Concurrent Optimization of Component Capital Cost and Expected O&M

Project: Research project

Project Details


Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies combine heat generation from a field of reflective mirrors with a thermodynamic power conversion cycle, typically using an expansion-turbine loop. Among the four major CSP technologies – parabolic trough, linear Fresnel, dish Stirling, and power tower – the lattermost represents the area of primary attention for efficiency improvement and cost reduction. The collector system is typically the most costly CSP subsystem and hence warrants the most comprehensive analysis for the design cost versus O&M tradeoff, although this analysis must be undertaken in light of the other interrelated subsystems. CSP solar fields consist of thousands of parallel components (i.e., heliostats), so optimization of this subsystem differs from how one addresses a single point of failure, such as boiler or turbogenerator. This presents a unique opportunity for CSP: Because of the large number of parallel components, the state of the solar field, as the heliostats degrade over time, is governed by large sample size statistics, rather than a simple up-down state.
Effective start/end date7/18/1612/31/18


  • Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (XEJ-6-62151-01 // DE-AC36-08GO28308)
  • Department of Energy (XEJ-6-62151-01 // DE-AC36-08GO28308)


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