S2M Solutions - Optimising O&M can be the "quick win" for CSP plants

With the CSP industry now looking at improvements in O&M to augment plant output, CSP Today continued their preparation for the CSP Yield Optimisation Conference Europe (31 May - 1 June, Seville) by talking to Sun 2 Market Solutions, or S2M.

The engineering company offers a wide range of services for CSP projects, such as techno-economic due diligence, feasibility studies, solar resource analysis, conceptual lay out as well as modeling for design and operational optimisation of solar plants.

In order to realise the triple goals of CSP - availability, reliability, and dispatchability - there are a number of options that companies can take. Technical improvements such as new components are an obvious choice, say S2M, but the use of software tools can be effective. "Improved dynamic software tools for design, and applying sophisticated predictive tools for the weather and price forecast, can achieve optimised CSP plants". Yet one of the most interesting developments is how these software options can be tied to operational optimisation.

"Optimising O&M by using predictive dynamic simulation tools can be a quick win but is still not implemented in almost any CSP plant" state S2M. "Having a weather nowcast' and forecast prediction model for the next few hours and the next three days combined, along with a dynamic plant model that includes operation mode (plus a spot market forecast module if applicable) will definitely improve the revenue of the plant. We estimate that plant revenues of a generic 50MW parabolic trough plant with 6 hours of storage can be increased by 3 to 4 million Euros for good locations in Spain."

The company are active in a number of projects designed specifically for plant optimisation - and focuses on plant simulation tools for the design, performance tests and operation of CSP plants. Their software suite for plant operation also features weather and price forecast modules. In development is a weather "nowcasting" service for CSP plants using real-time satellite images, combined with sky camera image analysis, in order to give accurate DNI predictions for the plant operation. These innovations complement services in feasibility and production studies, technical due diligence and plant layout analysis.

To hear more on the ways that Sun 2 Market Solutions analyse plant output through location selection, Director Ralf Wiesenberg will be giving his thoughts at the CSP Yield Optimisation Conference & Expo Europe (31 May - 1 June, Seville, Spain). This 2-day conference will show how to maximise CSP plant output through improved balance of plant engineering.

For more details, visit www.csptoday.com/optimisationeurope or contact Matt Carr: matt@csptoday.com

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