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Consideration about future positioning of CSP in Power System

Reported from CSPPLAZA: “By continuously improving efficiency and standardizing large-scale replication construction, the LOCE of CSP station will be much lower. It is expected to reach the current average price of PV and natural gas in a few years.” On October 12, 2018, at the 3rd China Delingha CSP Conference, Jin Jianxiang, Chairman of Zhejiang SUPCON Solar Technology Co., Ltd., expressed in his keynote speech titled “Thinking about Some Issues Concerning CSP“.

The following is the main content of Jin Jianxiang’s speech:

Consideration about future positioning of CSP

At this stage: if CSP generates electricity at the daytime as much as possible like photovoltaic and wind power, then it is only a supplementary power supply; of course, while using energy storage to continue to generate electricity, CSP will be a supplementary power, unlike photovoltaic.

The next stage: it should become a clean peak-shaving power supply, and combine photovoltaic, wind power generation to instead part of thermal power and natural gas peak-shaving power supply, and achieve grid parity according to the peak-shaving price.

In the future, it will gradually replace coal power, and become a clean power supply and peak load regulating power supply.

Feasibility of CSP station as peak load regulating power station

(1) Adapt to the peak load demand operation mode:

During the day, 2-6 hours around noon, low load operation or shutdown to make way for PV.

Or make way for thermal power by running at low load or shutting down at night after the peak to increase the hours of thermal power generation.

Alternatively, it can be combined with photovoltaic and wind power generation to make them a stable clean power supply.

(2) Technology: using CSP station to store heat at large capacity and low cost, the output is easy to maintain stable and adjustable. Practice has proved that it only takes about 15 minutes for the CSP station to realize the rapid change of 20% – 100% generation load, and the depth and speed of peak shaving is much better than coal-fired power station. During peak shaving, the low load operation of steam turbine only has a little effect on efficiency. In addition, there is no technical obstacle to start up quickly after orderly shutdown within 4 hours. Therefore, it can technically adjust to the operation mode of peak shaving demand.

(3) Economy: in order to meet the demand of peak shaving, the system design needs to be adjusted.

On the basis of the existing scheme, it is possible to meet the demand of peak shaving by properly increasing the energy storage time, or increasing the rated power of steam turbine, or both, and it is also economical.

The economy of CSP station as peak load regulating station: the 4 hours around noon, no electricity generation is calculated.

As can be seen from the above table:

(1) Due to the peak shaving demand, sunlight is wasted or the area of solar field is reduced, and the LOCE is obviously increased, which will affect the economy.

(2) By prolonging the storage time or increasing the rated power of the steam turbine, it has little effect on LOCE, so as a peak-shaving power supply, there is no big economic obstacle.

The prospect of becoming a clean base power source.

The proportion of thermal power generation decreases year by year, while the trend that the proportion of photovoltaic and wind power generation increases year by year can not be changed. In the premise that the total domestic demand for electricity maintains about 5% (international for about 3%), thermal power as the base load power supply has been unable to meet the demand after 20 or 30 years, then it is a good choice for CSP station to be a clean base power supply.

Therefore, the CSP station should be positioned in power sources for peaking and for base-load supply, giving full play to its comparative advantages. We should be full of hope for the future of CSP.

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