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The ORC-PLUS project aims at developing an innovative Thermal Energy Storage system 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 consortium is coordinated by ENEA and made by a total of 6 partners from 3 different European countries plus 1 international partner from Morocco, IRESEN, that is one of the main stakeholders related to CSP in that country.


The consortium counts both on a significant participation of industrial partners (with a long experience in small CSP field and process engineering) and on relevant research entities.

  • WP1 - Project coordination and management

  • WP2 - Integration of the TES systems in the CSP plant

  • WP3 - TES materials characterization

  • WP4 - Design and realization of the trial TES systems

  • WP5 - Pre-industrial scale pilot demonstrator

  • WP6 - Monitoring pre-industrial scale pilot demonstrator

  • WP7 - Industrial case & business partner screening

  • WP8 - Technology risk identification and management plan

  • WP9 - Dissemination and exploitation

ORC-PLUS heliostat field
3D visualisation of Iresen plant
ORC-PLUS Plant layout
Horizon 2020 European Project
What is Concentrating Solar Power and Solar Thermal Electricity?


Concentrating solar power (CSP) devices concentrate energy from the sun’s rays to heat a receiver to high temperatures. This heat is then transformed into electricity – solar thermal electricity (STE).


Concentrating solar thermal power and solar fuels technologies produce electricity and possibly other energy carriers (“fuels”) by concentrating solar radiation to heat various materials to high temperatures. A concentrating solar power (CSP) plant comprises a field of solar collectors, receivers, and a power block, where the heat collected in the solar field is transformed into mechanical energy, then electricity. In between, the system must include one or several heat transfer or working fluids, possibly heat storage devices and/or back-up/hybridisation systems with some combustible fuel. A cooling system, wet or dry, completes the description of the plant (IEA, 2010d). CSP plants come in four different versions: parabolic trough, linear Fresnel, tower and parabolic dish systems.


When combined with thermal storage capacity of several hours of full-capacity generation, CSP plants can continue to produce electricity even when clouds block the sun, or after sundown or in early morning when power demand steps up, making it a competitive technology to mitigate climate change.


Source : International Energy Agency website

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