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2/13/2014 - Science & technology
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NREL study details importance of energy storage for CSP technology
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The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has completed a comprehensive study that shows the increasing importance of storage energy systems for CSP power plants. The report, »Estimating the Performance and Economic Value of Multiple Concentrating Solar Power Technologies in a Production Cost Model,« found that the value of the energy produced by a CSP plant adopting parabolic troughs and a CSP dry-cooled tower are quite similar. The report, which also analyzed various configurations of solar multiple (SM) and thermal storage capacity, found that lower SMs had the largest marginal system value and benefited from some additional storage to prevent spilled energy. »In our study, we analyzed various plant configurations and identified specific ones that provide significantly more value than has been found in previous analyses,« said NREL Analyst Jennie Jorgenson, the lead author of the report. »For example, we explored the potential benefits of extending thermal storage at CSP plants beyond six hours, a typically modelled amount. In this analysis we found additional benefits for six to nine hours of storage, but rapidly diminishing benefits for greater than nine hours of storage.« © PHOTON

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