Two Norwegian companies are designing a floating compacting solar power system that can produce both electricity and heat. It is intended for use in carbon dioxide recovery projects and supported by an industrial heat pump system.
“The energy requirement for carbon dioxide removal is perhaps the most dominant factor driving solvent-based post-combustion recovery technology,” says Sintef’s. Senior Business DeveloperMartin Bellmann told pv magazine. “Essentially, any technology that significantly reduces so-called reboiler – the energy consumption to scavenge carbon dioxide – is in high demand.”
Both companies described the new technology as a solar-assisted carbon dioxide recovery system that produces either all or part of the heat energy needed to separate the gas.
“The proposed CPVT design is a single-axis ‘linear pass-through’ type tracking system in which rows of curved mirrors are mechanically rotated so that the longitudinal direction of the mirrors is always parallel to the incident sunlight and follows the daily light movement of the sun,” Bellmann added. “Concentration ratios of about 10 suns can be achieved.”
The CPVT receiver is based on a tube with solar cell strips attached to it. The small surface area of the CPVT receiver enables the use of efficient PV cells. “Although these PV cells are more expensive, the cost can be offset by a smaller surface area,” Bellmann explained. “Traditional crystalline silicon and multi-junction cells have to be considered. Then the price-quality ratio will be evaluated when the prototype is ready and we have collected enough data from the test trials.
According to Sintef, the efficient heat management of the CPVT receiver is achieved by circulating the heat transfer fluid through the pipes. The cold liquid enters the pipe network at the inlet, collecting heat from the receiver and keeping the solar cells at a low temperature. The collected heat is then transferred to a high temperature heat pump (HTHP) which acts as an additional thermal energy booster, upgrading the waste heat and low temperature heat from the receiver for steam production in the Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) process.
The electrical energy produced by the photovoltaic cells can either be fed into the grid or used directly to boost the HTHP or other auxiliary processes of the CCS process.
Sintef is currently working on the design and scaling of the Svalin Solar plant and plans to purchase components and establish a pilot plant in the summer of 2024. “Initially, the plant will be tested on dry land as part of the existing coal. The interception facility Sintef operates in Tiller, just outside Trondheim,” Bellmann said. “To achieve a cost-effective CPVT system design, it is crucial to understand whether the annual energy production, both heat and electricity, can offset the additional costs of installation, monitoring and maintenance.
The demonstration is part of the EU-funded project “Connecting Energy-Intensive Process Industry Changes to Energy, Process and Raw Material Flexibility” (TRINEFLEX), which has a total budget of 19.3 million euros ($21.2 million) and includes 28 partners. .
Other Sintef researchers recently developed a floating structure for offshore PV, a a high-temperature industrial heat pump that can work with clean water as a working tool, and a floating solar platform for use in aquaculture projects.