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Scarabeus Project


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The Scarabeus project, funded by the European Commission, seeks to reduce carbon emissions in solar thermal plants by introducing novel supercritical CO2 cycles in solar thermal plants. Abengoa participates in the project along with eight other partners, including universities and companies, from six different countries.

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Scarabeus Project

  1. 1. Supercritical CARbon dioxide/Alternative fluids Blends for Efficiency Upgrade of Solar power plants This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 814985 SCARABEUS Consortium Members SCARABEUS Contact For further information, please contact: GGiamppaaoolo MMMaannzzolinni (PProoojeeectt CCoooordddiinaaaatoorrr) Dipartimento di Energia Politecnico di Milano, Italy Phone: +39 (0)22 399 3810 e-mail: DDavvid SSáánccheeezz (DDissssemmiinaaattiionnn MMMaanaaaggeerrr) Department of Energy Engineering University of Seville, Spain Phone: +34 95 448 6488 e-mail: toorr) April 2019 March 2023 WP Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 1 Project management 2 Development Testing 3 Design Cost assessment 4 Design Manufacturing Cost assessment 5 Thermodynamic assessment Techno-economic optimisation Life Cycle Assessment and Natural Capital Valuation 6 Adaption of test-loop Testing phase 7 Disemination, Communication and Exploitation Timeline Project Information Under the EU’s Horizon 2020 R&I Programme Acronym: SCARABEUS Grant Agreement ID: 814985 Duration: 4 years (1 April 2019 - 31 March 2023) Programme: H2020-EU.3.3.2. (Low-cost, low-carbon energy supply) Topic: LC-SC3-RES-11-2018 (Developing solutions to reduce the cost and increase performance of renewable technologies) Call for Proposal: H2020-LC-SC3-2018-RES-TwoStages Funding Scheme: RIA - Research and Innovation action Budget: 4 950 266,25 € (100% EU funding)
  2. 2. Objective The aim of the SCARABEUS project is to demonstrate that the application of supercritical CO2 blends to CSP plants has the potential to reduce CAPEX by 30% and OPEX by 35% with res- pect to state-of-the-art steam cycles, thus exceeding the reduc- tion achievable with standard supercritical CO2 technology. This translates into a LCoE lower than 96 €/MWh, which is 30% lower than currently possible. The project will also demonstrate the innovative fluid and newly developed heat exchangers at a relevant scale (300 kWth) for 300 h in a CSP-like operating environment. Mission & Vision Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants are set to play an im- portant role in the energy supply mix in the twenty first century. Unfortunately, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCoE) of CSP (currently about 150 €/MWh) has not attained the level targeted (100 €/MWh) except for few installations in exceptionally good locations. As of today, many ongoing research projects aiming at enhan- cing the efficiency of the power block and reducing the associa- ted costs are based on supercritical CO2 technology. However, relatively high ambient temperatures, typical in regions charac- terized by high solar irradiation, remain the Achilles heel of su- percritical CO2 cycles as the efficiency of these systems drops dramatically in warm environments where ambient temperature is close to or higher than the critical temperature of CO2 (31°C), hence not allowing to adopt condensation (Rankine) cycles with expectedly higher efficiencies. This issue stems as an intrinsic cri- tical hurdle for the future commercialization of CSP plants, which may be difficult to overcome by any means with the technology currently in use or with standard supercritical CO2 technology. To address this limitation, SCARABEUS proposes a modified working fluid whereby carbon dioxide is blended with certain ad- ditives to enable condensation at temperatures as high as 60°C • WWPP55 [USSEE] is focused on overall plant optimisation from both thermodynamic and economic standpoints. In WP5, the CO2 blend to be validated in SCARABEUS through efficiency and LCoE calculations is selected. In addition, WP5 defines the operating conditions of the power block that are necessary in WP3 for the design of the turbomachinery and in WP4 for the design and manufacturing of the heat exchangers. Also in WP5, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and natural capital assess- ments performed with the aim to understand and evaluate the environmental and social impacts of the SCARABEUS technology. • In WWWPP6 [[TUUUWW], the prototype air-cooled condenser and recu- perative heat exchanger designed and manufactured in WP4 is tested in a dedicated experimental loop. Both components are characterised, and a detailed cost assessment is perfor- med. The experimental campaign in the loop is designed to accumulate 300 hours of testing to enable endurance valida- tion of the working fluid. whilst, at the same time, still withstanding the required peak cy- cle temperatures. This presents a major breakthrough in CSP technologies as it increases the thermomechanical conversion efficiency from the current 42% to above 50%, bringing about large reductions in LCoE. The two main areas of research in SCCCCARRRAABBBEUUUUSS (optimal additives heat exchanger development) will lead to a significant reduction of CAPEX and OPEX with respect to conventional CSP technologies. Structure SCCAARAAABBEUUSS comprises activities covering the whole value chain needed to prove thermodynamic, economic and environmental benefits of the proposed technology. The work plan is divided into five R&D work packages (WP2-6), WP1 [POLIMI] on pro- ject management and coordination and WP7 [ABE] on disse- mination, communication and exploitation with a cross-cutting approach: • WWPP22 [UNNIBBSS] is devoted to identifying the most promising CO2 blends. The thermodynamic properties of these fluids are determined and passed to WP5 for the thermo-economic simulation and optimisation of SCARABEUS. • WWPP33 [CIITTYYY] is focused on assessing the impact of the new working fluids on the design and performance of turbomachi- nery used in the system. To this aim, a full-scale axial turbine will be designed and a suitable pump (SCARABEUS is based on a condensing cycle) which could be adopted in a commer- cial plant will also be selected. This WP covers both aerother- mal and economic aspects of turbomachinery. • WWPP44 [KEELLL] is aimed at assessing the impact of the new wor- king fluids on the design and performance of the heat ex- changers used in the system. The focus is on the high and low temperature recuperator and on the condenser, which are the critical heat exchangers in the cycle. The scope of this WP includes manufacturing these equipment.