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Producing, storing, and using thermal energy

Thermal Systems

Published on 20 August 2015

​The thermal technology platform is unique in Europe, in terms of both its size and the scope of its R&D activities, which span technologies to produce thermal energy (concentrated solar power), store it for later use, and use it efficiently for industrial applications like heat pumps, boilers, and thermal exchangers.
The R&D carried out at the platform involves around 50 industrial partners, including major corporations like GDF Suez, Saint Gobain, Total, and Renault. These partners hope to improve the energy performance of their industrial processes by optimizing heat transfer and by introducing thermal storage systems.
The platform possesses an extraordinary range of equipment: two concentrated solar power plants of more than 1,000 sq.m, around 20 instrumented test loops, and thermal storage demonstrators (phase-change-material on a highpressure steam circuit, oil on rock bed, and stacked ceramic on a high-temperature—up to 1,200°C—air circuit).

Concentrated solar power (CSP), thermal storage, and thermal systems for industry

Notable equipment
The Cadarache CSP plant with 1,300 sq. m of mirrors, a 450°C steam turbine, and three-stage thermal storage