Developing Thermal
Energy Flexibilty

HYBRIDplus aims to demonstrate an electrified thermal energy storage system based on PCM (Phase Change Materials) in a cascade configuration for the next generation of hybrid CSP plants with advanced supercritical CO2  power cycles.


A Project Funded by the European Comission

HYBRIDplus proposes a novel PV+CSP plant including a Cascade PCM TES system configuration based on a high temperature supercritical CO2 cycle. This new plant is called to form the backbone of the coming energy system thanks to a higher efficiency and lower LCoE than state-of-the-art technology.The CSP plant developed in the HYBRIDplus project has the potential to revolutionize the renewable power generation industry. Thanks to its innovative thermal energy storage in cascade configuration, it can easily integrate a high-efficient sCO2 power cycle without requiring major changes to the State-of-the-Art CSP technology. At the same time, due to the internally electrified storage system, it can be hybridized with renewable energy sources maximizing the dispatchability of the CSP plant while allowing higher penetrations of RES in the grid and reducing the cost of electricity.


Project Elements

The thermal energy storage of the HYBRIDplus solution propose a cascade configuration using Phase Change Materials (PCM) enhanced with metal wools that can reproduce the effect of a thermocline. The heat is stored as latent heat (phase change) and sensible heat (temperature change), greatly increasing the energy density of the storage, and thus allowing a reduction in the total tank volume (and cost). The cascade concept reproduces the charge and discharge curve of a sensible media, with minimum pitch point and maximum round trip efficiency, but with the higher energy density of the PCM. With this configuration, the solar salts typically used in CSP both as heat transfer fluid (HTF) and as storage material, will be only used as HTF, reducing the total amount of solar salts required for the plant. With this cascade configuration, solar salts can be use at the highest temperature to feed the CO2 power cycle avoiding thermal degradation at maximum temperature due to the low residence time. This configuration enables the use of the advanced supercritical CO2 power cycles in the high efficient dispatchable CSP plants.
HYBRIDplus proposes a novel PV+CSP plant with an electrified PCM thermal energy storage system in cascade configuration coupled with a high temperature supercritical CO2 power cycle. This new plant is called to form the backbone of the coming energy system thanks to a higher efficiency and lower LCoE than state-of-the-art technology. The enabling hybrid TES developed in the project provides full dispatchability due to its embedded electric heaters, which allow higher shares of variable output renewables in the energy system and increases environmental friendliness (lower CO2 emissions, minimum water consumption, enhancement life cycle impact).
A Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant, is a dispatchable renewable power plant that uses the sun as its main power source. In this plant, the sun is reflected using mirrors into a receiver, which transform the radiation into thermal energy and transfer it to a heat transfer fluid (HTF). This HTF is then used to heat up a power cycle or to transfer its energy for storage in a Thermal Energy Storage. Nowadays, there are two main CSP plant configurations commercially available: Tower configuration and Parabolic Trough configuration. The HYBRIDplus project focus its efforts in developing an innovative PCM storage for a CSP plant in tower configuration with a supercritical CO2 power cycle.

Nowadays, hybridization is a must to guarantee the economical, stable, and environmentally friendly power grid required for the energy transition. HYBRIDplus will increase the hybridization possibilities of CSP plants by using an innovative electrified TES. This new thermal storage will be able to store excess electricity from variable renewable energy systems (VRES), reducing curtailments and allowing a higher share of renewables in the grid. The HYBRIDplus solution will help in the reduction of the cost of electricity thanks to its ability to charge using the cheapest renewable energy source available and discharge at competitive cost instead of the high price of conventional supply.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme

Under grant agreement No 101084182

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