Category Concentrating solar power technology

Central receiver tower

A central receiver tower system involves an array of heliostats (large mirrors with two axis tracking) that concentrate the sunlight onto a fixed receiver mounted at the top of a tower, as illustrated in Fig. 1.2. This allows sophisticated high efficiency energy conversion at a single large receiver point. Higher concentration ratios are achieved compared to linear focusing systems and this allows thermal receivers to operate at higher temperatures with reduced losses. A range of system and heliostat sizes have been dem­onstrated. Chapter 8 examines tower systems in detail.

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Parabolic trough

Parabolic trough-shaped mirrors produce a linear focus on a receiver tube along the parabola’s focal line as illustrated in Fig. 1.1. The complete assem­bly of mirrors plus receiver is mounted on a frame that tracks the daily movement of the sun on one axis. Relative seasonal movements of the sun in the other axis result in lateral movements of the line focus, which remains on the receiver but can have some spill at the row ends.


1.1 Parabolic trough collector: tracks the sun on one axis (background picture, Nevada Solar 1 plant, R. Dunn).


1.2 Central receiver tower plant: multiple heliostats move on two axes to focus the sun to a fixed tower mounted receiver (background picture, Gemasolar plant, owned by Torresol Energy, © Torresol Energy).

Trough systems using thermal...

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Approaches to concentrating solar power (CSP)

CSP systems capture the direct beam component of solar radiation. Unlike flat plate photovoltaics (PV), they are not able to use radiation that has been diffused by clouds or dust or other factors. This makes them best suited to areas with a high percentage of clear sky days, in locations that do not have smog or dust.

The configurations that are currently used commercially in order of deployment level are:

• parabolic trough

• central receiver tower

• linear Fresnel

• Fresnel lenses (for CPV)

• paraboloidal dishes.

Each technology boasts particular advantages and in some cases particular market segments. Project and technology developers are actively pursuing all types of CSP technologies...

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History and context

Global investments in clean energy generation are continuing to increase with global energy producers (and users) now experiencing strong signals to develop a clean energy future. Over the last three decades, the world wind industry has grown at an average rate of approximately 30% per year to reach a total installed capacity of 239 GW by the end of 2011. This represents nearly 3% of total world electricity annual generation (WWEA, 2012) and wind capacity is now being installed at a faster annual rate than nuclear.

Over a shorter period, the solar photovoltaic (PV) industry has grown with comparable or higher rates of growth but from a lower base and in 2011 had a worldwide installed capacity of approximately 69 GW (EPIA, 2012)...

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Introduction to concentrating solar power (CSP) technology

K. LOVEGROVE, IT Power, Australia and W. STEIN, CSIRO Energy Centre, Australia

Abstract: This introductory chapter begins by defining ‘concentrating solar power’ (CSP) and outlining the role of the book. It then introduces some of the historical background to the development of CSP systems and the present day context of a period of industry growth amid major changes to the world’s energy systems. It describes the key approaches of parabolic trough, central receiver, linear Fresnel, Fresnel lens and paraboloidal dish concentrator systems. The prospects for continued deployment growth and parallel cost reductions are discussed. Finally the organization of the overall book is outlined.

Key words: concentrating solar power, concentrating photovoltaics, dish, trough, tower, Fresnel lens, ...

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During this century the human race will have to address the challenge of deeply transforming the world energy system to make it much more sustain­able and environmentally friendly than the one we currently have. To achieve this, it will have to substantially increase the market penetration of all types of renewable energy technologies, and especially of solar technolo­gies, since these technologies will be called upon to be the main pillars of the new world energy system, because of the vast quantities and the high quality of the solar energy reaching the Earth at every instant.

The shift towards a much greener world energy system requires an extraordinary mobilization of technological and economic resources. The good news is that this mobilization is starting to happen...

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Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy

1 Generating power at high efficiency: Combined cycle technology for sustainable energy production

Eric Jeffs

2 Advanced separation techniques for nuclear fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste treatment

Edited by Kenneth L. Nash and Gregg J. Lumetta

3 Bioalcohol production: Biochemical conversion of lignocellulosic biomass

Edited by K. W. Waldron

4 Understanding and mitigating ageing in nuclear power plants: Materials and operational aspects of plant life management (PLiM)

Edited by Philip G. Tipping

5 Advanced power plant materials, design and technology

Edited by Dermot Roddy

6 Stand-alone and hybrid wind energy systems: Technology, energy storage and applications

Edited by J. K. Kaldellis

7 Biodiesel science and technology: From soil to oil

Jan C. J...

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Concentrating solar. power technology

Principles, developments and applications

(* = main contact)

Primary editor and Chapters 1* and 2*

Dr Keith Lovegrove (BSc 1984, PhD 1993) is currently Head – Solar Thermal with the UK-based renewable energy consultancy group, IT Power. He was previously Associate Professor and head of the solar thermal group at the Australian National University where he led the team that designed and built the 500 m2 generation II big dish solar concentrator. He has served on the board of the ANZ Solar Energy Society as Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer. For many years he was Australia’s SolarPACES Task II representative.

K. Lovegrove IT Power

PO Box 6127 O’Connor

ACT 2602


E-mail: keith. lovegrove@itpau. com. au

Editor and Chapter 1

Wes Stein is the Solar Energy Program Leader for CSIRO’s Di...

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