CAPTURING THE SUN
Investment funds needed to aid in the creation of the first solar thermal CSP tower power plant in Cyprus. With continuously rising oil prices and the inability of the island’s Electricity Authority to fully cover all the population’s increasing demand for energy, a tower power plant would hold a significant advantage even over other renewable energy providers, since it is able to use ground-breaking technology to store sunlight and provide energy 24/7 at very competitive prices.
Solar Tower Technology
Use a ground-based field of mirrors to focus direct solar irradiation onto a receiver mounted high on a central tower where the light is captured and converted into heat.
The heat drives a thermodynamic cycle, in most cases a water-steam cycle, to generate electric power. The solar field consists of a large number of computer-controlled mirrors, called heliostats, that track the sun individually in two axes.
These mirrors reflect the sunlight onto the central receiver where molten salt is heated up. Solar towers can achieve higher temperatures than parabolic trough and linear Fresnel systems because more sunlight can be concentrated on a single receiver and the heat losses at that point can be minimized.
- The solar thermal CSP tower power plant should be the first in Cyprus.
- Being part of the Renewable energy sources movement the company will be able to provide its customers with energy without spoiling the environment.
- The establishment of solid foundations from the beginning will ensure the company’s expansion to a larger scale production plan as well as the establishment of a research center that will allow for the production of low-cost renewable energy sources.
- Electricity Authority of Cyprus which has been rendered less competitive through restrictions from CERA. Large slow-moving organization.
- Windmill has as much capacity as we could offer but are not reliable in their production.
- Photovoltaic Parks produce energy only during daylight hours.
- We would be able to produce energy 24/7 compared to windmills that produce only when there are wind and PV which produce only during the day.
Up until today, the market has been monopolized by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, a semi-government organization.
After the unfortunate events that took place last year with Mari and the destruction of a large portion of EAC production units, the opportunities for large scale renewable energy plans can be extremely fruitful, as we shall see later in the presentation. The demand for energy exceeds the EAC maximum capacity by far.
- The disability of the main competitor to respond to the increasing demand in energy consumption offers the best opportunity for the establishment of a large scale Solar Thermal power plan.
- The cost of oil has climbed so high and will continue to go higher that would, in the end, make production of energy by means of natural gas, not as cost-effective as is thought to be.
- The total electricity requirements in Cyprus reach 1200MW and the maximum produced is 850MW. These requirements, just like anywhere in the world, increase by at least 10% every year.
- A prerequisite for such a venture would be to fall within the area which is abundant with light and as one can see from the figure below Cyprus is perfectly located
- Our solar thermal plan will have the ability to store the energy from the sun in order to use it even during night time due to its 15 hours heat storage capacity.
- As the picture shows the heliostats concentrate the rays of the sun at the top of the central tower which heats up.
- Molten Potassium Nitrate salts are pumped at the top of the tower and heat up at 565˚C.
- The salt is then stored in an insulated container and used to boil water which is used to turn an electricity generator turbine.
Comparison of Different CSP Technologies
Goals and Objectives
- The Power plant should have a capacity of 50MW. Sales should increase through consulting services and research.
- The domestic charge per KWh is approx. €0.2448 and the industrial charge is approx. €0.2247
Capital Cost & Key Characteristics of Solar Tower Plan
The cost breakdown for a typical solar tower project will indicate that the major cost would be in the energy storage system. The higher operating temperatures and temperature differential possible in the storage system significantly reduces the cost of thermal energy storage. In the analysis of a system with nine hours of storage, the thermal storage system of the solar tower project accounts for 8% of the total costs.
Capital Cost & Key Characteristics of Solar Tower Plan
- For Solar Towers, the largest cost components of the solar field are the mirror modules, the drives and finally the foundation, pedestal and support structure. It is still not clear what size heliostats are optimal, or indeed if there is an optimal size (Kolb, 2010) Larger heliostats reduce the cost of wiring, drives, manufacturing, and controls but have a higher foundation, pedestal and support structure costs.
- Overall, larger heliostats appear to have a cost advantage, particularly if mass-produced. Long-run costs could be as low as USD137/m² for 148m² heliostats that are produced at a rate of 50000 per year. This compares for the estimate for today’s cost at USD 196/m², and USD 237/m² for today’s smaller 30m² heliostats.
Three Year Projections
- The above projections take into consideration minimum operating hours per day with a yearly increase of 3.5%.
- Additional investment might be required to produce power through other means during the little hours of no production from the plant especially during winter nights when there is minimum sunlight.
Estimated Levelised Cost of Energy for Solar Tower Projects
- Three-story building to house Management, Administration and Technical Personnel, and infrastructure.
- We have approximately 1.5 million square meters of land located at 35,0107N 33,2054E with a damn nearby and high tension grid wires passing not far from the location
- We are currently working on a feasibility study for the plant which will take approximately 3 to 4 months to be ready and also on the licensing and 20-year contract with CERA and EAC.
- Distribution of power should be followed by a system of smart meters that would enable the company to charge for power consumption and also as a value-added service that allows the consumer to be able to check his/her consumption on line.
- A large number of R&D activities in the field of CSP are underway (ECOSTAR 2005). The table below shows various R&D activities in this field.
- Other products & services would be the consultation of corporate businesses on power consumption regulation and control. There are appliances that can inform and control of power consumption of specific appliances are all appliances in an office.
- A research laboratory would allow the employment of unemployed scientists to run experiments concerning new methods of cheaply harnessing the power of the sun, commercially or personally.