The Si-CO project aims to techno-economically demonstrate a new optimized and large-scale parabolic trough collector (Si-PTC) design that operates using HELISOL®XLP at 430ºC, a siliconebased heat transfer fluid (Si-HTF). This project also pursues to demonstrate and evaluate the exchange of this Si-HTF in existing power plants. The combination proposed (Si-PTC + Si-HTF), enables a cost reduction in the solar field, HTF and TES CAPEX of 12% and a 14% in OPEX for new solar plants.
The technology proposed will enhance the annual energy production of a commercial PTC plant by 7.5% and the global capacity factor by 2%. Altogether, this translates in a LCOE reduction of up to 15%. Furthermore, the exchange application of the Si-HTF in existing plants, designed for an operation T of 400°C, has the potential to fix the H2 permeation issues because HELISOL®XLP shows almost zero formation at 400°C. After the HTF exchange, the use of HELISOL®XLP will avoid any future H2-HCE issues increasing its performance while prolonging its service time and reducing power plant down time, presenting clear O&M and environmental advantages for existing plants even if they can’t operate at 430°C. This also applies to new power plants with higher working T.
Therefore, Si-CO pursues the 2 independent actions above mentioned, both based on the new HELISOL®XLP, which has additional cost reduction and better performance potential with respect to the other 2 commercial existing HELISOL®XLPgrades, because it has a lower vapour pressure during operation and can be operated at 430°C. The Si-CO project stands in a row with three international demonstration projects (SING, SITEF, SIMON) that successfully established Si-HTF as a very promising alternative with respect to the state-of-the-art HTF.
The consortium is formed by eight partners from three different countries with expertise in the main strategic CSP fields. The duration of the project will be of 30 months with a total budget of €3,375,589.