Techno-Economic Assessment of Heat Transfer Fluid Buffering for Thermal Energy Storage in the Solar Field of Parabolic Trough Solar Thermal Power Plants
Llamas, Jorge M.
Bullejos Martín, David
Ruiz de Adana, Manuel
Parabolic trough (PT)
Heat transfer fluid (HTF) buffering
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Currently, operating parabolic trough (PT) solar thermal power plants, either solar-only or with thermal storage block, use the solar field as a heat transfer fluid (HTF) thermal storage system to provide extra thermal capacity when it is needed. This is done by circulating heat transfer fluid into the solar field piping in order to create a heat fluid buffer. In the same way, by oversizing the solar field, it can work as an alternative thermal energy storage (TES) system to the traditionally applied methods. This paper presents a solar field TES model for a standard solar field from a 50-MWe solar power plant. An oversized solar model is analyzed to increase the capacity storage system (HTF buffering). A mathematical model has been developed and different simulations have been carried out over a cycle of one year with six different solar multiples considered to represent the different oversized solar field configurations. Annual electricity generation and levelized cost of energy (LCOE) are calculated to find the solar multiple (SM) which makes the highest solar field thermal storage capacity possible within the minimum LCOE.