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CSP hybridization projects on the new world energy landscape

2019.04.25     From: engineeringandconstruction


SENER's proven experience in solar power places the company in an unbeatable position in hybridization projects, which open a new landscape on the world energy map.


SENER has been involved in 29 solar thermal power plants built all around the world, using SENER’s own technology, and most of them featuring thermal storage. The last one, nearing completion, is the Noor Ouarzazate III plant in Morocco, the largest facility to use tower and molten salt storage technologies, which is already on commercial operation. SENER was responsible for the engineering, turnkey construction and operation activities, and also provided all the technology.


Thanks to its leading position, SENER is making great strides in hybridization technologies following different models:


Hibrydization of solar thermal (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) solar power


SENER offers an integrated solution that leverages the synergies of both technologies by combining the advantages of each. This led to the concept of an hybrid solar themal + photovoltaic facility, which can satisfy a given generation profile both during the day and at night: the energy generated during the day comes from a highly cost competitive photovoltaic field, while at night - from dusk until dawn, when demand peaks happen and electricity prices are highest - the solar thermal plant with storage capacity goes into operation, as it offers an option to grid managers in the absence of sunlight. These are flexible and dispatchable plants that adapt to the energy demand and where resources are optimized to yield lower operation and maintenance costs.


Hibrydization of solar thermal power with biomass


Thanks to its experience in the design and turnkey construction of low-emissions biomass power plants, with three projects in Spain, SENER combines the advantages of this energy source with those of a solar facility with central tower and molten salt storage technologies to achieve a power plant where biomass conversion is improved thanks to the high efficiency of the molten salt cycle. In addition, the combined investment is lower, since a single turbine (and common area) is employed for both facilities. This again optimizes the resources by reducing operation and maintenance costs.


Other hybridization possibilities


Other areas of energy production where SENER has identified possible hybridizations with solar thermae power plants, with the consequent increase in energy and cost efficiency, are:


  • District heating, which can use the excess heat from the solar thermal cycle at a low cost.

  • Water desalination, to reduce the cost of this process and avoid the use of other energy sources (fuel saving). SENER has its own patent for this process.

  • Mining chemical processes, such as electrolyte heating (lithium, etc.).


In all these fields, SENER is building on its experience in the design, construction, operation and maintenance of power plants where it has applied its own proven and effective technology. As a result, the company is a key player in generating hybridization solutions that can combine all these technologies to yield highly efficient power plants



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