As per the information available, Spain’s solar thermal power plants combined account for 72.85% of the planet’s entire installed capacity, with a combined power output of 1,581 MW. Spanish firms have ownership interests in over 60% of the solar thermal power plants in construction as of today.