The CSP+ project aims to combine 2 solar technologies to produce heat (CSP) and electricity (PV) using the same surface area to capture even more energy from the sun. Its ambition to develop more efficient solar technology is especially relevant in Flanders, a region with a significant diffuse component in the sunlight and limited availability of free surface area. Research within the project will specifically focus on the design of solar cells, development of new transmission coatings and innovative integration technology to maximise the energy yield and minimise the Levelized Cost Of Energy of CSP systems.

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The goal of the CSP+ project is to create a hybrid photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) system that has an LCOE (levelised cost of energy) in Flanders that is at least 25% lower than the LCOE of the current standard CSP technology. This LCOE reduction is achieved by the fact that the PV-CSP hybrid system will have a much higher energy yield (roughly 50% higher, see also Table 1) due to the usage of diffuse incoming light, while the cost of the PV-CSP system will be only around 10-20% higher than that of a standard CSP system.

CSP+

This main goal will be realised in the project by achieving the following objectives, grouped by the innovation that they serve:

  • A dichroic mirror transparency of >80% in the spectral range of e.g. 500…1100 nm and a reflection of >80% in the spectral range outside of this window, the exact range of which has to be optimized (Innovation 1).
  • Bifacial silicon solar cells with 20% energy conversion efficiency (measured under full spectrum) operating in the spectral range of 500-1100nm and compatible with integration in a CSP system (Innovation 2).
  • Bifacial solar modules with novel state-of-the-art encapsulation material and interconnection technology yielding a Cell to Module loss below 3% measured under full light spectrum (Innovation 2).
  • A full simulation model that allows predictive modelling of the thermal, optical and electrical properties of the full PV-CSP system (Innovation 3).
  • Realisation of a full life cycle environmental assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCC) report for the proof of concept system (Innovation 3).
  • A short-term forecasting model that will be implemented in the new PV-CSP system to maximize the power output of such systems by steering the mirror position of the system towards the optimal position under all possible operating conditions (Innovation 4).
  • The validation of the research by assembly into a CSP system and full characterization of four proof of concept CSP+ mirrors with an area of 1x1.2 m2 (Innovation 5).

The role of EnergyVille

VITO/EnergyVille, with the support of the other partners, will make a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the CSP+ system and benchmark against state of the art existing technologies for electricity and heat production. Additionally, EnergyVIlle/VITO will set up a holistic cost model for the CSP+ system which will enable the evaluation of the economic impact.

Carolin Spirinckx

Contact

Carolin Spirinckx

Project Manager Smart Energy and Built Environment at EnergyVille/VITO