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Title: An optical performance comparison of three concentrating solar power collector designs in linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central receiver

Abstract

The optical performance of a concentrating solar power (CSP) collector is critical to the overall efficiency of the system. This study presents a detailed optical comparison between three representative CSP collector designs including linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central-receiver technologies. Optical models are implemented in SolTrace, which is ray-tracing software developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The ray-tracing algorithm is used to calculate a collector's design-point performance as well as its incidence-angle modifiers to evaluate the collector performance at any sun position during a typical meteorological year. The efficiency over a one-year period is then analyzed based on ray-tracing results. Using China Lake (California) as an example, the annual optical efficiency is 60% for the selected parabolic trough collector, 52% for the selected central-receiver technology, and 40% for the selected linear Fresnel collector. The parabolic trough has the highest optical performance among all. The selected central-receiver technology provides the most consistent seasonal production profile over the course of the year due to its two-axis-tracking ability but would suffer most from the increasing solar collector optical error. It is also shown that a dramatic cost reduction is required for the selected linear Fresnel technology to be competitive in the futuremore » energy market. Sensitivity of three CSP technologies to the deployment locations and the overall optical-error magnitude is also examined through annual performance analysis. The results will provide insights into a better understanding on inherent technical aspects of different CSP technologies.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1478182
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5500-71002
Journal ID: ISSN 0306-2619
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Energy; Journal Volume: 231; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; concentrating solar power; linear fresnel; parabolic trough; central receiver; power tower; annual optical performance

Citation Formats

Kincaid, Nicholas, Mungas, Greg, Kramer, Nicholas, Wagner, Michael, and Zhu, Guangdong. An optical performance comparison of three concentrating solar power collector designs in linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central receiver. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.09.153.
Kincaid, Nicholas, Mungas, Greg, Kramer, Nicholas, Wagner, Michael, & Zhu, Guangdong. An optical performance comparison of three concentrating solar power collector designs in linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central receiver. United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.09.153.
Kincaid, Nicholas, Mungas, Greg, Kramer, Nicholas, Wagner, Michael, and Zhu, Guangdong. Sat . "An optical performance comparison of three concentrating solar power collector designs in linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central receiver". United States. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.09.153.
@article{osti_1478182,
title = {An optical performance comparison of three concentrating solar power collector designs in linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central receiver},
author = {Kincaid, Nicholas and Mungas, Greg and Kramer, Nicholas and Wagner, Michael and Zhu, Guangdong},
abstractNote = {The optical performance of a concentrating solar power (CSP) collector is critical to the overall efficiency of the system. This study presents a detailed optical comparison between three representative CSP collector designs including linear Fresnel, parabolic trough, and central-receiver technologies. Optical models are implemented in SolTrace, which is ray-tracing software developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The ray-tracing algorithm is used to calculate a collector's design-point performance as well as its incidence-angle modifiers to evaluate the collector performance at any sun position during a typical meteorological year. The efficiency over a one-year period is then analyzed based on ray-tracing results. Using China Lake (California) as an example, the annual optical efficiency is 60% for the selected parabolic trough collector, 52% for the selected central-receiver technology, and 40% for the selected linear Fresnel collector. The parabolic trough has the highest optical performance among all. The selected central-receiver technology provides the most consistent seasonal production profile over the course of the year due to its two-axis-tracking ability but would suffer most from the increasing solar collector optical error. It is also shown that a dramatic cost reduction is required for the selected linear Fresnel technology to be competitive in the future energy market. Sensitivity of three CSP technologies to the deployment locations and the overall optical-error magnitude is also examined through annual performance analysis. The results will provide insights into a better understanding on inherent technical aspects of different CSP technologies.},
doi = {10.1016/j.apenergy.2018.09.153},
journal = {Applied Energy},
number = C,
volume = 231,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Sat Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}