Discover our groundbreaking work over the past year in advancing CO2 mixtures for thermodynamic cycles, pushing the boundaries of energy efficiency and sustainability.

The research team from the Energy Department at Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI), DESOLINATION project coordinator, has successfully simulated large-scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants using innovative CO2 mixtures, enhancing their efficiency and performance. Additionally, they introduced the CO2+SiCl4 mixture in literature for trans-critical cycles, showcasing its potential in improving cycle efficiency.

Our Journey in Thermodynamic Cycle Development

Over the past year, POLIMI has made significant strides in the development and simulation of thermodynamic cycles using CO2 mixtures. Here are some of the key milestones and achievements.

Introduction of CO2+SiCl4 Mixture Research

Introducing the CO2+SiCl4 mixture into the literature for transcritical cycles

With regard to the application of CO2 mixtures in thermodynamic cycles, the work was developed both on the simulation of the large-scale CSP plant with innovative CO2 mixtures, introducing the CO2+SiCl4 mixture into the literature for transcritical cycles, and adding details on the simulations and design of the DESOLINATION project’s demonstration plant, the 1.8 MWel cycle operating with the CO2+SO2 mixture.

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Experimental investigation of the CO2+SiCl4 mixture as innovative working fluid for power cycles: Bubble points and liquid density measurementsv- Energy Journal

In this perspective, complete off-design simulations have been carried out, including the behavior of the real heat exchangers that will be installed and including the management of the inventory of the cycle in off-design.

Learn more of the effect of supercritical CO2 Fluid Properties on Heat Exchanger Design…

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Effects of Supercritical CO2 Fluid Properties on Heat Exchanger Design

Simulation of the large scale CSP plant with CO2+SiCl4 mixture

POLIMI combined CSP with CO2-mixtures power cycles and forward osmosis desalination system, performing simulations in Dubai.

Using these innovative technologies, our CSP plant showed high solar-to-electric efficiencies (around 19% on yearly basis) and very low freshwater specific thermal consumption (about 10 kWhth/m3) when the PABG2000 is used as draw agent.

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Characterization of the physical properties of the thermoresponsiveblock-copolymer PAGB2000 and numerical assessment of its potentialities in Forward Osmosis desalination

Specifically, when comparing the CSP (concentrated solar power) +FO (forward osmosis) studied in DESOLINATION with the CSP+MED assuming the same solar plant and power cycles, the freshwater production is incremented by more than 50%.

When the solution of DESOLINATION is compared with a PV+RO plant, a reduction of reflective area of 28% is foreseen, if both freshwater and electricity are produced with the PV+RO plant.

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Simulations of CSP combined with CO2 mixed power cycles and a forward osmosis desalination system in Dubai

Finally, POLIMI also conducted an experimental campaign on the coalescer using a solution of water and PAGB2000, obtaining an expression of the separation efficiency, to be deployed in the simulations.

The research team from the Energy Department at Politecnico di Milano will shortly be publishing an article on the results of its Experimental study on coalescer efficiency for liquid-liquid separation.

Saty tuned!