SOLAR CONCENTRATING SYSTEMS UNIT

Soluciones termosolares para integración en procesos industriales (SOLTERMIN)


Participants: CIEMAT-PSA
Funding: Spanish Ministriy of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (Programa RETOS. Convocatoria 2017)
Reference: ENE2017-83973-R
Duration: January 2018 – December 2021

Background:

Concentrating thermal solar energy’s development and commercial implantation have experienced a dramatic growth in the last few years. Currently there are more than 5 GWe installed worldwide in order to generate electricity.
However, this commercial display has not increased the thermal solar energy’s contribution to the industry, which is a huge potential market. According to a report published in 2015 by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energies Agency (IRENA), 2030 will have the technical potential to provide with around 4.17 million GWh of energy with thermal solar systems.
World widely, more than a 66% of the total energy consumption in industry is used in heating processes, and a 50% of this energy consumption is carried out under 400ºC. There are some application areas such as food, textile, machinery and paper where the needed temperatures are under 250ºC and, therefore, it seems interesting to consider using linear concentrating solar technologies adapted to each ones energetic/economic needs and with a suitable performance/cost relationship. There are also other interesting industrial sectors, such as metallurgy and ceramic industries, which require temperatures higher than 400ºC, where high concentrating solar systems can also be used.    
These needs have motivated this research project that includes activities related with the optimised development of concentrating solar compact systems and the solar receiver’s development, and the integration of complete systems in individual industrial processes, which constitute case studies we have taken into consideration.
Aims:
This project’s main goals are to contribute to the development of compact and optimised solutions for concentrating thermal solar energy technologies’ that may be suitable for heating supply in industrial processes.
The project’s specific goals are the following:

  • Design and development of a Fresnell linear compact collector prototype suitable for being used when applying small and medium power process heat.
  • Studying the integration of Fresnell linear compact collectors in industry: a) in a food/drink industrial heat process and, b) in a multi-effect distillation with thermal vapour compression
  • Developing two innovative heliostat solutions for central receiver systems in a multi-tower concept and studying the design of volumetric receiver innovations.
  • Studying a mini-tower system integrated in a cogeneration plant by coupling a Brayton cycle and taking advantage of the waste heat to feed a multi-effect distillation plant.