The main objective of POLYPHEM is to improve the performance of small-scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants and their flexibility to generate power on demand. To this end, a new technology is proposed: a solar-driven combined cycle with integrated thermal energy storage. The outcomes of the project will allow in the short term to reinforce the competitiveness of this new low carbon energy technology, to favour its integration in the medium term in the European energy mix and to contribute to the mitigation of climate change.
The power block considered in POLYPHEM is a combined cycle intended to be used for decentralized small-scale power generation in the range 40 kW to 2000 kW in remote areas. The purpose is to meet the variable demand of energy of a mini-grid. The baseline technology consists of an air Brayton cycle as top cycle and an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) as bottom cycle.
POLYPHEM broadens this technology by driving the top cycle with solar energy through the development of an advanced technology of pressurized air solar receiver and by including an innovative thermal energy storage unit between both cycles, as it is illustrated in Fig.1. Besides electricity generation, other applications will be considered for future developments, such as heating/cooling of multi-family buildings or water desalination for small communities.
The POLYPHEM project will implement a prototype system and will validate this innovative configuration for power generation in a relevant environment, will assess its technical, economic and environmental performances and will establish the guidelines for the commercial deployment of this technology in the long term.
SYSTEM INTEGRATION AND OVERALL PLANT DESIGN
MANUFACTURING AND INSTALLATION OF THE PROTOTYPE PLANT
TESTING AND VALIDATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY
SYSTEM MODELLING AND PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT
ASSESSMENT OF THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED IN THE PROJECT
EXPLOITATION AND DISSEMINATION OF THE PROJECT RESULTS, COMMUNICATION
PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND COORDINATION
CNRS – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Research organisation – France
French public research organisation. Coordinator of the project (WP10). CNRS is involved in the implementation of the prototype plant at the solar tower facility of Themis (WP5) and leads the testing and validation (WP6). CNRS also contributes to the selection of materials for the construction of the solar receiver (WP1) and carries out on-sun experimental testing of the storage system using the test-rig MicroSol-R (WP3).
CEA – Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux énergies alternatives
Research organisation – France
Public research organisation. Leader of the development of the solar receiver (WP1).
CEA contributes to the research activities on the modelling and design of the heat storage system (WP3).
CIEMAT – Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas, Medioambientales y Tecnologicas
Research organisation – Spain
French public research organisation. Leader of the research activities on the thermal storage system (WP3), in charge of the design and modelling of this system. CIEMAT contributes to the manufacturing (WP5), the testing (WP6), the interconnection of the thermal storage sub-system with the other sub-systems (WP2), the design of the whole POLYPHEM system (WP4) and its techno-economical evaluation (WP7).
ARRA – ARRAELA SL
SME – Spain
Spanish private company. Develops and provides new materials for storage tank and filler and for insulation of the hot structures (WP3), designs and constructs the core of the storage system (WP5).
ARRAELA S.L. also contributes to research and development activities on optimized coatings in WP1, on dynamic modeling of the storage in WP7 and identification of the future storage unit in WP8.
FISE – Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V
Research organisation – Germany
German public research organisation. Leader of the research activities on the system integration and plant layout (WP4) and on the dynamic plant modelling and simulation for the control and the performance assessment (WP7).
KAE – KAEFER Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Enterprise – Germany
German private company. Leader of the research and development on the solarisation of the µ-gas turbine (WP2) and on the manufacturing activities in the project (WP5). KAEFER manages the integration of all sub-components and is responsible for the final product and branding.
KAEFER takes over the definition of the business concept for the overall plant and contributes to the marketing plan for future commercialization of the POLYPHEM technology (WP8).
ORC – ORCAN ENERGY GmbH
SME – Germany
German private company. ORCAN provides the organic Rankine power block and develops new heat exchangers to drive the engine with solar heat. ORCAN shares the leadership of WP8 dedicated to the study of the future deployment of the technology.
EURO – EURONOVIA
SME – France
French private company. Leader of the WP9 on Dissemination and Exploitation of the project results and Communication actions. EURONOVIA is exclusively involved in non-technical activities in the project.
AALB – AALBORG CSP AS
SME – Denmark
Danish private company. Designs (in WP2) and supplies (in WP5) the recovery heat exchanger attached to the micro gas-turbine.
AALBORG contributes to the system integration and plant layout (WP4) and is involved in the study of the future deployment of the technology (WP8).