NEXT-CSP pilot solar loop will be ready soon, using 800°C particles as heat transfer and storage medium

CSTA reports, on May 21 and 22, 2019 NEXT-CSP 5TH PROJECT MEETING was held in Font-Romeu, at the CNRS solar furnace. During the meeting, partners have presented the work they have carried out so far and discussed with the entire consortium the next actions to be implemented before the end of the project. 
The Next-CSP project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727762. The main objective of the Next-CSP project is to improve the reliability and performance of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants through the development and integration of a new technology based on the use of high temperature (800°C) particles as heat transfer fluid and storage medium. To achieve this objective, the project will demonstrate the technology in a relevant environment (TRL5) and at a significant size (4 MWth).
The proposed fluidized particle-in-tube concept is a breakthrough innovation that opens the route to the development of a new generation of CSP plants allowing high efficiency new cycles (50% and more) and 20% improvement of CSP plant efficiency. A 4-MWth tubular solar receiver able to heat particles up to 800°C will be constructed and tested as well as the rest of the loop: a two-tank particle heat storage and a particle-to-pressurized air heat exchanger coupled to a 1.2 MWel gas turbine.
The project period is from Oct. 1, 2016 to Sep. 31, 2020, and has 9 parties from 5 countries and 10 work packages:
WP1: Assessment of particle suspension as heat transfer fluid and storage material
WP2: Assessment of solar fields for high temperature solar power tower
WP3: Detailed design of the 4 MWth high temperature solar loop and of the heat conversion loop
WP4: Construction and commissioning of the complete solar and heat conversion loops at Themis solar tower
WP5: Testing of the complete high temperature solar and heat conversion loops including a gas turbine
WP6: Assessment of the highly efficient thermodynamic cycles that can be combined with the high temperature solar loop
WP7: Scale-up to a 150 MW solar power plant – Preliminary design, risk analysis, cost and value assessment
WP8: Environmental assessment of the technology
WP9: Communication, dissemination and exploitation
WP10: Project Management
The project presents a novel power block concept for flexible electricity dispatch in a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant. The power block is based on intercooled-unfired regenerative closed air Brayton cycle that is connected to a pressurized solar air receiver. The Closed Brayton cycle uses a mass flow regulation system centered on the pressure regulation (auxiliary compressor and bleed valve) in order to control the Turbine Inlet Temperature (TIT). Doing so, the system is able to modulate turbine electricity production according to variations in the solar resource and changes in power electric demand.
The assembly of the Next-CSP pilot solar loop at the Themis solar tower started end of April 2019. Here are the pictures of the assembly of the pilot solar loop at the Themis solar tower.
Lifting of the particle dispenser atop the Themis solar tower
The dispenser arrives at the high level floor
The dispenser is placed behind the main door facing the solar  field
Download: Application-Form-of-Speech-on-CSTA-2019-China-CSP-Conference

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