The idea behind the SolarDish® technology was generated following an effort to identify a suitable technology that would be able to effectively address the challenges that the local market of Cyprus was facing; challenges that along the way revealed themselves as major and real for a significant niche of the regional and global market.
SolarDish® technology has the ambition to address successfully all the below challenges and are briefly identified as follows:
- The rising penetration of traditional variable RE technologies such as PV and Wind, within an isolated grid system, where fossil fuel electricity production dominates, makes the need for renewable energy storage critically important.
- The high DNI resource available in the area plus the shortage of water dictate that the choice of storage technology should be directed more towards Solar Thermal rather than any other choice, as the most cost-effective solution.
- The solar Thermal Energy Storage (TES), however, should be able to provide a steady, stable, reliable, and dispatchable power output and not to magnify the instability issues that the grid is facing from other variable RE technologies.
- The shortage and sometimes the lack of large and flat pieces of land indicate that this technology should be modular and scalable to provide the freedom in the design of plants of different sizes, different power outputs, within pieces of land with different shapes, size, and altitude differences.
- The shortage and high cost of water directed towards a solution that will not need significant quantities of water to operate, thus any steam cycle-based power generation solution was excluded.
- The forthcoming opening of the competitive energy market prescribes a solution that produces electricity close to cost parity with PV and to be clearly more cost competitive than the combination of PV with batteries.
- The energy storage of the system should be able to provide ancillary services to the grid.
- The system design should be robust and suitable for automotive-scale production, easy to deploy, with none or limited need for maintenance and free of any environmental impact issues.