Enerray, a state-of-the-art company in solar concentration

Enerray Morocco has started construction works of the 500kWe concentrated solar power plant equipped with an innovative thermal accumulation system. The facility is located in Ben Guerir, about 80 kms from Marrakech, within the Green Energy Park, place of testing, research, experimentation and training, where Enerray has already completed the work of another concentration plant 1 MWe.

The CSP (Concentrated Solar Power) plant will be made up of 4,900 m2 of Fresnel linear mirrors and will be connected to the 1MWe section. The thermal energy generated by the two plants will be converted into electrical energy by an Organic Rankine Cycle system (ORC) consisting of a turbine produced by Exergy, another company of the Maccaferri Industrial Group. The Thermal Energy Storage system (TES), as conducted by the experimental research centers CIC Energigune and Fraunhofer, consists of an appropriately insulated tank that will contain magnetite and which will provide electricity for at least 4 hours in absence of sun.

The new 500 kWe plant is part of the ORC-PLUS project supported by the European Union with a funding of around 6.4 million euros under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.

The ORC-PLUS project, borned on 01/06/2015, aims at developing an innovative Thermal Energy Storage system (TES) which is optimised for CSP plants in the scale of 1-5 MWe. This will improve the dispatchability (production on demand) and number of hours of production, regardless of sunlight availability, of an existing small CSP plant coupled with an ORC system (located in a desert area).

The benefits for the country will result in a decrease in the cost of electricity by around 30% -40% – just think that the two plants together could cover the energy needs of more than 2,000 Moroccan households – while the environmental impact of the life cycle of the plant will be minimal due to the use of non-impacting construction components, mineral oils (no polluting effect on the soil) and dry systems to avoid water use (cooling the ORC system with air and magnetite for the thermal storage system).

In addition to Enerray as the industrial partner, Exergy as the supplier of the ORC system, and ENEA as the project coordinator, the following research institutes participate to the ORC-PLUS project: IRESEN – Institute de Research en Energie Solaire et Energies Nouvelles (Morocco), Fraunhofer Institute (Germany), CIC Energigune (Spain), and two small companies, Soltigua (Italian company supplier of the Fresnel mirrors) and Euronovia (French service company).

Walter Gaggioli of ENEA, responsible for the ORC-PLUS project, states that “considering the global character of many challenges, strategic cooperation with third countries is an integral part of this important project, and Enerray as an industrial partner is demonstrating its skills in science, technology and innovation.”

Along with IRESEN, Enerray will have the task of experimenting and optimizing process parameters.

IRESEN General Manager, Badr Ikken commented: “The ORC-PLUS experimental facility represents an opportunity for the development of CSP technology in many areas of Morocco and in general in sub-Saharan Africa”, highlighting, among other things, satisfaction for the participation of Enerray as industrial executive partner.

Source: Enerray website