A combined heat and power plant that opened last week in Denmark is the first in the world to combine concentrated solar power (CSP) with biomass and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology, its developers have claimed.
The 10 MWth district heating plant operated by utility Brønderslev Forsyning is located in the northern town of Brønderslev and replaces a previous gas-fired heating plant.
Within the new plant, two 10 MWth biomass boilers, three ground-source heat pumps and solar heating and oil-fired units work together to supply heat to around 4600 customers through a 140 km pipe network.
The €35m ($43m) project includes a 27,000 square metre CSP plant from Denmark’s Aalborg CSP. The system consists of 40 rows of mirrors which heat thermal oil to temperatures up to 330°C. The heated oil is then used to both feed the 3.8 MWe ORC system, suppied by Italy’s Turboden, and directly heat the district heating water.
The system can alternate between providing both heat and power at peak price periods, or just heat, Aalborg CSP said, adding that on sunny days the system is expected to reach 16.6 MWth.
The project was supported by the Danish Government’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP).
Jes Donneborg, Aalborg CSP’s executive vice-president, said the CSP technology “is capable of supporting the production of pretty much any energy outputs, be it heat, electricity, cooling, process steam or even desalinated water.
“Soon, we will be able to deliver the next generation of this type, and reduce the gap between renewable and conventional fuel prices on a global scale,” he added.