New and existing Energy Research Infratsructures (2)
Ms Naděžda Witzanyová
The European Research Infrastructures for ‘Concentrated Solar Power’ (CSP)
Concentrated solar energy is a very promising renewable source of energy. The solar resource in the Mediterranean countries of the EU and in North Africais huge. The best known application so far is bulk electricity generation through thermodynamic cycles, but other applications have also been demonstrated, such as production of hydrogen and solar fuels, water treatment and research in advanced materials.
Europeis a leader in research and development of this technology. Most of the large R&D infrastructures are European and our industry is leading the way in its commercial deployment, now in proposal. Five of those R&D infrastructures, CIEMAT-PSA, DLR, PROMES-CNRS, ETH and PSI were already organized as a virtual laboratory consortium known as ‘Sol LAB’, which has initiated several networking activities since its creation in 2004. ENEA and WEIZMANN have been invited to this project to consolidate a partnership as the reference European Solar Research Laboratory.
The SFERA Project
SFERA (Solar Facilities for the European Research Area) is an ‘Integrating Activity’ funded by the CAPACITIES Programme of the 7FP.
The purpose of SFERA is to integrate, coordinate and further focus scientific collaboration among the leading European research institutions in solar concentrating systems and offer European researchers and industry access to the best-qualified research and test infrastructures.
Through coordinated integration of their complementary strengths, efforts and resources, the project is working to increase the scientific and technological knowledge base in the field of concentrating solar systems in both depth and breadth, provide and improve the research tools best-suited for the scientific and technologic community in this field, and increase the general awareness – especially of the scientific community – of the possible applications of concentrated solar energy.
The overall goal of these efforts is to create a unified virtual European Laboratory for Concentrating Solar Systems, easily accessible to interested researchers, and thus serving as the structural nucleus for growing demand in this field. Such a European Solar Laboratory would also contribute to a sustainable, secure European energy supply and to a firm basis for global competitiveness of European technology suppliers in this field.
The project incorporates transnational access, networking and joint research activities. Researchers will have access to five state-of-the-art high-flux solar research facilities, unique in Europeand in the world. Access to these facilities will help strengthen the European Research Area by opening installations to European and partner countries’ scientists, thereby enhancing cooperation. It will also improve scientific critical mass in domains where knowledge is now widely dispersed, and generate strong Europe-wide R&D project consortia, increasing the competitiveness of each member.
The joint research activities aim to improve the quality and service of the existing infrastructure, extend their services and jointly achieve a common level of high scientific quality. Currently all facilities use their own procedures to perform tests and experiments under concentrated sunlight and have developed their own devices to measure flux and temperature as the most relevant and complex signals in these installations. In addition, new facilities that use artificial light sources to simulate the concentrated sunlight have became recently become available and need to be qualified to assess their best application fields
To improve the quality of the installation testing services, the partners will, for example, cooperate to establish common guidelines on how to perform testing and develop and exchange best-practice approaches. They have included the competences of the DIN, the German standardisation institution, in order to come up with a systematic and professional approach in this field.
In addition, a set of five networking activities will be undertaken. These include the organisation of training courses and schools’ to create a common training framework, providing regularised, unified training of young researchers in the capabilities and operation of concentrating solar facilities. Communication activities will seek to both strengthen relationships within the consortium, creating a culture of cooperation, and to communication to society in general, academia and especially industry what SFERA is and what services are offered. This will give many potential users the opportunity to become aware of the possibilities existing for making use of the SFERA infrastructures.
The EU-SOLARIS proposal for the ESFRI Roadmap
EU-SOLARIS focuses on concentrating solar technology. The research facility would be located inSpainas an upgrade of a national facility to a European RI. The new infrastructure would be built around the well-known Spanish ‘Plataforma Solar de Almeria’ located inAlmeria, which is a world-class solar research centre with nearly 30 years of experience insolar concentrating technologies. The location of such as facility insouthern Spainis highly recommendable due to the high solar irradiance necessary for this kind of research.
The creation of EU-SOLARIS will give place to the most outstanding R&D infrastructure insolar energy worldwide. The facility would be well equipped including e.g. the following:
- thermal and chemical energy storage facilities (molten salts, synthetic fluid, PCM, chemical reaction, etc) coupled with a 1.5 MWth thermal source
- heliostat tower system rated at 7 MWth
- 1 MW central receiver with a hyperbolic secondary reflector for ‘beam-down’ effects
- combined solar thermal power plant linked to a thermal application as a multi-effect distillation system
- 2,500 m2Fresnel mirror concentrator system
- 1 MW hybrid solar-biomass test facility
- hybrid systems laboratory for solar-gas hybrid plants
- solar hydrogen and chemistry test facility with T up to 2000 ºCand high radiant flux
The facility can be used for a wide range of solar energy related research topics such as high flux R&D, solar and high temperature chemistry, solar optics, energy applications, material research, etc. Moreover TEREI-SOLAR provides a platform and test facility for development of advanced concentrating solar technologies. European industries would directly benefit of it. The proposal has a strong European dimension and a joint management structure enabling effective use of the facility by the European researchers.
The proposal tackles with key energy technologies of the EU’s SET-Plan and there is a European need for such a facility.
The MYRRHA project started in 1998 by SCK•
Transmutation of MA can be completed in an efficient way in fast neutron spectrum facilities. Both critical reactors and sub-critical Accelerator Driven Systems (ADS) are potential candidates as dedicated transmutation systems. However, critical reactors, heavily loaded with fuel containing large amounts of MA, pose safety problems caused by unfavorable reactivity coefficients and small delayed neutron fraction. A sub-critical ADS operates in a flexible and safe manner even with a core loading containing a high amount of MA leading to a high transmutation rate. Thus, the sub-criticality is not a virtue but rather necessity for an efficient and economical burning of the MA. Besides the reduction of the HLW burden, the MYRRHA project will serve the purpose of developing the lead alloys technology as a reactor coolant that can be used one of the Generation IV reactor concepts namely the Lead Fast Reactor (LFR).
Although carrying out the MYRRHA project will lead to the demonstration of the efficient and safe transmutation of MA in ADS systems as the ultimate goal the implementation of such a project will in addition trigger the development of various innovative technologies and techniques that are of interest for various nuclear fission and fusion applications. These include :
- The development of new martensitic steels resisting high level irradiation embrittlement in combination with heavy liquid metals and high temperature induced corrosion.
- The development of ultrasonic visualisation systems (sensors, full-camera) able to operate under liquid metals at high temperature and high dose rates
- The development of the heavy liquid metal technology in terms of pumping, conditioning, filtering, monitoring;
- The development of very reliable high power proton accelerators (approx 10 MW of beam power);
- The development of advanced remote handling (robotics) systems able to operate in radioactive environment and under heavy liquid metals;
- The development and testing in real conditions of MA bearing advanced nuclear fuel
- The development of high power liquid metal spallation source;
The development of high intensity RIB (Radioactive Ion Beams) facility for fundamental physics called
Since March 2010, MYRRHA received the financial support from the Belgian government for 40% share of the 960 M€ investment. A 60 M€ funding has been received for the first stage (2010-2014).
In this seminar the present status of the project and its capabilities as an irradiation facility as well as the ISOL@MYRRHA (RIB facility) characteristics will be presented.