SolarPACES 2020: SCARABEUS listed as one of the flagship R&D projects in Europe by Prof. Julián Blanco, Managing Director of the Solar Platform in Almería (PSA-CIEMAT)

 

 

This year, most conferences have made the decision to go virtual in order to circumvent the limitations on mobility brought about by COVID-19. SolarPACES has been no different in this regard but the

 

Wednesday’s plenary session, chaired by Ana María Ruiz Frías (Solar Committee Chile), focused on CSP Technology Innovation. All continents were represented by high-level speakers -Australia, Asia, America and China- who introduced their vision about research priorities in Concentrating Solar Power and the tools and funding schemes to enable their accomplishment.

 

In this session, Europe was represented by Prof. Julián Blanco, Director of Plataforma Solar de Almería (CIEMAT), largest research, development and test centre in Europe for Concentrating Solar technologies. Prof. Blanco’s presentation provided an excellent summary of the current research priorities identified by the European Commission, along with a very informative review of the ongoing research activities and flagship projects in Europe. With the aim to make the presentation comprehensive, the contents were broken down into twelve R&I areas approved by the Steering Group of the Solar Energy Technology (SET) Plan in 2017.

 

The SCARABEUS consortium is grateful to Prof. Julián Blanco for making the presentation available for download (link).

The Institute for Energy Systems and Thermodynamics at TU Wien getting ready for the testing campaign

During the last months, IET concentrated on design tasks according to work package 4, where pre-tests for the design of the air-cooled condenser (ACC) and the recuperator (printed circuit heat exchanger) are planned. Therefor several modifications of the test rig are necessary, see Figure 1:

 

 

Figure 1: Modifications of test rig at IET. Grey: additional heat exchangers (precooler and test tube). Blue: cooling water lines.

 

With the combination precooler and test-test-tubes, desuperheating and condensation experiments at a pressure level of p = 66 bar are planned. For pure CO2 the corresponding condensation temperature is 26,11 °C. Maximum CO2-temperature will be 180 °C, so different desuperheating / condensation tests are possible depending on entrance temperature of CO2 and cooling load of the precooler. In the first step, experiments with pure CO2 will be done, then testing with blended CO2 by adding a refrigerant (R1234ze) will follow. Adding a blend will give a first impression of about the behaviour of a mixture instead of pure CO2 and will help to train the handling of harmless mixtures on the rig, in the perspective of the future planned tests with other blends being developed and tested at UBS and POLIMI.

 

 

Figure 2: Left: Precooler delivered from KELVION. Right: test rig under modification.

 

 

The SCARABEUS team keeps growing at University of Seville

 

The SCARABEUS team at University of Seville keeps growing. USE is very happy to welcome Pablo Rodríguez to support the optimization and integration tasks. Find some more information about him below and follow his activities through LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pablo-enrique-rodr%C3%ADguez-de-arriba-9088b91b7/

 

 

 

Pablo Rodríguez standing in front of a Ljungström turbine at the lab

 

I’m Pablo Rodríguez, a Sevillian engineer recently graduated from the master’s degree in Industrial Engineering at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería (University of Seville). Specialised in Energy Engineering, I’m keen on topics such as energy efficiency, process optimization, power generation, renewable energies, SWRO plants or refrigeration. It’s in the latter of these subjects that I wrote my BSc and MSc theses: performing an analysis about the international regulations of refrigerants (anybody sees the link to some of the dopants used in SCARABEUS?).

 

I just joined the Thermal Power Group (Department of Energy Engineering, University of Seville) as a researcher. I’m sincerely enthusiastic about being part of the SCARABEUS project, in which I promised to put all my commitment and energy to achieve the best results.

 

Recuperator Model with design process using pure CO2

The SCARABEUS concept relies on a recuperative cycle using supercritical carbon dioxide as working fluid. Being supercritical and in order to achieve high efficiency, very high pressures and temperatures are involved and a recuperator becomes mandatory. This is a device which can improve the thermodynamic cycle efficiency by cooling the sCO2 after its expansion and heating it after its compression, without any additional heat exchange with the environment.

 

3D model of the recuperator to be installed in the test rig at TUW

 

The advantage to use printed circuit heat exchanger technology in the recuperator is to withstand high pressure and high temperature with reduced footprint (large area-to-volume ratio). This is why PCHE is the technology of choice in SCARABEUS. The 3D model above represents the recuperator which will be installed in the test rig at TUW. It is designed for a pressure of 220 bar and a temperature of 650°C and the geometry of the internal channel configuration is shown below.

