Thermo-Fluids Research Centre
  1. Turbomachinery and Energy Systems
    1. Project structure
    2. Project team

SolGATS: Concentrated Solar Power Micro Gas Turbine with Thermal Energy Storage

The overall objective of SolGATS is the development of a concentrated solar power (CSP) parabolic dish system generating electricity using a micro gas turbine (MGT) with thermal energy storage using solid particles, which can be used in combined power, heating and cooling. The advantages over Photovoltaic arise from the integrated energy storage, reduced land use, tri-generation and higher efficiency particularly in hot climates with direct sunlight.

Rationale and background

Increasing level of CO2 emission in China makes it vital for sustainable economic and social growth to accelerate the shift to renewable power generation solutions. For large parts of China solar energy is an ideal renewable resource of electricity, heating and cooling as result of high solar irradiation level. This project aims to develop further a specific solution for solar power generation based on Concentrated Solar Power Micro Gas Turbine (MGT), which offers advantages over other solar solutions. This includes a dispatchable distributed generation system, integration to heating and cooling and much lower land use than solar photovoltaic panels, an important factor in a country such as China. The research and development activities will be undertaken in both UK and China through a structured development programme aiming to address the technical and economic challenges facing the development of the system specifically on the high-tech subsystems such as the Micro Gas Turbine.

Project objectives

  • To develop concentrated solar power (CSP) parabolic dish system powering a micro gas turbine (MGT) with thermo-chemical energy storage.
  • To advance current technology developed by City University and integrate it with a solar dish technology and high temperature thermal storage technology developed by Zhejiang University to provide an optimised system minimising the need for backup power.
  • To produce a technology that can be deployed in standalone mode or stacked in a flexible manner for medium power plants.

Key deliverables and outcomes

A successful outcome of this project is anticipated in the form of deployment of large number of SolGATs units in rural areas following successful demonstration of the technology at the commercial scale and identifying a business model by which a large proportion of the system is manufactured close to the points of use.