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Title: Estimating the cost of high temperature liquid metal based concentrated solar power

Abstract

The current levelized cost of electricity from concentrated solar power is too high to directly compete with natural gas under current carbon emissions policies. An approximate 50% cost reduction is needed relative to current power tower technology based on molten nitrate salts, and one pathway to a major cost reduction is to operate the system at higher temperatures, enabling a more efficient heat engine. Here, we consider a future system that can operate at gas turbine inlet temperatures of ∼1300–1500 °C by using liquid metals as heat transfer and storage fluids with a ceramic based piping infrastructure. In general, ceramics are more expensive than the current stainless steels, but they are less expensive than the nickel alloys that are proposed to be used in higher temperature chloride molten salt plants. Considering various tradeoffs, it was not clear a priori whether or not the potential gains in heat engine efficiency would be negated by increased material costs or how much net reduction in levelized cost might be possible. This study answers this question by first detailing a base case molten nitrate salt power tower plant with published cost data. Then, a future liquid metal version of a power tower is modeled usingmore » similar specifications as the liquid salt plant to determine if there are any obvious costs that might negate the efficiency gains associated with operating well above 1000 °C. The results of the analysis showed that although the receiver and several other sub-systems become more expensive, there is a net cost reduction in the range of 20%–30%, depending upon the heat engine efficiency.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30318, USA
  2. George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30318, USA; School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30318, USA; Heat Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30318, USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1540148
Grant/Contract Number:  
AR0000339
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1941-7012
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Science & Technology - Other Topics; Energy & Fuels

Citation Formats

Wilk, Gregory, DeAngelis, Alfred, and Henry, Asegun. Estimating the cost of high temperature liquid metal based concentrated solar power. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5014054.
Wilk, Gregory, DeAngelis, Alfred, & Henry, Asegun. Estimating the cost of high temperature liquid metal based concentrated solar power. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5014054.
Wilk, Gregory, DeAngelis, Alfred, and Henry, Asegun. Thu . "Estimating the cost of high temperature liquid metal based concentrated solar power". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5014054. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1540148.
@article{osti_1540148,
title = {Estimating the cost of high temperature liquid metal based concentrated solar power},
author = {Wilk, Gregory and DeAngelis, Alfred and Henry, Asegun},
abstractNote = {The current levelized cost of electricity from concentrated solar power is too high to directly compete with natural gas under current carbon emissions policies. An approximate 50% cost reduction is needed relative to current power tower technology based on molten nitrate salts, and one pathway to a major cost reduction is to operate the system at higher temperatures, enabling a more efficient heat engine. Here, we consider a future system that can operate at gas turbine inlet temperatures of ∼1300–1500 °C by using liquid metals as heat transfer and storage fluids with a ceramic based piping infrastructure. In general, ceramics are more expensive than the current stainless steels, but they are less expensive than the nickel alloys that are proposed to be used in higher temperature chloride molten salt plants. Considering various tradeoffs, it was not clear a priori whether or not the potential gains in heat engine efficiency would be negated by increased material costs or how much net reduction in levelized cost might be possible. This study answers this question by first detailing a base case molten nitrate salt power tower plant with published cost data. Then, a future liquid metal version of a power tower is modeled using similar specifications as the liquid salt plant to determine if there are any obvious costs that might negate the efficiency gains associated with operating well above 1000 °C. The results of the analysis showed that although the receiver and several other sub-systems become more expensive, there is a net cost reduction in the range of 20%–30%, depending upon the heat engine efficiency.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5014054},
journal = {Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy},
number = 2,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

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