Southwest Analysis Institute labored with authorities and business collaborators to efficiently develop and show full-scale turbomachinery for one of many world’s first supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) energy techniques for a concentrated solar energy (CSP) plant. The expertise combines sCO2 energy cycles with built-in thermal power storage.
The mission was supported by the U.S. Division of Vitality’s APOLLO program, which was created to enhance efficiency and decreased the price of electrical energy from CSP vegetation. The 10MW sCO2 turbomachinery has efficiently accomplished efficiency and endurance checks in a closed-loop surroundings.
sCO2 is carbon dioxide held above a essential temperature and strain, which causes it to behave like a gasoline whereas having the density of a liquid. It’s additionally unhazardous and nonflammable, having been utilized in dry cleansing processes, low-GHG refrigeration techniques, in addition to to decaffeinate espresso.
The fluid properties in its supercritical state makes sCO2 a extremely environment friendly fluid to generate energy on account of excessive density, low viscosity, and favorable warmth switch properties.
“Advancing grid-scale power storage is a vital step to enabling full penetration of renewables into energy era. Using sCO2 as a working fluid can improve the effectivity of a CSP plant by as a lot as 10 proportion factors,” mentioned Dr. Jason Wilkes, supervisor of SwRI’s Rotating Machine Dynamics Part. “The excessive effectivity of the sCO2 cycle additionally permits the turbomachinery to have a smaller footprint — it’s 1/twentieth the dimensions of an ordinary steam turbine, permitting for improved set up in most environments.”
CSP expertise makes use of mirrors or lenses to pay attention a considerable amount of daylight onto a receiver, which usually converts concentrated mild into warmth and extracts thermal power to generate energy utilizing steam generators. The system shops the power as warmth, which might then be transformed to on-demand power utilizing sCO2 energy cycles, bettering effectivity and lowering working prices.
“sCO2 energy cycle expertise is a fraction of the dimensions of standard turbomachinery, providing improved efficiency for quite a few functions. The profitable MW-scale demonstration of sCO2 expertise at full-cycle circumstances is an thrilling milestone,” mentioned Dr. Tim Allison, director of SwRI’s Equipment Division.
SwRI and Hanwha Energy Methods, a worldwide power tools firm with headquarters in South Korea, developed and demonstrated the brand new integrally geared sCO2 turbomachinery examined at full-scale compressor circumstances and full-pressure full-temperature testing of the turbine at unprecedented MW-scale circumstances of as much as 720 °C and 275 bar. The system is deliberate to be built-in right into a CSP pilot plant at a future date.
This materials is predicated upon work supported by the Division of Vitality, Workplace of Vitality Effectivity and Renewable Vitality (EERE), underneath Award Quantity DE-0007114.