Concentrated Solar Power

waste heat recovery system

Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) technologies are traditionally using steam or air to power turbines and produce electricity. This leads to high-cost systems with average efficiency and research has been focused on optimising 1. the equipment and 2. the coupling potential of the plant to increase its overall cost-efficiency.

DESOLINATION is in line with this research agenda by:

  • Improving the coupling of any CSP with desalination through waste heat recovery system
  • Optimising heat exchange fluids and turbomachinery for next generation CSP’s waste heat recovery

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Find out more about DESOLINATION innovations in the field of Concentrated Solar Power

Innovation in DESOLINATION

Heat exchangers can take different forms depending on many parameters: temperatures, pressures, chemical properties of the fluids, etc. But they are critical to the heat transfer within the CSP cycles to recover heat from the sun and make the turbine work.

In DESOLINATION, specific work will be on exchanging heat between the power cycle (air in the existing plant, CO2 in the innovative one) and the desalination draw solution (highly concentrated solution). New Printed Circuit Heat Exchangers (PCHEs) and Printed Fin Heat Exchangers (PFHEs) will thus be produced.

As a first step, the adaptative storage cycle will provide an easier environment to test heat recovery (exchange will be with water on one side instead of two difficult unknown environments) until both sets of parameters are better known and direct coupling is possible.

DESOLINATION also tackles new generation of CSP power cycles. The working fluid becomes CO2-based and the turbomachinery is adapted to new ranges of temperatures and pressures.

The benefits of these innovations are:

  • Adaptable ranges of temperature to match the requirement from the coupling side.
  • Smaller turbomachinery, i.e. lesser costs

This new power cycle will be installed in King Saud University and compared with the existing one. Heat recovered via the final heat exchanger will be redirected to power the desalination process.