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

Periodic Reporting for period 4 - IN-POWER (Advanced Materials technologies to QUADRUPLE the Concentrated Solar Thermal current POWER GENERATION)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2021-06-30

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 technical and economical KPI were achieved by the consortium.
The new multicoated polymeric mirror was designed, upscaled, manufactured and installed in a pilot plant. NEMATIA worked on mirror design, and tools for its fabrication. GEOCAD work on full injection process of substrate and protective coating. KOLZER developed tools for reflective process deposition for high reflective KPI looking to reduce high cots reflective metal. VOTTELER and LEITAT worked together in developing an optimal combination of antisoiling and protective coating. A portfolio of different multicoated mirror was achieved, that were exposed in accelerated and natural aging conditions carried out by LEITAT and TEKNIKER. All fully coated mirrors kept their performance after these tests, including in exposition in extreme conditions. Upscaled mirrors were installed in Linear Fresnel pilot loop under real operation conditions in MAGTEL’s site. Reduction in CAPEX and higher environmental profile were calculated. The results are patented, and different path of exploitation are opened. In parallel, LEITAT developed a new antisoiling for mild environmental conditions for glassy PV modules which was under evaluation in a PV loop on MAGTEL’s site. The results were communicated in workshop with stakeholders.
TEKNIKER developed the optimal multilayer configurations for absorber coatings. Stacks of layers comprising IR reflecting mirror, absorber and antireflective layer were defined, modelled, characterized and tested. Values of absorbance accomplished the expected target and an impressive reduction in emissivity was achieved. Several types of absorber coatings were developed, for evacuated tubes operating at high and medium temperature regime; and totally innovative absorber coating for air operation and high temperature. The developed tubes were tested in two pilot plants, Parabolic Through collector and LF loop in ENEA and MAGTEL respectively. The results accomplished the expected KPIs, and patent is in progress.
The new TES materials and systems were developed and modelled. FERTIBERIA worked on a new formulation of eutectic mixtures, achieving targeted KPIs. CEA worked on low-cost processes for encapsulated phase change materials avoiding corrosion. Those materials were tested in ENEA and CEA achieving expected performance. Using the properties of the new materials, CEA and ENEA developed and validated a modelling procedure bringing a portfolio of TES systems. The results were disseminated in scientific publications and open online public webinar; and communicate in workshop with stakeholders. Patents about those results are already in progress and new ways of exploitation are under execution.
A lightweight composite-based component, selected by LEITAT and MAGTEL, were defined, commissioned, and installed in a PV loop in MAGTEL’s site for validating the behavior of this component in a solar field. The results indicate a very assured performance for future solar fields. An open day for student allows them to visit the pilot plant and explain the future in CSP technology.
Finally, for estimated annual energy production (AEP), a modelling of PTC has been done showing better performance, and an open model for LCOE calculus estimates a reduction in according to IN POWER economic KPIs. CAPEX reduction has been achieved in all the components, and higher AEP is predicted with them.
IN-POWER mirror achieves the expected KPIS going beyond the SoA. It is the first time that non-glassy mirrors are integrated in a pilot plant showing this new option for future solar field. Different protocols for testing and validation in real operation regime were developed, evaluating correlation between different geographical sites and weather useful for lifetime and cost estimation of all developments.
High performance advanced absorber coatings achieve the KPI’s absorbance and emissivity values. 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. A protocol dedicated for lifetime estimation is proposed for potential new standards.
Tons of eutectic mixture were developed with high thermal capacity allows reducing the volume need for same thermal energy capacity. A portfolio of TES systems with modelled performance, good environmental profile, and flexible cost (depends on configuration) is a result of a right combination of materials and processes.
Other solutions such as light weight composite-based structure is applied, for first time, for solar field showing high mechanical performance.
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IN-POWER Lineal Fresnel Pilot plant at MAGTEL, Seville