 

 

Internal channels of the PCHE developed by KELVION for SCARABEUS

 

Some CFD calculations will be performed to study new types of internal geometries in order to optimize the thermal-hydraulical performances and to decrease heat exchange area. While this technology is already very compact, the Company is pursuing further reductions of footprint.

Researchers from City pass milestone on the route to PhD

Researchers from City pass milestone on the route to PhD

 

This week two researchers from the SCARABEUS research team at City, University of London, successfully completed their transfer from MPhil to PhD. This milestone, which has been completed just over a year since beginning at City, marks the successful transition from registration as a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) student to a full PhD candidate.

 

For the transfer, Mr Omar Aqel and Ms Salma Salah both prepared a technical report containing a literature review and an update on their work to date, and presented a 30-minute presentation over Microsoft Teams, followed by Q&A, to an internal audience of academics and researchers from City.

 

Mr Omar Aqel presented his report entitled “Optimization of cycle and turbine design for small-scale solar power plants employing CO2-based working fluids”. Within Omar’s work he has investigated the effect of candidate dopants on optimal cycle conditions within CSP applications, with a particular focus on the expansion process. Results highlighted the change in working fluid properties such as molecular weight, speed of sound, density, and the adiabatic coefficient. Having also explored the sensitivity of turbine design to dopant type and amount, Omar will now focus on the application of CO2-based working fluids in small-scale power plants. He aims to investigate their feasibility using an integrated system approach which accounts for turbomachinery design restrictions that are unique to small-scale installations.

 

 

 

Ms Salma Salah presented her report entitled “Advanced design optimisation methods for supercritical CO2 multi-stage axial turbines”. Within Salma’s work she discussed the various aspects of axial turbine design including design methodology, previous preliminary and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) studies on sCO2 turbines, in addition to existing prototypes and conceptual designs for sCO2 turbomachinery. In this work, 100 kW and 100 MW design models have been developed and a parametric study has been conducted to examine the effect of various design parameters on the performance of a small-scale sCO2 turbine. This work was concluded by detailing the future steps for her research.

 

 

Watch out for the upcoming Call for Papers for the 4th European sCO2 conference in Prague (March 2021)

The 4th European sCO2 Conference in 2021 focusses on supercritical carbon dioxide for energy systems. Scientists and researchers from academia and industry as well as end users are kindly invited to share and discuss the latest outcomes from their sCO2 related projects. Moreover, this conference is the perfect place to establish new initiatives and cooperations amongst those who are active in this fascinating field of research.

 

Conference Topics:

  • Heat Exchanger
  • Turbomachines and Cycles
  • sCO2 Applications and Energy Systems
  • sCO2 Experiments and Loops
  • Fluid and Material Aspects

 

In case of any questions please contact sCO2@uni-due.de

7th International sCO2 Power Cycles Symposium rescheduled

7th International sCO2 Power Cycles Symposium rescheduled

 

Due to recent concerns about conference attendance and travel, the organizing committee has decided to reschedule the 7th International sCO2 Power Cycles Symposium. The conference will take place in the same venue on April 22nd-25th 2021.

 

Find out more information at the conference website.

 

New Energy Update By ReutersEvents

Check out the new article published in New Energy Update, reporting the latest news about SCARABEUS.

 

On April 2nd 2020, New Energy Update published an article describing the main features of the SCARABEUS project. The article, by Kerry Chamberlain, makes emphasis on the differential features of SCARABEUS as compared with other projects in the supercritical CO2 space, and on how these can help shape the future of a fully renewable energy landscape.

 

Follow this link to the text.

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Wide dissemination of SCARABEUS across the Italian media

Even if still in its initial phase, the impact of SCARABEUS on the Italian mass media is already noteworthy. A number of digital newspapers are already calling the attention of their readers to the unique features of the SCARABEUS technology, both environmentally and economically.

More information can be found on the corresponding websites. Follow the links below!

  • Un progetto per abbattere i costi del solare termodinamico, QualEnergia (link)
  • Energia, il solare termodinamico punta ad abbattere i costi, Alto Adige (link), Giornale Trentino (link), Giornale di Sicilia (link)
  • Energia da solare termodinamico a 96 €/MWh: l’obiettivo del Progetto SCARABEUS, Expoclima (link)
  • Con termodinamico costi elettricità giù del 30-40%, MomentoItalia (link), ADN Kronos (link)
  • Ridurre del 32% i costi di installazione delle centrali Solari termodinamiche: il progetto H2020 SCARABEUS, Casa & Clima (link)
  • Energia, un ciclo innovativo per abbattere costi del termodinamico, Yahoo (link), ASK News (link)
  • -30% con le miscele di CO2, Italia in prima fila, Agenzia Ansa (link)
  • Solare termodinamico economico, un obiettivo a portata di mano, NUTesla (link)