Calix backs ‘calcium looping’ energy storage

The SOCRATCES Project, backed by decarbonisation technology developer Calix, is investigating the use of ‘calcium looping’ as a form of concentrated solar power (CSP) energy storage.

The SOCRATCES Project is commissioning a new application of Calix’s low-emissions lime production technology at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain (pictured). Seville is one of the leading locations for concentrated solar power (CSP) research and operation globally.

In this concept, energy is stored thermochemically by splitting limestone into lime and carbon dioxide in a LEILAC unit, and storing both products separately.

LEILAC or Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement is a European Union Horizon 2020 (H2020) research and innovation project.

Calix’s revolutionary kiln technology is being piloted with the world’s largest cement and lime companies to mitigate their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions dramatically without significant energy or capital penalty.

This splitting or calcining involves large amounts of high temperature energy.

In the SOCRATCES Project this is provided by CSP.

The process is reversible, meaning that when electricity is required, the lime and carbon dioxide are recombined in a carbonator to regenerate the limestone and release the stored energy as heat. This heat is converted to electricity using a turbine

This energy storage concept is valuable in locations with high amounts of solar power on the grid as it provides a way to use CSP at night as well as during the day. There is even the opportunity for inter-seasonal storage.

The SOCRATCES project involves the design, construction, operation and integration of a pilot plant to test this concept.

It comprises a solar field, a hybrid CSP-electric LEILAC unit from Calix, a carbonator reactor, and a power block. The project is funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 scheme.

Picture: Calix

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