CORDIS - EU research results

Portable thermal fluid regeneration system for Solar Thermal Plants

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TRANSREGEN (Portable thermal fluid regeneration system for Solar Thermal Plants)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2015-08-31

The project focuses on the Concentrated Solar Power sector (CSP). A HTF (high temperature fluid) is a liquid used for heat transport and transfer in a solar thermal power plant. Nowadays, most of the power plants use synthetic oils as HTF that reach working temperatures up to 400ºC. However, high temperature cycles accelerate oil degradation and thus impurities appear. The appearance of impurities is a problem that affects the operation and the integrity of the current CSP power plants:
• Viscous impurities stick to the ducts and the heat exchange circuit obstructing the flow or causing cavitation that may cause several damages.
• Impurities reduce heat transfer efficiency due to fluid temperature drops and, therefore, affect the power production/storage of the plant.
• It is an obstacle for the development of the CSP technology that aims to reach higher power capacities through higher operating temperatures.
Therefore, an oil regeneration step has to be set in the CSP power generation process. Oil regeneration is a common operation in many industrial processes, however, there is no specific solution for CSP power plants that meets its efficiency and costs related needs without risking its profitability.
LOINTEK has developed its own high efficiency thermal oil regeneration technology, also designed for current CSP power plant configurations that would return a fluid purity up to 98% with minimum HTF loses. However, having knowledge as well of the existing constraints in the CSP industry related to increase C.I. and O&M costs of the plant, LOINTEK has taken its solution one step further by developing a compact & transportable high efficient thermal oil regeneration system, TRANSREGEN. The proposed solution is a “portable” thermal oil regeneration plant, integrated into a standard trailer driven by a truck. The portable feature will allow the CSP operator a new wide range of possibilities in the oil regeneration and waste management.
This report describes the results of the feasibility study for the commercialization of TRANSREGEN – Portable Thermal Fluid Regeneration System for Solar Thermal Plants.
The feasibility study has been carried out in a working group formed by the consultancy and the company:
Name Profile Name Profile
Gorka Artola Beobide Senior consultant Miguel Ángel Ezurra Amo Energy Division Director
Ángel Picardo Ausín Senior consultant Josu Iñaki Abellanal Urquijo Boiler Division Director
Francisco Javier Quintela Pandelo Project Engineer
David Veiga López Project Engineer
Five face-to-face meetings have been carried out with specific themes:
1. Feasibility study launch – March 2015
2. Market -
3. Business model and value proposal
4. Forecasts and actuation plan
5. Results validation
The main results of the feasibility study achieved are:
1. Target market segments have been identified taking into account the HTF related features of each CSP technology and the current & forthcoming CSP market scenario. - Parabolic Through Technology power plants.
- 1º deployment towards 50MWe power plants.
- 2º deployment towards bigger power capacities.
2. Priority market segment’s structure has been analysed studying current available alternatives for the CSP operators; in the market or in development.
3. Geographically, TRANSREGEN’s market has a worldwide scope. However, the first commercial deployment will be focused on EU and Spain due to the relevant operating 50 MWe PT CSP power plant park.
4. Market segment targets have been analysed: Main CSP Operators have been identified.
5. TRASNGREGEN technical advantages for the priority segments have been analysed: - High efficient thermal oil regeneration.
- Portable feature.
6. Potential business model have been determined. According to the results of the analysis, the initial business models were: - Production and sale.
- Licensing. Discarded in the initial analysis.
- Service on plant. Discarded in chapter 4.
7. TRANSREGEN proposal value has been analysed: taking into account HTF regeneration efficiency improvement, and portability and ‘by pass’ features, and also the current CSP market and overall high pressure equipment market prices:
- 98% HTF regeneration efficiency.
- Avoid ‘degradation’ factor in power generation strategies. - Enables “By pass” operation.
- Centralized oil-waste management.
- Price range: M€ 1,2 ~ 1,5
8. A business forecast analysis has been carried out. Sales scenario has been established and investment & production costs have been determined. Finally, 12-year business forecast has been determined.
9. An action plan has been established to mark TRANSREGEN’s market introduction stages, based on three areas:
- Pilot project & demonstration.
- Partnership scheme
- Organisation development
As a result of the feasibility study, it can be concluded that the business related to the TRANSREGEN commercialization is feasible. Business related previous unknowns have been cleared and the path to reach commercialization stage has been marked.
The business will focus on the Parabolic Through Technology power plant segment; the commercial deployment of TRANSREGEN will be carried out in 2 stages in order to guarantee its economic sustainability: first, the 50 MWe power capacity segment, which is currently the largest CSP production segment. Further commercial deployment will scope wider power capacity ranges as CSP technology evolves as expected.
The key step to overcome for the business to come true is the ‘pilot project’ that will demonstrate the technology to the CSP operating sector, thus, enabling them to get over the ‘traditional fears’ of this sector and provide LOINTEK with the desired prescriptions.
Funding support of SME Instrument will be a key aspect to maximise the impact of the TRANSREGEN advantages and minimize the ‘time to market’. Thanks to the SME Instrument support, the ‘pilot project’ development and dissemination of results will be quicker
and the access to the CSP operators will be easier, due to the relevance of the program at European scale.
Publishable TRANSREGEN image