Solar hybrid power plants are characterized by a combination of heat input both of high temperature solar heat and heat from combustion of gaseous or liquid fuel which enables to supply the electricity market according to its requirements and to utilize the limited and high grade natural resources economically. The SHCC® power plant concept integrates the high temperature solar heat into the gas turbine process and in addition — depending on the scheme of the process cycle — downstream into the steam cycle. The feed-in of solar heat into the gas turbine is carried out between compressor outlet and combustor inlet either by direct solar thermal heating of the pressurized air inside the receivers of the solar tower or by indirectly heating via interconnection of a heat transfer fluid. Thus, high shares of solar heat input referring to the total heat input of more than 60% in design point can be achieved. Besides low consumption of fossil fuels and high efficiency, the SHCC® concept is aimed for a permanent availability of the power plant capacity due to the possible substitution of solar heat by combustion heat during periods without sufficient solar irradiation. In consequence, no additional standby capacity is necessary. SHCC® can be conducted with today’s power plant and solar technology. One of the possible variants has already been demonstrated in the test field PSA in Spain using a small capacity gas turbine with location in the head of the solar tower for direct heating of the combustion air. However, the authors present and analyze also alternative concepts for power plants of higher capacity. Of course, the gas turbine needs a design which enables the external heating of the combustion air. Today only a few types of gas turbines are available for SHCC® demonstration. But these gas turbines were not designed for solar hybrid application at all. Thus, the autors present finally some reflections on gas turbine parameters and their consequences for SHCC® as basis for evaluation of potentials of SHCC®.

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