One of the most promising renewable energy concepts is the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) tower with a hybrid combined cycle gas turbine power block. U.S. Department of Energy studies  indicate that this type of system can achieve greater than 60% thermal efficiency and result in a lower the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) as compared to the CSP technology operating today. The air Brayton gas turbine part of the combined cycle system can also operate in a hybrid mode with natural gas resulting in optimizing the plant performance and making it available for fully dispatchable power output even when the solar thermal is not available. Since this concept had not been tested on a MW scale, a CSP tower hybrid gas turbine demonstration plant called Solugas was built near Seville, Spain. A 4.6 MW Mercury™ 50 gas turbine was modified to operate with a high temperature air receiver. The demonstration tests were conducted to ensure the turbine can operate over a broad range of conditions with and without solar energy. The performance and operation safety were critical test objectives. The demonstration test results were excellent and met all program objectives.
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Concentrated Solar Power Hybrid Gas Turbine Demonstration Test Results
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Teraji, DG. "Concentrated Solar Power Hybrid Gas Turbine Demonstration Test Results." Proceedings of the ASME 2015 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2015 9th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, the ASME 2015 13th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology, and the ASME 2015 Nuclear Forum. ASME 2015 Power Conference. San Diego, California, USA. June 28–July 2, 2015. V001T01A015. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/POWER2015-49572
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