DISTORProject reference: 503526
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Energy Storage for Direct Steam Solar Power Plants (DISTOR)
Total cost:EUR 3 936 650
EU contribution:EUR 2 228 917
Call for proposal:FP6-2002-ENERGY-1
Funding scheme:STREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
Solar thermal power plants represent today's most economic systems to generate electricity from solar insulation in them-range in regions like the Mediterranean area. By demonstrating the feasibility of direct steam generation in the absorber pipes European industry and research institutions have gained a leading position in this technology area. A key element foray successful market penetration is the availability of storage systems to reduce the dependence on the course of solarinsolation. The most important benefits result from -reduced internal costs due to increased efficiency and extended utilisation of the power block-facilitating the integration of a solar power plant into an electrical grid-adoption of electricity production to the demand thus increasing revenues Efficient storage systems for steam power plants demand transfer of energy during the charging/discharging process at constant temperatures. The DISTOR project focuses on the development of systems using phase change materials (PCM) as storage media. In order to accelerate the development, the DISTOR project is based on parallel research on three different storage concepts. These concepts include innovative aspects like encapsulated PCM, evaporation heat transfer and new design concepts. This parallel approach takes advantage of synergy effects and will enable the identification of the most promising storage concept. A consortium covering the various aspects of design and manufacturing has been formed from manufacturers, engineering companies and research institutions experienced in solar thermal power plants and PCM technology. The project will provide advanced storage material based on PCM for the temperature range of 200-300°C adapted to the needs of Direct Steam generation thus expanding Europe's strong position in solar thermal power plants.