Towards prioritizing flexibility in the design and construction of concentrating solar power plants

Monika Topel, Mårten Lundqvist, Fredrik Haglind, Björn Laumert

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In the operation and maintenance of concentrating solar power plants, high operational flexibility is required in order to withstand the variability from the inherent solar fluctuations. However, during the development phases of a solar thermal plant, this important objective is overlooked as a relevant factor for cost reduction in the long term. This paper will show the value of including flexibility aspects in the design of a concentrating solar power plant by breaking down their potential favorable impact on the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) calculations. For this, three scenarios to include flexibility as a design objective are analyzed and their potential impact on the LCOE is quantified. The scenarios were modeled and analyzed using a techno-economic model of a direct steam generation solar tower power plant. Sensitivity studies were carried out for each scenario, in which the level of improvement due to each scenario was compared to the base case. Then, the results obtained for each scenario were compared for similar levels of LCOE and flexibility improvements. In general, all scenarios were beneficial on power plant performance. Improvements on the LCOE in the range of 3-4% were obtained with different distributions of costs and annual electricity for each case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIP Conference Proceedings
Number of pages10
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Publication date2017
Article number060005
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSolarPACES 2016 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 11 Oct 201614 Oct 2016


ConferenceSolarPACES 2016
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi
SeriesA I P Conference Proceedings Series

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