NEWSOL project activities are structured in Work Packages (WP).


Definition of materials requirements (WP2)

Define the materials that will be applied in the prototypes to be built in NEWSOL Project, namely the thermocline concrete tank and the concrete module, to pave the way to technological WPs (WP3 to 6) and providing technical criteria for demonstration phase execution and validation, and also the economic factors that will assess the viability of the concept, together with identification of future possible technological, regulatory and market trends for Business Case validation (WP7).

Specific objectives:
  • Selection and definition of materials composition and formulations
  • Definition of materials performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Definition of economic factors for up-scaling of materials production
  • Elaboration of scenarios for business case validation


Advanced functional material development & thermal performance (WP3)

The main goal of this Work Package is to develop advanced functional material solutions, based on requirements and preliminary selection in WP2, to improve their thermal performance and energy harvesting characteristics, and aimed at increasing the overall storage efficiency of the thermocline concrete tank and the concrete module.

Specific objectives:
  • Increase thermal stress resistance, heat capacity and high thermal conductivity of CAC -based concrete through the optimization of the cementitious mix and the aggregates size distribution.
  • Optimization of the preparation process for the production of Ca-ternary mixture composition with low melting temperature and higher chemical stability above 550ºC. This will allow the use of this new molten salt composition at relevant scale up to 100 kg prior to utilization of the mixture at Évora Molten Salts Platform site (EMSP.s)
  • Deployment of encapsulated PCMs with an optimum configuration design of the encapsulation and high temperature conversions and heat storage capacity of the molten salt-based PCMs in the range from 290ºC to 565ºC.
  • Investigation on new high thermal insulating materials to reduce below 2% the thermal losses of the storage system architectures by incorporating nanomaterials to existing solutions and using low thermal aggregates ratio.


Advanced materials combination and stability (WP4)

This Work Package aims at identifying and understanding the interaction characteristics of the advanced materials solutions developed in WP3 prior to their integration the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) systems solutions (thermocline tank and concrete module). Evaluation of the long term performance in terms of the thermal and mechanical stability of the materials at close realistic experimental thermal conditions will be supported by SoA (State of the Art) models to identify target values and specific parameters.

Specific objectives:
  • Identify the characteristics that control the stability of the proposed sensible heat materials combinations (concrete + molten salt + filler rocks) and to determine optimum materials combinations
  • Investigation and validation of selected PCMs in contact with the encapsulated media to improve resistance to intermetallic layer formation.
  • Assess the long-term performance of concrete in relation to its improved thermal fatigue resistance mixture with detailed durability model.


System Architecture design: simulation and materials monitoring (WP5)

The main aim of this work package is to calculate the optimum configuration of the thermocline concrete tank and the module of concrete system architectures, in terms of their thermal performance and efficiency, for elaboration of the concept design to be constructed and implemented in the demonstration phase. This WP will also include sensor developing and conditioning for monitoring of thermal behavior/performance of materials/systems.

Specific objectives:
  • Determine the system configuration with the highest solar energy harvesting efficiency.
  • Development of packaged Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors for temperature monitoring inside the thermocline concrete tank and concrete module
  • Detailed design of the thermocline concrete tank and concrete module to be built for demonstration of the material solutions and architectures developed in NEWSOL.


System integration and demonstration (WP6)

The main goal of this activity is to thoroughly demonstrate the use of advanced materials solutions and architectures to increase the efficiency of current solar thermal energy storage systems in CSP plants, in order to make them a competitive and sustainable alternative for electric energy generation. The new thermocline concrete tank and concrete modules are expected to allow achieving a system efficiency of 96% and overall change in the technology readiness level from TRL 4 to 6.

Specific objectives:
  • Demonstrate high thermal performance concrete, advanced molten salt mixtures and filler materials for sensible heat storage with higher specific heat capacity and improved thermal conductivities and stabilities making, then, possible increasing of system efficiency while preserving lifetime and ensuring materials resource efficiency.
  • Demonstrate encapsulated PCM materials and concepts design with enhanced rates for thermal transfer and improved chemical stability of the encapsulating PCM materials.
  • Demonstrate overall thermal performance and efficiency of the thermocline tank and modular concrete systems architectures.


Validation, cost & benefits analysis and dissemination (WP7)

This activity is dedicated to de development of methodologies and standards to enable the techno-economical assessment of the materials solutions and system architectures provided by NEWSOL consortium. In addition, this WP will be aimed at evaluating the NEWSOL materials solutions in term of their manufacturability and potential scalability for production uptake. Dissemination and communication activities of project results will be also carried out within this WP.

Specific objectives:
  • Validate test results achieved along the project.
  • Techno-economic evaluation of new and the retrofit built concepts for high efficient energy harvesting
  • To communicate strategies through media, Internet, papers and international workshop/conferences
  • To convey all pre-standardisation work of the project to the relevant standardisation committees


Exploitation of results and Bankability of applied materials solutions and system architectures (WP8)

This Work Packaged is aimed at implementing strategies for the market exploitation of the TES systems and the individual materials solutions developed within NEWSOL. Besides, to develop a credible and long term funding strategy together with the identification of potential financial sources for an adequate commercial up taking of the NEWSOL’s TES solutions will also be part of the objectives of this Work Package.

Specific objectives:
  • Enable exploitation plans for the industrial application of materials solutions and system architectures developed and validated in the framework of the project, detailing the replication strategy to support the achievement of project impacts.
  • To provide a guidebook summarizing the best practices emerged from the overall project results
  • To provide a followed-up report analyzing potential paths for NEWSOL materials and system solutions to get to the market after project ending.


Note: WP 1 deals with the project coordination and WP9 with ethics requirements