DISTOR - Direct Storage

One advantage of solar thermal power plants - compared to most of the other renewable energies - is the easily possible integration of thermal storage systems. With this option it is possible to produce solar electricity even at night. The two-tank molten salt system is commercially available, as shown in the Andasol plants. For Direct Steam Generation a new storage design needs to be applied.

Thus two different storage types are needed: sensible heat storage for the preheating and superheating zone, latent storage for the evaporation/condensation part. While for the sensible heat part e.g. the proven molten salt system can be used, for the latent storage e.g. phase-change-material storage may be applied.

Within DISTOR, co-funded by the European Commission, a prototype phase-change-material storage modul has been developed and tested at the Plataforma Solar de Almería.