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New solar collector concept for high temperature operation in CSP applications (HITECO)
Start date: Nov 1, 2010, End date: Oct 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"In order to accelerate the implementation of the CSP technology, the electricity cost has to be reduced by increasing the plants’ efficiency. The HITECO Project aims at doing so by increasing the operating temperature of the heat transfer fluid (HTF) up to 600ºC and therefore raising the overall efficiency of the process. The current state-of-the-art designs are prevented to reach such temperatures without a dramatic efficiency drop by several key components. The HITECO design will re-assess all these concepts and research on new solutions that will allow the HTF to reach the aforementioned temperature and the overall process to increase its performance at the same time. In order to develop such a receiver, several research lines will have to be explored. Research on new materials and deposition methods will be developed in order to provide a system that will be able to endure such temperatures and maintain the optical, mechanical and thermal performance of the receiver; a new vacuum system will be introduced to maintain and monitor an acceptable vacuum level and the desired composition inside the tubes; new HTFs will have to be researched; and new supports, union systems and contact points will be developed in order to better accommodate the thermal expansion of the steel and the glass tubes. All these new concepts and designs will be validated through several modelling approaches and also through off-sun and field tests. The new design will also be assessed from a manufacturing point of view, in order to achieve a product that is easier and cheaper to fabricate, to assemble and to commission.In order to achieve these ambitious goals, the HITECO consortium brings together industrial partners and research organizations. With the successful development of the HITECO concept, the efficiency of CSP plants will be increased, thus contributing to a reduction of the produced electricity cost and therefore accelerating the implementation of this technology."
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