A 3 MWth parabolic trough CSP plant operating with air at up to 650°C

Zanganeh, Giw and Ambrosetti, Gianluca and Pedretti, Andrea and Zavattoni, Simone and Barbato, Maurizio and Good, Philipp and Haselbacher, Andreas and Steinfeld, Aldo (2014) A 3 MWth parabolic trough CSP plant operating with air at up to 650°C. In: International Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conference (IRSEC), 17.10.2014-19.10.2014, Ouarzazate, Morocco.

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Parabolic trough concentrating solar power (CSP) has long proven to be among the most viable options for large-scale solar electricity generation. However, conventional solar parabolic trough plants suffer from several technical and economical drawbacks. These include most notably a maximum operating temperature limited to below 450 °C, a difficulty in creating rigid metallic support structures with large trough apertures, and the need for complex thermal energy storage (TES) technologies. This has impelled the development of a novel trough-based CSP system comprising a 9 m aperture parabolic trough concentrator based on inflated metallized polymer films mounted on a concrete support structure, coupled to a solar receiver based on air as heat transfer fluid and to a packed bed of rocks sensible heat storage. The first power plant with this technology, with a nominal thermal power output of 3 MWth, has been constructed in Ait Baha, Morocco. We report on the details of the system and its components.

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