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
Solarthermal parabolic trough power plants with integrated storage capacity
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.