Parabolic trough collectors of the DISS-test facility for direct steam generation at Almeria, Spain
Temperature distribution of energy demand in steam power cycleDevelopment of thermal storage systems using phase change materials (PCM) in the temperature range from 230°C to 330°C for systems using steam between 30-100bar
founded by the European Commision within the 6th framework
Solar thermal power plants using parabolic trough collectors represent today’s most economic systems to generate electricity from solar insolation in the MW range. By demonstrating the feasibility of high temperature direct steam generation (DSG) in absorber pipes of parabolic trough collectors European industry and research institutions have gained a leading position in this technology area. A key element for a successful market penetration of this technology is the availability of storage systems to reduce the dependence on the course of solar insolation. The most important benefits of storage systems integrated into a solar thermal power plant are:
Efficient storage systems for steam power plants demand transfer of energy during the charging/discharging process at constant temperatures. The DISTOR project focuses on the development of latent heat storage systems based on phase change materials (PCM) used as storage media. While this approach has often been proposed, no experiences are available for the temperature level and scale relevant for direct steam generation. In order to accelerate the development, the project structure of DISTOR is based on parallel research on three different storage concepts. The concepts include innovative technologies like encapsulated PCM, evaporation heat transfer and new design concepts. This parallel approach takes advantage of synergy effects and will enable the identification of the most promising storage concept. In order to achieve the aims of the project, the DISTOR consortium covering all required sectors has been formed: companies for design and manufacturing of thermal components and power plant supply, engineering companies, manufacturer of storage materials, electric utility and solar plant design company, and highly experienced research institutes for PCM storage development, modelling and testing. The project will result in the following benefits and main deliverables:
The storage system for DSG will complete the set of components needed to implement economic solar power plants in areas like the Mediterranean region. The knowledge about this technology helps Europe to advance the DSG concept and expand its strong position in solar thermal power systems.