The main idea behind SPIRE project is simple: the typical mirrors of CSP-Tower plants are substituted by PV panels with an integrated optical filter that spectrally splits the solar radiation. The filter lets the radiation used efficiently by PV panel go through (mainly visible light) while reflects 40% of the energy (mainly blue light and infrared). SPIRE has no loses compared to a 1 axis PV Plant, and converts into thermal energy (using a Tower-CSP-TES system) the heat that today overheats PV cells.
The thermal energy generated can then be used for several applications. Main and most immediate is the use of thermal energy storage (TES) as reliable and cost effective alternative to batteries for PV Plants. But many other uses of this smart combination of electricity and heat can be addressed: desalination, industrial process heat, agriculture, city heating/cooling, etc. SPIRE is completely zero CO2 emissions, suitable for off-grid solutions, no need of fuel supply, scalable and adaptable to some other technologies. SPIRE customized filter designs can be adapted to every location, particular light spectrum and dedicated applications and operation modes.
Moving to performance and economical parameters, SPIRE beats all: better utilization of solar spectrum which leads to higher plan efficiencies, better operational performance of the solar field (no dumped energy due to overloading of TES+turbine capacity, utilization of diffuse radiation increasing the solar resource), less land footprint per installed power, more competitive prices than PV + batteries, bankable solution for 25-30 years of expected lifetime of the power plant , no degradation as silver mirrors (filters are made of inorganic oxides), less attenuation than current CSP towers, scalable with no need of billionaire investments to get good solar dispatchable energy prices, economic-quick start turbine that allows quick response to power shortage due to clouds, etc.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectrical engineeringelectric energy
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsrenewable energy
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectrical engineeringpower engineeringelectric power generationcombined heat and power
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringenergy and fuelsfossil energynatural gas
- engineering and technologychemical engineeringseparation technologiesdesalination
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