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A Photovoltaic Plant with thermal co-generation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SPIRE (A Photovoltaic Plant with thermal co-generation)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2019-07-31

World energy systems are shifting towards clean energy but renewable energies still need to adapt their technologies to be real alternatives to current fossil fuel based systems. The main barrier of renewables energies to thrive is the difficulty to plan the energy needs to cover demand peaks. This entails a problem because the energy has to be generated at the same time that is demanded. One solution for the supply-demand balance is energy storage as it brings the possibility to supply at the right time without having to depend on weather conditions. To mitigate the dependence on climatic conditions renewable energies must be capable to store energy, whether it is thermal or electrical energy (thermal energy is easier and more economical to store).

On the other hand, Industrial process heat accounts for more than two-thirds of total energy consumption in industry. Most of the heat comes from oil and gas, but the industry is looking for more clean and efficient sources, and the sun can offer a solution cleaner and more cost effective.

Capsun Technologies has developed BlueSolar Technology, a new solar plant concept based on a Photovoltaic Plant (PV) with thermal cogeneration. The plant generates electrical and thermal energy simultaneously. The main idea behind BlueSolar 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). BlueSolar 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.

Energy storage and Solar for Industrial Process Heat are the main issues to be solved by using BlueSolar Technology.

Energy storage is mandatory for the society because the generation of electric energy is covered in real time since it can not be easily stored in large quantities. Renewable energies are intermintent, they do not guarantee a continuos supply. The entire system has to be sized to cover this demands being fossil fuels the current sources of energy of Wind or Solar, increasing the price and increasing the carbon footprint. The energy transition is a pathway towards transformation of the global sector from fossil-based to zero carbon by second half of this century. This is not possible if energy storage problem is not solved.

Concretely, BlueSolar technology provides the most economical solution for Energy Storage and SHIP between all renewables and fossil technologies.
Description of work carried out:
• TASK1. TECHNICAL ANALYSIS (M1 to M5): In this task CAPSUN technology has been working with potential customers (test pilots) and has developed technical and functional specification for pilot projects according to client´s needs will be created. Relevant specifications and proposals for customers such as DEWA, ACWA POWER, ENEL, REPSOL or Cementos Molins have been developed.
• TASK2. COMPETITORS ANALYSIS (M1 to M4): Current solutions of competitors, in terms of pricing and functional and technical specifications have been studied. In particular, we have addressed the energy storage market and Solar Heat For Industrial Processes, concretely desalination and Enhanced Oil Recovery competitors
TASK3. MARKET ANALYSIS (M1 to M5): The potential market have been developed, addresing two main markets: Energy Storage and Solar for Industrial Process Heat (SHIP): Size, Segmentation and Growth for both markets have been studied.
• TASK4. PARTNER ANALYSIS (M1 to M5): Potential partners required for CAPSUN have been analysed, and concretely a special partnership with a major Engineering Company called Ghenova Ingeniería have been closed, in order to include engineering services under the scope of the technology.
• TASK5. PRODUCT EVOLUTION AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ANALYSIS (M3 to M5): In this task CAPSUN have worked closely with two IP firms, ECIJA and CASAS ASIN. Two patentes have been released and IP protection is being carried out following the procedures of our advisors. Currently the patent for the filter technology has been published. It recognizes Novelty and Inventive Activity in the 5 initial and main claims, which is a very good result and patentabily is guaranteed.
TASK6. FINANCIAL ANALYSIS (M4 to M5): a complete financial analysis has been done as it is shown in technical report.
TASK7. Stragety ANALISYS (M3 to M5): The strategy plan includes a Road Map and a SWOT with all the risks and mitigation plans.
TASK8. FEASIBILITY STUDY AND BUSINESS PLAN (M5 to M6): A formal documento elaborated between CAPSUN in collaboration with BDO (as was expected when requested the grant) has been developed. It includes all the topics for a complete Business Plan.

The results of this Feasibilty Study are really good. The complete Business Plan shows a profitable company, with a great added value with regards its competitor, a billion dollar market which is growing fast, and a good IP protection with the advantange of addressing two different markets where the competitors are now far. BlueSolar could generate electricity stored much more competitive than fossil fuels or batteries and can generate heat for Industrial Processes much cheaper than gas, diesel or other solar solutions.
BlueSolar is the first renewable technology which is able to produce dispatchable electricity (at least 4 hours of storage at nominal capacity) under fossil fuel prices. At the same time, it is the first technology to produce dispatchable heat for Industrial Processes more competitive than natural gas due to the cogeneration of the Photovoltaic panels.

The thermal energy cogenerated by the solar panels 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. BlueSolar 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, BlueSolar beats all: no energy dumping, less land footprint per installed power, more competitive prices than PV + batteries duplicating batteries lifecycle, 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.

From the society point of view, BlueSolar technology provides the most economical solution to face three of the most important challenges the world will have to face in the following years: Renewable energy storage, water desalination and carbon footprint reduction in industrial processes.
BlueSolar technology