The object of this project is to advance in the hybrid cooling technology for its use in solar thermal applications at comercial scale, like are the Concentrating Solar Power plants and the multi-effect distillation plants driven by solar energy and located inland, to thus achieve a reduction in water consumption in such applications. Through the use of methods in automatic control, it should be achieved an optimum management of the operation of the hybrid cooling systems in terms of water consumption avoiding the penalty in the efficiency of the solar thermal applications in which the cooling systems are integrated, thus making the technology feasible from the technical and economical point of views. 
In this project it is intended to address: a) the identification of components of a pilot scale hybrid cooler and of the last condenser of a pilot-scale multi-effect unit, both located at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA, www.psa.es), by performing experimental campaigns; b) the modelling of the main components of the pilot plants base on experimental data and based on physical equations; c) the implementation and validation of low-level control systems that ensure the operation of the pilot-scale hybrid cooler at PSA in the desired operating points; d) the implementation and validation of optimization strategies to optimize the electricity and water consumptions; e) implementation of the models of the hybrid cooler at comercial scale and their integration into models of concentrating solar power and multi-effect plants together with the optimization strategy for its evaluation through annual simulations; f) the costs analysis of both case studies and its comparison with the use of conventional cooling tecnologies. 
The fullfilment of the preceding goals represents a significant contribution in a topic with high potential, and without exploitation, in the sustainable use of water in processes driven by solar energy. Undoubtedly, the resulting methodologies from the optimization will generate interest in small and big companies of concentrating solar power and multi-effect sectors or others, whose priority is the implementation of solutions for water saving. The social impact from the results of the proposed project is also clear, since the activities to carry out has an implication with several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the United Nation Organization (UNO) approved in 2015 (guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy, build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialization and foster innovation, modernize the industrial sector in general to adopt clean and environmentally sound technologies and guarantee sustainable consumption and production patterns).
The experimental facilities available at PSA, which is a major Spanish Research Infrastructure owned by the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT, www.ciemat.es), and the large experience on experimental evaluation, modelling and automatic control of solar thermal applications of the research team in charge of this project are the main assets to achieve the proposed objectives.

Project Data

Proyectos de Generación del Conocimiento: Convocatoria 2021, Investigación Orientada, Tipo A, Agencia Estatal de Investigación
Duración: 3 años (septiembre 2022 – agosto 2025)

Áreas temáticas

  • Área temática principal: Energía y transporte
  • Subárea temática principal: Energía
  • Área temática secundaria: Producción industrial, ingeniería civil e ingenierías para la sociedad
  • Subárea temática: Ingeniería eléctrica, electrónica y automática
  • Prioridades temáticas: Clima, Energía y movilidad
  • Código NABS: 05050 – Energía
  • Código FORD: 211 – Otras Ingenierías y Tecnologías

Entidades participantes

Entidades colaboradoras

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