Inderscience Publishers

Solarthermal parabolic trough power plants with integrated storage capacity

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Parabolic trough power plants use concentrated direct insulation for steam generation in a Rankine cycle. The fundamentals for direct steam generation in parabolic troughs have been developed in recent years, the feasibility was successfully demonstrated at a solar powered test facility reaching steam temperatures of 400°C at a maximum pressure of 100 bar. Important components for the accelerated market penetration of solarthermal power plants are cost-effective local storage systems. Main benefits of storage systems are: extended utilisation of the power block, improved efficiency of components and facilitated integration into the electricity system. Within the R&D project WESPE, a test facility for solid sensible heat storage is developed and connected to a solar collector loop. A simulation tool for the analysis of the transient performance of the storage system integrated into the power plant was implemented. The results show a significant potential for economic optimisation by applying advanced operation strategies based on an improved adaptation of the storage unit to the characteristics of solar collectors and power cycle.

Keywords: solar-thermal power plants, parabolic trough power plants, energy storage, storage capacity, steam generation, Rankine cycle, solar power, solar energy, heat storage, simulation, solar collectors, power cycle

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