The objectives of this project are :
1. Experimental investigation of the Direct Steam Generation (DSG) process under real solar conditions, using the test facility implemented at the PSA during DISS-phase I (contract JOR3-CT95-0058). The three DSG processes (i.e.
Once-through, Re-circulation and Injection) will be experimentally studied to determine the operational limits, temperature gradients and process controllability under real working conditions. Test results gathered at the PSA would be evaluated and thermo-hydraulic aspects of the DSG process will be investigated.
2. Definition of the more promising concepts for a DSG commercial power plant.
Integration of a DSG process into both Combined Cycle and SEGS-like plants will be studied and different options will be compared to find the best one.
3. Development and testing of improved components for parabolic trough collectors. Reinforced mirrors for parabolic trough collectors will be developed and tested. Also a prototype of absorber pipe with secondary concentrator will be manufactured and tested.
4. The need of a second row of collectors at the PSA DISS test facility will be analyzed from both technical and commercial standpoints. Cost-based analysis will be considered also.
The three DSG processes have shown a high potential to reduce the cost of the electricity generated with parabolic trough collectors; however, there are still a number of technical questions to be fully investigated making use of the life-size test facility implemented at the PSA during DISS-phase I.
Experimental data gathered during the tests will be used to validate the simulation results obtained with the computer programs available. Start-up and shutdown procedures for a solar power plant with DSG will be defined and experimentally evaluated at the PSA in order to define the best procedures for a commercial plant. The knowledge to be acquired in the project will be then applied to define the configuration of a first commercial plant with DSG.
In parallel with the DSG tests at the PSA, improved components for parabolic trough collectors will be developed. So, mirrors reinforced to withstand high wind loads and secondary concentrators for absorber pipes will be manufactured and evaluated under solar conditions.
Expected achievements and exploitation
The three DSG processes will be experimentally compared and their advantages and disadvantages to be implemented at a commercial solar power plant will be evaluated. Experimental study of operational characteristics will allow definition of operation strategies for a commercial DSG plant, thus leading to the choice of a proper system configuration for a demonstration plant.
Development of improved components for parabolic trough collectors will reduce the price of the electricity produced with this type of solar collectors, for both HTF (Heat Transfer Fluid) or DSG technology.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts