It is from the heart of its history stretching back more than 200 years that John Cockerill Energy draws its expertise in the production of steam, which has led to it being recognized worldwide on the market for the conception and supply of heat recuperation boilers. Resolutely turned towards the future, we have extended our know-how in order to respond to the needs of our times, by developing innovative solutions to encourage access to energy.
It is across the whole world that John Cockerill Energy makes its mark through its technological knowhow and its mastery of project management thanks to our Belgian, American, Canadian, Chinese and Mexican teams and our recuperation boiler licensees, Wuxi, S&T and Larsen & Toubro which respectively cover China, South Korea and India.
Dispatchable energy thanks to thermal storage: key to the green revolution
As the World is shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy, higher shares of variable renewable energy appear every year and with it comes the need to manage them, as well as being able to generate green energy on demand: a need for dispatchability.
An answer to this challenge is Thermal Energy Storage (TES): the temporary storage of energy by heating or cooling a storage medium so that the stored energy can be used later for power generation or heating/cooling industrial needs. In 2020, around 234 GWh of TES was present across the globe and is expected to experience a threefold growth by 2030, reaching 800 GWh*.
The power sector has already adopted TES on a commercial scale with Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plants. A CSP plant can indeed store energy in the form of heat using molten salts: a low-cost, flame-proof, and non-polluting fluid made of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate. In 2020, molten salt storage capacity of over 21 GWh was installed worldwide*.
*IRENA (2020), Innovation Outlook: Thermal Energy Storage, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi.)
The most efficient CSP technology today is the solar tower, which consists of an array of tracking flat mirrors (heliostats) that reflect and concentrate sunlight on a Solar Receiver: a high technology heat exchanger, allowing the heat-transfer medium (water, molten salt or solid particles) to reach the highest temperatures (and therefore the highest plant efficiencies) of all CSP technologies: currently 565°C for molten salts, soon more than 800°C thanks to solid particle technology. John Cockerill is proud to have become a world reference supplier for this this kind of receivers and supplied some of the most prestigious CSP plants in the world.
We are rising to the challenge of the green revolution by using our extensive experience in CSP industry to be one of the world leading companies for Thermal Energy Storage solutions for renewable and dispatchable power and heat projects, from small to large scale, on and off-grid, on a worldwide basis. We aim to be a partner for multi-energy renewable power plants, finding the perfect balance between the existing and future renewable sources to maximize the power plant efficiency, on a technical and economical level. We propose our unique engineering, sourcing, and project management expertise over the complete project cycle, ranging from feasibility and engineering studies, equipment supply and long-term maintenance, for future and existing solar plants as well as research and development projects.