Develop a novel power plant concept combining CSP with CAES,  offering energy storage to the power grid 

This power plant will provide a highly competitive LCOE/LCOS and optimise the integration of dispatchable, renewable energy storage systems into the decarbonised grid of the future. It will be characterised by two main KPIs: 

  • Conversion efficiency: due to the combination of CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) and CAES (Compressed Air Energy Storage), the peak solar-to-electric energy conversion efficiency is doubled (>40%) as compared to the state-of-the-art technology (~20%) 
  • Round-trip efficiency of electrical energy storage (RTE): very competitive RTE >60%, at very low LCOS (levelised cost of storage) of <10-15 c€/kWh 
  • Development of optimised overall concept for a wide range of nominal power (covering scale from 1 up to 150 MWe) 
    • 11 virtual use case locations around the world 
  • Validation of the novel CSP-CAES plant operation at an already existing research prototype installed at CIEMAT-PSA in the south of Spain (CAPTure prototype) 
  • Minor adaptation of the CAPTure prototype:
    • modification of the receiver  
    • addition of an air compressor, an artificial compressed air storage vessel, and additional piping and valves
  • Development of a novel high-efficiency (>85%) and cost-effective receiver concept based on volumetric absorbers 
    • 480 kWth solar receiver prototype demonstrated in relevant environment for at least 6 months of operation (TRL 6-7)
  • Development of a fast, dynamic, accurate, and adaptive AI-based heliostat field/solar flux control and monitoring system 
    • Demonstration of the advanced flux control and monitoring system
    • Demonstration of innovative fibre optic sensor for improved flux and temperature monitoring (TRL 6-7) 

Develop a tailored power cycle for CSP  

(high performance and low specific cost in the desired power classes – small- and large-scale) 

This power cycle will be adapted for enhanced storage efficiency and flexible operation – easy and quick start-up, shut-down and load variations. 

  • Design of the optimised power cycle architecture for a wide range of nominal power 
  • Design of optimised heat exchangers for the charging and discharging of the CAES 
  • Tailored turbo-machinery designs for the specific application 

Develop a new operating strategy and business model for the CSP-CAES concept

The project will prove its advantages over competing electricity storage technologies, namely pumped hydro-energy storage (PHS), Diabatic Compressed Air Energy Storage (D-CAES), Electrochemical storage (battery technology), and Power-to-Heat-to-Power (P2H2P – Joule Heating Effect).

  • Optimised power plant operating strategy and business model for 11 virtual use cases around the world. 
    • The use cases will be available online on the project website with interactive simulation functionality 

Leverage synergies with the H2020 CAPTure project

Optimally reuse the completed H2020 project CAPTure, by extending and adapting the existing research prototype with the addition of the CAES module, enabling the validation of the most relevant components and their experimental operation:

  • Solar receiver
  • High-temperature heat exchanger
  • Three-stage compressed air expander

Extended research prototype and demonstration in the relevant environment at TRL 6-7 for at least 500 hours of operation.