Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Concentrating solar power: Similar values in two technologies

Date:
February 12, 2014
Source:
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Summary:
Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report has found.

Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found.

Related Articles


The report, "Estimating the Performance and Economic Value of Multiple Concentrating Solar Power Technologies in a Production Cost Model," found that the value of delivered energy of dry-cooled tower and parabolic trough CSP plants, integrated with thermal energy storage, are quite similar.

CSP with thermal energy storage is a unique source of renewable energy in that the solar thermal energy can be dispatched in a similar manner as conventional thermal generation to respond to changes in supply or demand.

CSP uses the thermal energy of sunlight to generate electricity. Parabolic troughs and power towers both concentrate sunlight onto a heat-transfer liquid, which is used to drive a steam turbine. Unlike photovoltaic energy, CSP can generate electricity not just when the sun is shining, but also after sundown, because a CSP plant can be built with thermal energy storage, such as molten salt.

"In our study, we analyzed various plant configurations and identified specific ones that provide significantly more value than has been found in previous analyses," said NREL Analyst Jennie Jorgenson, the lead author of the report. "For example, we explored the potential benefits of extending thermal storage at CSP plants beyond six hours, a typically modelled amount. In this analysis we found additional benefits for six to nine hours of storage, but rapidly diminishing benefits for greater than nine hours of storage."

The NREL report, funded through the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in support of its SunShot Initiative, provides valuable quantitative results in a Colorado test system, comparing the two CSP technologies with thermal energy storage and evaluating how the operational and capacity value varies with plant configuration. The report also demonstrates that multiple CSP technologies and plant configurations can be analyzed using traditional planning tools such as production cost models.

NREL is currently undertaking a similar analysis looking at the value of multiple CSP configurations in California under an assumed 40% penetration of renewables within that state.

"For both conventional and renewable energy systems, low levelized cost of energy does not necessarily reflect these systems' total value to the grid," Jorgenson added. "So, providing tools that utilities and grid operators are familiar with can lead to more informed decision-making as greater levels of renewable energy penetrate the market."

Report: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/58645.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Concentrating solar power: Similar values in two technologies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093353.htm>.
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2014, February 12). Concentrating solar power: Similar values in two technologies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093353.htm
DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "Concentrating solar power: Similar values in two technologies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140212093353.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins