Hybrid Systems

Carbon Reduction Ventures (CRV), developers and advisers of advanced solar and hybrid energy solutions, has commenced project development services in the establishment of hybrid systems using Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Cogeneration technologies (CHP), or Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST) storage with Waste Heat Recovery (WHR).

Such systems offer gains in efficiency, along with reductions in power costs and carbon emissions, and can be created by integrating new and existing power generation technologies.

The use of hybrid energy models incorporating solar energy systems with natural gas or diesel fuels can allow for the development and deployment of an innovative yet proven renewable energy system, that outperform many conventional technologies in terms of economics, while delivering emission reductions over the long term, and can address issues such as peak grid power demands or high cost diesel fuel power systems.

CRV has expertise in many aspects of developing a solar hybrid project including:

  • Load Profiling
  • Determination of an Energy Generation Strategy
  • Configuration determination & optimisation of system
  • Generation & system costs
  • Economics & providing finance options (leasing /power purchase agreement)
  • Operations & maintenance/monitoring & control
  • Project design & execution

CRV’s solar thermal storage hybrid systems utilise the highly innovative Solastor graphite thermal energy storage technology and associated heliostat technology.

Update: Hybrid Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Project

Carbon Reduction Ventures (CRV) has pioneered the introduction of the Australian invented and developed Concentrated Solar Thermal Power (CSP) technology VirtualSolar™ into Western Australia since 2011.

During 2012 CRV was awarded funding from the Western Australian State Government’s Low Emission Energy Development (LEED) Fund to deploy the technology. The initial attempt was to use the technology in a ‘standalone’ 1.5MW solar project in Morawa (WA), however, the Shire of Morawa withdrew its stakeholder support, as it believed the plan was ‘beyond the capacity’ of the Council.

In an effort to increase the revenue for the same capital investment, in August 2013, CRV invented a CSP Hybrid configuration in lieu of the previous standalone concept in Morawa. This Hybrid model is based on collecting waste heat from a fuel based generator to supplement a reduced capacity of the solar thermal storage, and was announced for installation at a WA gold mine site in 2015.

The Hybrid approach enables an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine to operate at high temperatures (240-300°C) by including solar energy as a boost. Based on a reference case, such as the Turboden T10 1000kW unit (www.turboden.com) which attains an efficiency of up to 22% with the solar boost, this is a significant increase over other lower temperature ORC technologies that are only around 10% efficient.

CRV believes that the implementation of a CSP Hybrid project as described above, is a major leap forward in the intelligent use of waste heat, and as with all good pioneers, CRV will continue to pursue a CSP Hybrid project, optimistically in Australia.

VirtualSolarTM Technology

The VirtualSolarTM system is capable of providing energy on demand 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

The system operates by placing the VirtualSolarTM receiver containing a quantity of graphite on a 24m high tower and surrounding it with a quantity of heliostats. Using custom designed software, the heliostats follow the path of the sun and direct its rays onto the graphite. Due to the low emissivity of high purity graphite, thermal losses are very low over an extended period of time.

The advantage of this system is that heat can be converted to steam whilst the sun’s rays are being directed onto the graphite or after the receiver is sealed.

The following animation displays one module in operation Solar Plant – Animated technology video

The Lloyd Energy Systems storage technology that VirtualSolarTM is based on, was selected for funding by the Australian Centre for Renewable Energy (ACRE) under the Advanced Electricity Storage Technologies (AEST) program

The report on the outcome from this project can be viewed here.