The objective of this project is the development and demonstration of a novel high temperature solar process for electricity production. The novel process comprises solar upgrading of hydrocarbons by steam reforming in solar specific receiver reactors and utilization of the upgraded fuel in high efficient conversion systems as gas turbines (GT) or fuel cells (FC). This process can be used in small scale as a stand alone system for off-grid markets as well as in large scale to be operated in connection with conventional Combined-Cycle plants. The solar reforming process has an intrinsic potential for solar/fossil hybrid operation as well as a capability of solar energy storage.
The experimental solar test facility of the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) will be modified and adjusted to the new type of operation and new equipment will be designed, purchased and installed. The volumetric receiver-reactor (VRR) developed during the last decade to operate in a closed loop for CO2 reforming of methane will be modified and adjusted to work with steam and different hydrocarbon feeds. The main changes are the catalytic system as well as the higher operation pressure and temperature of the VRR. The most suitable GT will be purchased, modified and connected with the solar reforming system. This integration includes a dual fuel operation, combustion chamber interfacing with the products and combination of its control to the solar system. After completion the system consists of the solar field, the modified loop, the improved VRR and a modified GT and will be operated in the pilot power range of 300 kWel at the solar test facility WIS. The electricity produced will be delivered to the grid of WIS. The hardware part is supported and completed by studies to enable commercialization of the new solar system and to identify the potential of fuel cell integration.
EXPECTED ACHIEVEMENTS AND EXPLOITATION
Major technical innovations include:
- modification of a suitable GT to work with both
- synthesis-gas and fossil fuel - thus ensuring smooth and steady power supply regardless to the intermittent nature of solar energy,
- adjustment of the GT control and operation scheme to operate in solar and fossil mode,
- further development of the VRR with it's solar specific components quartz window and catalytically active absorber to bear higher pressures and temperatures and to operate with LPG,
- control and operation of the complete solar reforming process.
The novel solar assisted fuel driven power system, developed here, has not been in the market before. As soon as the system reach operating conditions that satisfy to the consortium, it will start with commercialization of a small scale system. The consortium has strong interest to include utilities, gas companies and local industry as early as possible in exploitation and dissemination.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1000 AJ Amsterdam