EME 812
Utility Solar Power and Concentration

Summary and Activities

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Summary and Activities

Strategic planning of a CSP facility involves a number of steps - site evaluation, socio-economic assessment, environmental assessment, and system modeling and optimization. All these steps must be taken before investment is made, and work has begun. Feasibility analysis requires several iterations and special expertise to justify the decision. This lesson introduced you to a few useful tools and methods to start with.

After you have covered the assigned readings for this lesson, please complete the following assignments:

Lesson 8 Assignments
Type Description/Instructions Deadline
Discussion Forum Discussion Forum "Social benefits of solar thermal systems": Lesson 8
What, in your opinion, is the most important benefit of CSP technology for local economy and society in general?
  • To support your opinion, find on the web and provide brief reference to an example illustrating your point.
  • Comment on at least two other posts on the forum.
  • Reply to any questions raised about your post.
Sunday night
Activity SAM exercise
  • In System Advisor Model (SAM) software, compare two different locations for a CSP plant - for example, Delaware and California locations.
  • For each location, obtain data for both central tower and parabolic trough scenarios.
  • Keep the technical parameters of the systems the same between the locations.
  • Use the following metrics to compare plant performance: 1. Annual energy output, 2. Water use per kWh, 3. Land use per kW, 4. Annual revenue from selling electricity to the grid (based on local prices).
  • Compare monthly output plots for a typical year for both types of plants at both locations and discuss the reasons for performance differences.

Note: I hope you are familiar with the SAM software since it was used in your EME 810 course. If you are missing that prerequisite, go to this EME 810 page to learn how to install and run SAM.

Wednesday night

References for Lesson 8

Lovegrove, K., Stein W., Concentrating Solar Power Technology, Woodhead Publishing, 2012.

NREL, 2013 / http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56290.pdf

Eilbert, A., The Trade-Off Between Water and Energy: CSP Cooling Systems Dry Out in California, Revolt - Worldwatch Institute, 2010.

Caldes, N., Varela, M., Santamaria, M., and Saez, R., Economic impact of solar thermal electricity deployment in Spain, Energy Policy 37, 1628-1636 (2009).

Lechon, Y., de la Rua, C., and Saez, R., Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Electricity Production by Solar thermal Power Plants in Spain, J. Solar Energy Eng., 130, (2008).