MATS Project aims promoting the exploitation of concentrated solar power (CSP) through small and middle scale facilities, suitable to fulfil local requirements of power and heat, and easy to back-up with the locally already available, or expressly producible, renewable fuels. The implementation of the project will allow to test the CSP technology in a very advantageous location with regard to the solar radiation rate as an example for the diffusion of this technology in Mediterranean Countries. Besides it will represent the start-up for a development of specialized local industries.
More in detail, the MATS project is focused on the innovative CSP technology developed by ENEA as an improvement of its Solar Thermodynamic technology based on molten salts as heat transfer fluid. This technology, referred as TREBIOS, allows combined heat and power production from solar source integrated with renewable fuels, such as biomass, biogas, industrial residues etc. by means of standardized units that provide high performances and limited cost.
The objective of the proposal is the full scale demonstration of TREBIOS technology through the industrial development, the realization and the experimental operation of a multipurpose facility to be installed in Egypt. The thermal energy produced by this plant will be used as energy source in a desalination unit included in the installation, as well as for district heating and cooling. The use of suitable heat storage systems enhance mismatch of power production from the instantaneous solar radiation availability. These features enable electrical energy production "on demand" and the optimized utilization of captured solar energy by additional loads like desalination. The integration with a back up gaseous fuel, from either biomass or natural gas, makes the system flexible and enables continuous power production. The main features of the project are listed in Table 1.
Key innovative components of the plant are developed and tested individually and, afterwards, assembled to demonstrate the functioning of the overall system. Critical components are, for example, the Molten Salts (MS) Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system with integrated Steam Generator (SG), the MS Heater (MSH) using back up fuel, water Desalination Unit (DU), etc.
At the end of the project, an optimized heat-and-power generation system powered by combined solar source and gaseous fuel will be demonstrated. Accordingly, this project includes the construction and the experimental operation of a plant with the specifications listed in Table. 2.