Project ambitions

The overall purpose of the SOLWATT project is to upscale, implement and demonstrate cost-effective technologies and strategies that bring about a significant reduction of water of CSP plants while ensuring excellent performance of electrical power production. The SOLWATT approach proposed will tackle all segments of water consumption in a CSP plant by:

  • 90 % for reduction of cleaning operations
  • 15 to 28 % for cooling of turbine condenser
  • 90 % for recovery and recycling of water.

Then, a total reduction of water consumption by 35 % for a wet cooled CSP plant and 90 % for a dry cooled CSP plant.

Project objectives

  1. SOLWATT targets a reduction of water consumption of cleaning operations by 90%, i.e. savings nearly 0.25m3/MWhe depending on the soiling rate and the location of the solar field.
  2. To keep a low temperature at the turbine condenser, i.e. a high efficiency while reducing the water consumption, SOLWATT will demonstrate the efficiency of a cold storage reservoir, regenerated by the lower temperatures that occur at night.
  3. SOLWATT will demonstrate the efficiency of using a Multiple Effect Evaporation (MEE) system to recycle and re-use 90% of these waste water streams (0.5 m3/MWhe) using thermal energy otherwise dumped by defocusing parts of the solar field, achieving a water consumption reduced to 0.05 m3/MWhe.
  4. The probabilistic treatment of forecasts for the following days is essential for optimisation of CSP plant operations. SOLWATT will demonstrate the efficiency of the optimized global control of the plant thanks to a dedicated application.
  5. Social, economic and environmental impacts on local communities close to CSP plants are a point of concern.
  6. All technologies will be installed, demonstrated and validated under real conditions at “La Africana” and SEDC” CSP plants.

Project workplan

The SOLWATT project workplan consists of several phases. First phase of the project will be focused on development of individual technologies – O&M Optimizer; cleaning means and methods related to solar field components, cooling technologies and water recovery system. Common objective for all technologies is to upscale previously developed solutions and prepare them for the installation in the testing site. All proposed technologies will be deployed and validated under the real conditions at testing sites. In addition to technology development, there are several activities running in parallel with the whole project covering socio-economic and environmental aspects of the CSP including also practice-oriented training activities as well as dissemination and exploitation of the project results.

Expected results

The SOLWATT project is expected to reduce the total water consumption at CSP facility by 35% for a wet cooled and by 90% for dry cooled CSP plants. Table below shows detailed information on water savings (estimated for La Africana CSP plant) according to individual SOLWATT technologies. These figures are based on preliminary tests and estimations performed by the project partners in order to validate the primary concept. For cleaning technologies, ultrasonic cleaner technology itself can reduce water consumption by 90%. The reduction of the frequency of cleaning operations, and then cost, will be ensured by the implementation of dust barrier, anti-soiling coatings and sensors.

 

TechnologyWater cons. savingsState-of-the-art
KPI
SOLWATT
KPI*
Ultrasonic cleaner0.26 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.03 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Heliostat integral cleaning device0.27 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.02 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Dust barriers0.12 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.17 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Antisoiling coatings on reflectors 0.13 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.16 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Antisoiling coatings on receivers0.08 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.21 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Sensors integrated on reflectors0.07 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.22 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
O&M optimizer (soiling forecast)0.10 m3/MWh0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.19 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Soiling rate map product0.8 m3/MWh(for future plants)
0.29 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
0.21 m3/MWh
(cleaning consumption)
Nocturnal cold storage1.20 m3/MWh4.95 m3/MWh
(cooling consumption)
3.75 m3/MWh
(cooling consumption)
Water recovery system0.45 m3/MWh0 m3/MWh
(No water recovery)
-0.45 m3/MWh
(water gain by recycling)