Model-based analysis of the viability of concentrating solar power plants

Martin János Mayer



This paper presents an assessment of the effect of thermal energy storage and combined heat and power production on the profitability of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. Nowadays CSP plants produce electricity for a higher cost than commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems, therefore the mentioned opportunities enabled by the intermediate heat production have a key role in the economic viability of the technology. Models were established to describe the operation of both the parabolic trough and solar power tower systems. A Matlab simulation program was created based on the models in order to support the optimal design of these plants and perform annual energy production estimations based on meteorological databases. Thermal energy storage is a relatively cheap method even for long time storage, and it not only increases the capacity factor, but also improves the average efficiency of the plant. Furthermore a storage also improves the availability and dispatchability of the plant, which is a very important factor in an energy system with high renewable share. Cogeneration is also feasible in CSP plants, the only difficulty here is to find a heat demand coinciding with the production.

Published in: Renewable Energy & Power Quality Journal (RE&PQJ),Vol. 1, Nº. 14
Pages:885-889 Date of Publication: 2016/5/20
ISSN: 2172-038X Date of Current Version:2016/5/4
REF:506-16 Issue Date: May 2016
DOI:10.24084/repqj14.506 Publisher: EA4EPQ

Author and affiliation

Martin János Mayer
Department of Energy Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Hungary

Key words

Solar energy, concentrating solar power, simulation, storage, combined heat and power


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