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Advanced Materials technologies to QUADRUPLE the Concentrated Solar Thermal current POWER GENERATION

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - IN-POWER (Advanced Materials technologies to QUADRUPLE the Concentrated Solar Thermal current POWER GENERATION)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2020-12-31

International studies indicate that 50% of CAPEX goes to solar and thermal conversion fields and OPEX represents around 20% of total costs. IN-POWER takes these hypotheses as a baseline of its research, focusing on reducing these costs, improving at same time the annual energy production of the CSP technologies. IN-POWER aims at developing and integrating new innovative material consisting of: 1.High reflectance, tailored shapes, self-healing and anti-soiling coated, light glass-free smart mirrors. 2.Optimized and lighter mirror support structure. 3.High-operational-temperature absorber coating in new vacuum-free-designed lineal receiver. 4.Novel modular solar field architecture and design achievable by these new components. Having the identical low associated environmental impact, this promising technology is expected to decrease the land use by four-time. 5.High-operating-temperature thermal storage materials (TES) that will guarantee up to three-time increase in thermal capacity respect to standard TES, depending on Heat Transfer Fluid, also leading to the reduction of thermal storage system size. 6.Validating these novel functional materials and new manufacturing processes and will guarantee decrease in Levelised Cost of Electricity below 0.10 €/KWh beyond 2020 by validating these technologies in Lineal Fresnel Collector and Parabolic through Collector pilot plants under 2100-2700 kWh/(m²a).
The new multicoated polymeric mirror has been designed, upscaled, manufactured and installed in a pilot plant. NEMATIA has worked on mirror design, and tools for its fabrication. GEOCAD has taken these designs and prepared the tools and moulds for the injection of polymeric substrate. KOLZER has developed tools for coating the mirrors with suitable homogeneity for high reflective KPI. VOTTELER and LEITAT have worked in upgrading its self-healing coating increasing antisoiling properties. TEKNIKER and LEITAT have made full characterization to collaborate in the selection of optimized mirrors for scale-up. Now more than 800 mirrors are under evaluation in real operation conditions in MAGTEL’s Lineal Fresnel (LFC) pilot plant. In parallel, LEITAT has developed a new antisoiling for mild environmental conditions for glassy PV modules which are under evaluation in a PV loop on MAGTEL’s site.

TEKNIKER has developed the optimal multilayer configurations for absorber coatings. Stacks of layers comprising IR reflecting mirror, absorber and antireflective layer have been defined, and different combinations of these materials have been studied. Values of absorbance accomplished the expected target and an impressive reduction in emissivity is achieved. Three types of absorber coatings have been developed, two for evacuated tubes operating at high and medium temperature regime. A new absorber coating for air operation and high temperature is in progress. In the first two cases, TEKNIKER has manufactured dozens of evacuated tubes which will be integrated in facilities of PTC and LFC pilots in ENEA and MAGTEL respectively.

The new TES materials and systems are developed and modelled. FERTIBERIA has worked on a new formulation of eutectic mixtures, ternary and quartenary formulations, achieving targeted KPIs. CEA has worked on encapsulated phase change materials that can be combined with eutectic mixture in a thermocline design. Using the properties of the new materials, CEA has developed a modelling procedure that validated and a portfolio of TES systems has been modelled.
A lightweight composite, selected by LEITAT and MAGTEL, has been defined, commissioned and installed in a PV loop in MAGTEL’s site for validating the behaviour of this component in a solar field. In order to improve the cost of the solar field; new mirror and absorber, developed in IN-POWER, has been used for modelling standard PTC among the real validation in planar LFC pilot. The potential of different geometries easier to achieve with polymeric mirrors allow to make improvement in PTC increasing the performance or at least have the same performance but with a relevant reduced cost (CAPEX & OPEX). The results of such modelling, done by LEITAT, show that IN-POWER materials are totally suitable for high performed PTC.
Nowadays, all IN-POWER materials are under testing and validation phase, in order to determine their lifetime and performance. For this, pilot in MAGTEL, CEA and ENEA; and outdoor platforms of LEITAT (in Chile, too) are used for these activities. Finally, LCOE model is in progress. CAPEX from materials and component have been estimated and now, OPEX is under evaluation.
IN-POWER mirror activities achieve a 30% of weight reduction (compared with glassy mirror), a reflectivity close to expected KPI. The consortium manufacture 0,50x0,25m mirrors and this is the first time that more than 800 polymeric mirrors are operating in real conditions in validation phase activities. The reduced CAPEX, the lightweight, self-repaired property with highly reduced dust deposition, and the great potential of play with the geometry make the INPOWER mirror a relevant solution for CSP.

High performance advanced cermet absorber coatings achieve the KPI’s absorbance and emissivity values. In the last case, the impressive low value of emissivity allows reducing the thermal losses increasing annual energy production. Among this, it is the first time that an absorber coating is developed for non-evacuated tubes, that could be a solution to reduce cost or increase lifetime of current tubes.
Tons of eutectic mixture have been developed and now under validation for thermal storage systems. The thermal capacity allows reducing the volume need for same thermal energy capacity. Modelling of the two tanks and one tank thermal systems, in combination with low cost PCM and new eutectic mixture give a portfolio of solutions to CSP sector.
Different protocols for testing and validation in real operation regime have been developed and the final results and correlation with previous accelerated testing will be useful for lifetime and cost estimation of all developments.
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IN-POWER Lineal Fresnel Pilot plant at MAGTEL, Seville