Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Enhancing the profitability of solar tower power plants through thermoeconomic analysis based on multi-objective optimization
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8888-4474
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.
Abstract [en]

Solar tower power plants with integrated thermal energy storage units represent one of the most promising technologies for enhancing the economic viability of concentrating solar power in the short term. Tower systems allow higher concentration ratios to be achieved, which in turn means higher fluid operating temperatures and thus higher power cycle efficiencies. Moreover, the integration of storage allows power production to be shifted from times where there is low demand to periods where electricity prices are higher, potentially enhancing the profitability of the plant despite representing an additional upfront cost. The variable nature of the solar resource and the myriad potential roles that storage can assume, together with the complexity of enhancing the synergies between the three blocks: the solar field, the storage block and power block, make the design of these power plants a challenging process. This paper introduces a comprehensive methodology for designing solar tower power plants based on a thermoeconomic approach that allows the true optimum trade-off curves between cost, profitability and investment to be identified while simultaneously considering several operating strategies as well as varying critical design parameters in each of the aforementioned blocks. The methodology is presented by means of analyzing the design of a power plant for the region of Seville. For this location, results show that similar profits, measured in terms of the internal rate of return, can be achieved from different power plant configurations in terms of sizing and operating strategy, each associated to different investments. In particular, optimum configurations found corresponded to larger power blocks with medium-to-large solar field and storage blocks that allow the plants to operate continuously throughout the day and be shut down during midnight. Moreover, it is shown that for a fixed power block size it can also be economically interesting to consider smaller storage units and adopt instead a peaking strategy, as this can still be profitable whilst representing a lower investment, thus lower risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 69, 1277-1286 p.
, Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102
Keyword [en]
multi-objective optimization, concentrating solar power, techno-economic analysis, thermal energy storage
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173188DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2015.03.155ISI: 000358735000135ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84943652120OAI: diva2:853160
International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems (SolarPACES), SEP 16-19, 2014, Beijing, PEOPLES R CHINA

QC 20150911

Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-09-07 Last updated: 2016-08-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A Techno-Economic Framework for the Analysis of Concentrating Solar Power Plants with Storage
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Techno-Economic Framework for the Analysis of Concentrating Solar Power Plants with Storage
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Concentrating solar power plants can integrate cost-effective thermal energy storage systems and thereby supply controllable power on demand, an advantage against other renewable technologies. Storage integration allows a solar thermal power plant to increase its load factor and to shift production to periods of peak demand. It also enables output firmness, providing stability to the power block and to the grid. Thus, despite the additional investment, storage can enhance the performance and economic viability of the plants.

However, the levelized cost of electricity of these plants yet remains higher than for other technologies, so projects today are only viable through the provision of incentives or technology-specific competitive bid tenders. It is the variability of the solar resource, the myriad roles that storage can assume, and the complexity of enhancing the synergies between the solar field, the storage and the power block, what makes the development of adequate policy instruments, design and operation of these plants a challenging process.

In this thesis a comprehensive methodology for the pre-design and analysis of concentrating solar power plants is presented. The methodology is based on a techno-economic modeling approach that allows identifying optimum trade-off curves between technical, environmental, and financial performance indicators. A number of contemporary plant layouts and novel storage and hybridization concepts are assessed to identify optimum plant configurations, in terms of component size and storage dispatch strategies.

Conclusions highlight the relevance between the sizing of key plant components, the operation strategy and the boundaries set by the location. The interrelation between critical performance indicators, and their use as decisive parameters, is also discussed. Results are used as a basis to provide recommendations aimed to support the decision making process of key actors along the project development value chain of the plants. This research work and conclusions are primarily meant to set a stepping stone in the research of concentrating solar power plant design and optimization, but also to support the research towards understanding the value of storage in concentrating solar power plants and in the grid.

Abstract [sv]

Koncentrerad solkraft erbjuder möjligheten att integrera kostnadseffektiv termisk energilagring och därmed behovsstyrd kraftkontroll. Detta är en viktig fördel jämfört med andra förnybara energiteknologier. Lagringsintegration tillåter solkraftsanläggningar att öka sin lastfaktor och skifta produktion till tider med största efterfrågan. Vidare möjliggör lagring fast elproduktion vilket leder till förbättrad nät- och kraftturbinstabilitet. Därför kan termisk lagring öka anläggningsprestanda och ekonomiskt värde trots ökande initiala kapitalkostnader.

I termer av specifik elproduktionskostnad (LCOE) ligger koncentrerade solkraftsanläggningar med lagring fortfarande högre än andra kraftteknologier och anläggningsprojekt blir endast lönsamma genom subventionsmodeller eller teknologispecifika konkurrensutsatta anbudsförfaranden. Att hitta adekvata policylösningar och optimala design och operationsstrategier är en utmanande process eftersom det gäller att hitta rätt balans mellan variabel solinstrålning, lagring av energi och tid för produktion genom optimal design och operation av solmottagarfält, kraftblock och lagringskapacitet.

I denna avhandling presenteras en omfattande metodik för pre-design och analys av koncentrerande solkraftverk. Metodiken baseras på en tekno-ekonomisk modelleringsansats som möjliggör identifiering av optimala avvägningssamband för tekniska, ekonomiska och miljöprestanda indikatorer. Metodiken tillämpas på ett antal moderna anläggningslayouter  och lagrings- och hybridiseringskoncept för att identifiera optimal kraftanläggningsdesign i termer av komponentprestanda och lagringsanvändningsstrategier. I slutsatsen poängteras relevansen av att hitta rätt storlek på nyckelkomponenter i relation till lagringsstrategi och randvillkoren som ges av konstruktionsläget för optimal ekonomisk och miljömässig prestanda. Resultaten används för att formulera rekommendationer till nyckelaktörer i beslutsprocessen genom hela kraftanläggningens värdekedja från politisk beslutsfattare till anläggningsingenjör. Forskningen och slutsatserna i detta arbete skall i första hand ta ett steg framåt för optimering och design av solkraftsanläggningar men även tillhandahålla en metodik för utvärdering av lagringslösningar och dess specifika värde för solkraftsanläggningar och elnätet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 239 p.
TRITA-KRV, ISSN 1100-7990 ; 2016:01
Concentrating solar power, thermal energy storage, techno-economic analysis, Termisk solkraft, termisk energilagring, techno-eknomiska analys
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-191339 (URN)978-91-7729-086-5 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2016-09-23, M2, Brinellvägen 64, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20160829

Available from: 2016-08-29 Created: 2016-08-29 Last updated: 2016-08-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Guedez, Rafael EduardoTopel, MonikaLaumert, Björn
By organisation
Heat and Power Technology
Energy Engineering

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 64 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link