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Al Kindi A, Markides C, Pantaleo A, et al., 2020, Optimal system configuration and operation strategies of flexible hybrid nuclear-solar power plants, The 33rd International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, Publisher: ECOS
Nuclear power plants are commonly used for baseload power supply due to their high reliability, low variable costs, as well as relatively low thermal efficiencies and limited load-following capabilities; especially, in the case of light water reactors. At the same time, concentrating solar power (CSP) technology is gaining attention, but is still considered an intermittent source of power with a limited availability factor. In an effort to propose a very different performance characteristic for both technologies, a hybrid power system combining nuclear and CSP plants and integrated with a thermal energy storage system is considered in this paper. The integration of the technologies is achieved by adding an indirect solar superheater and a solar reheater to a small modular nuclear reactor (NuScale). The work includes modelling of the integrated hybrid system, thermodynamic performance analysis and operational optimization aimed at maximizing the profitability of such a hybrid power plant in Oman. The results show that the hybrid system has the potential to deliver more efficient and flexible power (operating between 55% and 100% of nominal load) with the nuclear reactor operated continuously at its full rated power. The hybridization concept can potentially produce a competitive levelized cost of electricity, especially with the integration of thermal energy storage. The study concludes that the installation of such a system in Oman is not yet economically viable unless electricity tariffs increase by 70% to UK levels.
Al Kindi A, Markides C, Wang K, et al., 2019, Thermodynamic assessment of steam-accumulation thermal energy storage in concentrating solar Power plants, International Conference on Applied Energy 2019
Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants are usually coupled with Thermal Energy Storage (TES) in order to increase the generation capacity and reduce energy output fluctuations and the levelized cost of the energy. In Direct Steam Generation (DSG) CSP plants, a popular TES option relies on steam accumulation. This conventional option, however, is constrained by temperature and pressure limits, and delivers saturated or slightly superheated steam at low pressure during discharge, which is undesirable for part-load turbine operation. However, steam accumulation can be integrated with sensible-heat storage in concrete to provide high-temperature superheated steam at higher pressures. The conventional steam accumulation option and the integrated concrete-steam option are presented, analysed and compared in this paper. The comparison shows that the integrated option provides more storage capacity by utilizing most of the available thermal power in the solar receiver. Further, the integrated option delivers higher power output with enhanced thermal efficiency for longer periods when the power plant is solely operating using the stored thermal energy. An application to the 50 MW Khi Solar One CSP plant, based on solar tower and in operation in South Africa, is proposed.
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