skip to main content


Title: Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) metric to characterize solar absorber coatings for the CSP industry

The contribution of each component of a power generation plant to the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) can be estimated and used to increase the power output while reducing system operation and maintenance costs. The LCOE is used in order to quantify solar receiver coating influence on the LCOE of solar power towers. Two new parameters are introduced: the absolute levelized cost of coating (LCOC) and the LCOC efficiency. Depending on the material properties, aging, costs, and temperature, the absolute LCOC enables quantifying the cost-effectiveness of absorber coatings, as well as finding optimal operating conditions. The absolute LCOC is investigated for different hypothetic coatings and is demonstrated on Pyromark 2500 paint. Results show that absorber coatings yield lower LCOE values in most cases, even at significant costs. Optimal reapplication intervals range from one to five years. At receiver temperatures greater than 700 °C, non-selective coatings are not always worthwhile while durable selective coatings consistently reduce the LCOE—up to 12% of the value obtained for an uncoated receiver. Moreover the absolute LCOC is a powerful tool to characterize and compare different coatings, not only considering their initial efficiencies but also including their durability.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481; PII: S0960148115300823
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 85; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; LCOE; LCOC; aging; durability; solar absorber; coating
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1406936