Techno-economic evaluation of modular hybrid concentrating solar power systems

Jin Han Lim, Bassam B. Dally, Alfonso Chinnici, Graham J. Nathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This paper assesses the influence on techno-economic performance of modularising hybrid Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems with fossil fuel backup for both a Hybrid Solar Receiver Combustor (HSRC), which integrates a combustor into a solar cavity receiver, and a Solar Gas Hybrid (SGH) system with a similar cavity receiver and a back-up boiler. It was found that the energy losses in a system of small-sized modules, which employs molten salt as its Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF), are dominated by trace heating owing to the increased piping over their larger receiver counterpart. However, this can be reduced significantly by using alternative HTFs with a lower melting point such as sodium. In addition, for modularisation to be cost effective requires it to also enable access to alternative, lower-cost manufacturing methods. That is, the benefit of standard learning rates is insufficient to lower the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) on its own. For a plant with 30 units of 1 MWth modules the LCOE is competitive, relative to a single unit of 30 MWth, after ∼10 plants are installed if the modularised components (i.e. heliostats, receivers and towers) can be decreased by >80% and >40% for molten salt and sodium as the HTF, respectively.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-170
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2022-09-12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy
  • Pollution


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