DOE allocates USD 3.8m for hybrid solar gas turbine project
Jul 27, 2012 - The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a USD-3.8-million (EUR 3.1m) deal to a consortium led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to design and produce a gas turbine combustor for a concentrating solar power (CSP) hybrid gas turbine system.
The consortium also includes US gas turbines manufacturer Solar Turbines Inc, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, German Aerospace Center and San Diego State University, SwRI said Thursday in a statement.
DOE's grant was issued through the SunShot Initiative aimed at boosting the competitiveness of solar power in the US.
The project's goal is to combine the efficiency of existing gas turbines, which offer up to 62% thermal efficiency, with concentrating solar power systems that are currently limited to a maximum temperature of 400 degrees Celsius and allow some 40% of thermal efficiency. The combination can lead to gas turbines operating at temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius.
The project will have three phases and is expected to run until 2015. The first phase will begin in August 2012 and will consist in the evaluation of combustor concepts and design development. The second phase will focus on the fabrication of the combustion system, while phase three will be dedicated to testing.