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Thermal storage CSP systems are crucial in low-carbon power systems
- Dec 04, 2017 -

Thermal storage CSP systems are crucial in low-carbon power systems

Stöcker believes that while CSP itself is not schedulable, stable output can be achieved with its thermal storage system and can afford the same basic load equivalent to conventional fossil-fired power plants such as coal or natural gas.

However, according to the value-order effect, the current installed capacity of coal and natural gas is gradually decreasing, while more renewable energy power is connected to the grid.

In grid systems that use "value order effects" for power dispatching, grids are more willing to accept less expensive power, which means grids are more likely to accept more renewable energy such as solar or wind power.

According to Bloomberg reports in 2015, as the use of traditional fossil fuels is declining, their capacity factor is also declining, and the operating costs of coal-fired and natural gas plants are getting higher and higher. RWE, one of Germany's largest utility companies, lost $ 5.8 billion in 2016 due to falling electricity prices.

In the non-fossil energy generation form, PV has no moving parts and can be fully automated operation, the lowest operating costs, followed by wind power. However, like hydropower and geothermal, solar thermal power plants also need to configure a lot of mechanical transmission.

"In solar thermal plants, mirrors and complex hydraulic drive systems need to be configured, as well as factors such as heat sinks and aging of heat sinks," Stöcker explains. "All in all, compared to the relative maturity of photovoltaic and wind power The sophistication of technologies, CSP systems will either leave some operators early to market. "

Researchers at Aachen University found that if PV and wind power accounted for more than 70% of the grid system, then the thermal storage system would not have a competitive price on power generation due to lower utilization rates.

He said: "We found a point, that is, if the increase in the grid more renewable energy, then the basic power load system will be less or more and more dispersed supply, so that can bear the basic load of the power generation system Power generation time will be shorter and shorter. "

Therefore, if a thermal storage CSP system can provide more than 30% of the low-emission power for the grid, it will have a competitive advantage. However, if its utilization rate is less than 30%, the cost will be higher and the overall cost of the grid will be increased.