Behind-the-Meter, Distributed Scale CSP System Enabled by Very Low-cost Working Fluid and Thermal Storage

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0019956
Agency Tracking Number: 245788
Amount: $196,155.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 12f
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001941
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-03-31
Small Business Information
15 Railroad Row, White River Junction, VT, 05001-1944
DUNS: 078314061
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Troy McBride
 (802) 738-8059
Business Contact
 Jonathan Lynch
Phone: (802) 274-8171
Research Institution
In some areas of the USA and Europe, the installed capacity of renewable generation has reached a level at which wholesale energy prices can drop below zero due to overproduction relative to baseload capacity. The value of energy exported to the grid for behind-the-meter (BTM) systems is dropping, with policies in many states now promoting self-consumption of produced energy rather than net-metering. As a result, systems including energy storage are being increasingly valued. While storage is an intrinsic component of today’s concentrating solar power (CSP), traditional utility scale plants require billions of dollars in capital expense; take many years to site, permit, and construct; use vast tracts of open land; and have to compete against low-cost baseload power. Norwich Technologies (NT) will develop a distributed-scale CSP (D-CSP) system that integrates a novel low cost storage subsystem with proven solar field and power block technology. The system will operate at a maximum temperature of 350oC and be primarily targeted at BTM applications, using long term storage to enable high percentage rates of self-consumption for commercial and industrial (C&I), municipal, university, school, and hospital (MUSH) customers. By targeting higher value energy streams and higher storage ratios than traditional CSP, NT will enable widespread deployment of CSP, thus enhancing grid reliability, resiliency and security for customers across the sun belt. In contrast to traditional CSP, our system can be permitted, designed, and built in under 18 months; will have intermediate capital requirements (i.e., few $1M’s to $10M’s); have modest land requirements similar to commercial scale PV; and can target retail versus wholesale power rates because of BTM operation. During the Phase I program we will de-risk the storage system through design and computational modelling followed by a laboratory-scale test and demonstration. We will perform detailed cost analysis for the storage system and all components of the solar field and power block. By improving the fidelity of our solar power plant models we will determine the optimum solar field configurations for a variety of potential customers’ needs and environments. We will develop partnerships for a field-scale demonstration to be designed and deployed during the anticipated Phase II program.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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