Potential of performance improvement of concentrated solar power plants by optimizing the parabolic trough receiver
This paper proposes a comprehensive thermodynamic and economic model to predict and compare the performance of concentrated solar power plants with traditional and novel receivers with different configurations involving operating temperatures and locations. The simulation results reveal that power plants with novel receivers exhibit a superior thermodynamic and economic performance compared with traditional receivers. The annual electricity productions of power plants with novel receivers in Phoenix, Sevilla, and Tuotuohe are 8.5%, 10.5%, and 14.4% higher than those with traditional receivers at the outlet temperature of 550°C. The levelized cost of electricity of power plants with double-selective-coated receivers can be decreased by 6.9%, 8.5%, and 11.6%. In Phoenix, the optimal operating temperature of the power plants is improved from 500°C to 560°C by employing a novel receiver. Furthermore, the sensitivity analysis of the receiver heat loss, solar absorption, and freeze protection temperature is also conducted to analyze the general rule of influence of the receiver performance on power plants performance. Solar absorption has a positive contribution to annual electricity productions, whereas heat loss and freeze protection temperature have a negative effect on electricity outputs. The results indicate that the novel receiver coupled with low melting temperature molten salt is the best configuration for improving the overall performance of the power plants.
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