-- This project is inactive --
Infinia, under the Thermal Storage FOA, is developing a thermal energy storage (TES) system that, when combined with Infinia's dish-Stirling system, can achieve DOE's CSP cost goals of $0.07/kWh by 2015 for intermediate power and 5¢/kWh by 2020 for baseload power.
Infinia's storage system is designed to be capable of >93% round-trip efficiency. This adds incremental value to the system for identified users, thus reducing overall system cost. The project phase objectives are:
- Phase I: Provide proof-of-concept
- Phase II: Build and demonstrate TES/CSP prototype
- Phase III: Deliver and test a statistically significant number of TES/CSP systems (40 to 50)
Dish Stirling systems have long been considered to have excellent prospects for providing low-cost, large-scale, high efficiency solar power. However, up to this point, dish systems have lacked the storage capability that would allow them to dispatch power during cloud-transients and at night. Infinia is addressing this issue by modifying its 3-kW dish-Stirling design to provide 4–6 hours of storage. This novel approach uses a thermal salt phase-change material (PCM) between the solar thermal receiver and the engine for isothermal operation, which is required for dish-Stirling systems.
By providing a viable storage option, Infinia is giving dish/engine technology an advantage over photovoltaics, which currently competes in the same small- to large-scale market for solar power.