Thermionic Energy Conversion & Storage Applied to Sunlight

Taking Concentrating Solar Power to the next level


Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) has long been seen as one of the main routes for moving towards carbon neutrality, characterised by both overall system efficiency and Levelised Cost of Energy comparable with photovoltaics. Unfortunately, CSP is currently only implemented through very large centralized plant scales (>100 MW capacity), as process economics make this technology unsustainable at a smaller scale. That’s why, apart from few demo-plants, there is no commercial plant available in the 50 kW – 1 MW range.
The aim of the TECSAS Launchpad project is to evaluate the technological and business feasibility of downscaled CSP plants (≤ 1 MW) powered by thermionic converters, as well as to assess the willingness to pay of large scale plant owners which want to integrate TECSAS for performance enhancement. When applied in substitution of state of the art traditional passive receiver elements, the proposed TECSAS technology allows a maximum increase of the CSP conversion efficiency from 20% up to 45%, potentially more than twice as much state of the art performances, regardless of the plant size. If successful, we will prove that CSP can be applied to benefit several industrial settings, small rural communities and other residential applications.

He project will last 18 months (it will end on 31 August 2022) and will involve, in addition to ISM-CNR as coordinator in the figure of Dr. Daniele M. Trucchi, the partnership of Day One srl, an open innovation lab which helps researchers and startups to do business with their technological innovations. Dr. Paolo De Stefanis (Day One) as Business Manager and Dr. Alessandro Bellucci (ISM-CNR) as Technical Manager will be responsible for the economic and technological validation of the proposed innovation, with the aim of launching on the market an extremely efficient and cost-effective product in the field of environmental sustainability in a few years

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