A technological solution able “to receive” from the sun 70 kW of radiant power and “virtually convert them up till 15 kW of electric power”. We’re talking about the first solar disk in the world – realized by ENEA – able to produce electric energy thanks to integration with last generation’s air micro turbine. A system able to feed a five apartments’ condominium that would have been seen last September 29th at CASACCIA’s CENTRO ENEA for the first research’ open day promoted by the Agency.

OMSoP project

Prototype was realized inside OMSoP – Optimized Microturbine Solar Power System – project that in 2013 made available 5,8 euro’ millions for the 7th United Europe’ Programma Quadro (Framework Program). Between project’ partners we have even Roma 3 University, City University of London, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and University of Seville and companies like Compower, INNOVA and European Turbine Network.

Until 2018 test’ phase

Recently we started a test’ phase in real atmospheric conditions that will go on for all the 2018 to optimize performances before its sale.

System’s parts

Solar disk is made by a solar concentrator, a receiver and an air micro turbine. “Solar concentrator – as we can read on ENEA’ site – is circular, with a parabolic reflecting surface among its fire arranges the cavity receiver made by two concentric “glasses” one in the other inserted, where inside circulates air. Concentrator reflects solar radiation on receiver’s window that absorbs it inside, meanwhile circulating air warms up till an about 800/900°C temperature”.

“A compressor – we continue reading on agency’ site – collects the air outside, compresses it till 3 atmospheres and send it to receiver. Here, thanks to remaining solar heat, the air flow warms up to pass, then, in the micro turbine, where it expands, while remaining heat goes into a retriever before the air goes in the ambient. Air’ expansion in the turbine will allow the high frequency generator to reach 150.000 rounds for minute’ rotation speed, ensuring this way an outbound electric power included between 3 and 15 kW”.

Solar at concentration and air micro turbine

“Projected, set up and started by ENEA plan, is the first in the world combining most recent progresses in concentration solar technology research with innovative air micro turbine, automotive’ derivation, more compact and lighter compared with engines normally used in this kind of applications”, underlines Michela Lanchi, Energy Technologies Department’ researcher (ricercatrice del Dipartimento Tecnologie Energetiche).

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