Advances in Concentrating Solar Thermal Research and Technology

Advances in Concentrating Solar Thermal Research and Technology

1st Edition - November 10, 2016

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  • Editor: Manuel Blanco
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081005170
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081005163

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After decades of research and development, concentrating solar thermal (CST) power plants (also known as concentrating solar power (CSP) and as Solar Thermal Electricity or STE systems) are now starting to be widely commercialized. Indeed, the IEA predicts that by 2050, with sufficient support over ten percent of global electricity could be produced by concentrating solar thermal power plants. However, CSP plants are just but one of the many possible applications of CST systems. Advances in Concentrating Solar Thermal Research and Technology provides detailed information on the latest advances in CST systems research and technology. It promotes a deep understanding of the challenges the different CST technologies are confronted with, of the research that is taking place worldwide to address those challenges, and of the impact that the innovation that this research is fostering could have on the emergence of new CST components and concepts. It is anticipated that these developments will substantially increase the cost-competiveness of commercial CST solutions and reshape the technological landscape of both CST technologies and the CST industry. After an introductory chapter, the next three parts of the book focus on key CST plant components, from mirrors and receivers to thermal storage. The final two parts of the book address operation and control and innovative CST system concepts.

Key Features

  • Contains authoritative reviews of CST research taking place around the world
  • Discusses the impact this research is fostering on the emergence of new CST components and concepts that will substantially increase the cost-competitiveness of CST power
  • Covers both major CST plant components and system-wide issues


R&D professionals in the CST industry as well as postgraduate researchers in academia working on CST

Table of Contents

    • Related titles
    • List of contributors
    • Editors’ biographies
    • Acknowledgment
    • Part One. Introduction
      • 1. Introduction to concentrating solar thermal (CST) technologies
        • 1.1. The sun as an energy source
        • 1.2. Defining characteristics of CST technologies
        • 1.3. Thermal efficiency and the need for concentration
        • 1.4. Limits of concentration
        • 1.5. Optimum operating temperature to maximize light-to-work conversion efficiency
        • 1.6. Main commercially available solar concentrating technologies
        • 1.7. Industry and market trends
        • 1.8. Research priorities, strategies, and trends
    • Part Two. Advances in the collection and concentration of sunlight
      • 2. Advanced mirror concepts for concentrating solar thermal systems
        • Nomenclature
        • 2.1. Introduction
        • 2.2. Anti-soiling coatings
        • 2.3. High-reflective mirror materials
        • 2.4. High-temperature mirrors for secondary concentrators
        • 2.5. Low-cost mirrors based on stainless steel
        • 2.6. Conclusions
      • 3. Improved design for linear Fresnel reflector systems
        • 3.1. Introduction (motivation)
        • 3.2. Advanced linear Fresnel reflector concentrators
        • 3.3. Conclusion
    • Part Three. Advances in the thermal conversion of concentrated sunlight
      • 4. A new generation of absorber tubes for concentrating solar thermal (CST) systems
        • 4.1. Introduction
        • 4.2. Glass cover
        • 4.3. Steel tube
        • 4.4. Vacuum maintenance
        • 4.5. Bellows
        • 4.6. Conclusion
      • 5. Innovative working fluids for parabolic trough collectors
        • 5.1. Introduction
        • 5.2. Direct steam generation
        • 5.3. Molten salts
        • 5.4. Compressed gases
        • 5.5. Conclusions
      • 6. A new generation of solid particle and other high-performance receiver designs for concentrating solar thermal (CST) central tower systems
        • 6.1. Introduction
        • 6.2. Particle receivers
        • 6.3. Other high-performance receiver designs
        • 6.4. Summary and conclusions
      • 7. Next generation of liquid metal and other high-performance receiver designs for concentrating solar thermal (CST) central tower systems
        • 7.1. Introduction
        • 7.2. Thermophysical properties of liquid metals
        • 7.3. Liquid metals in central receiver systems
        • 7.4. Innovative power conversion cycles with liquid metals as heat transfer fluid
        • 7.5. Conclusions and outlook
    • Part Four. Advances in the power block and thermal storage systems
      • 8. Supercritical CO2 and other advanced power cycles for concentrating solar thermal (CST) systems
        • 8.1. Introduction
        • 8.2. Stand-alone cycles
        • 8.3. Combined cycles
        • 8.4. Summary and conclusions
      • 9. Advances in dry cooling for concentrating solar thermal (CST) power plants
        • 9.1. Introduction
        • 9.2. Current cooling technologies for concentrating solar thermal power plants
        • 9.3. Air-cooled heat exchanger and cooling tower sizing
        • 9.4. Advances in dry cooling technologies for concentrating solar thermal power plants
        • 9.5. Conclusions
      • 10. High-temperature latent heat storage for concentrating solar thermal (CST) systems
        • 10.1. General introduction
        • 10.2. Introduction to latent heat storage
        • 10.3. General challenges for concentrating solar thermal latent heat storage systems
        • 10.4. Latent heat storage configurations for concentrating solar thermal applications
        • 10.5. Summary
      • 11. Thermochemical energy storage for concentrating solar thermal (CST) systems
        • 11.1. Introduction to thermochemical energy storage
        • 11.2. General challenges for CST thermochemical storage systems
        • 11.3. Power plant and chemical plant
        • 11.4. Le Châtelier's principle and thermochemical energy storage
        • 11.5. Conclusions
      • 12. Thermal energy storage concepts for direct steam generation (DSG) solar plants
        • Nomenclature
        • 12.1. Introduction
        • 12.2. Overview on direct steam generation solar plants
        • 12.3. Basic considerations on thermal energy storage
        • 12.4. Integration of thermal energy storage systems in direct steam generation solar plants
        • 12.5. Conclusions
    • Part Five. Advances in the control an operation of CPS plants
      • 13. Forecasting and nowcasting of DNI for concentrating solar thermal systems
        • 13.1. Introduction
        • 13.2. Main forecasting techniques
        • 13.3. Forecasting systems for CST power plants
        • 13.4. Solar radiation forecasting baseline
        • 13.5. DNI and CST power plants forecasting: main challenges
        • 13.6. Conclusions
      • 14. Advanced control strategies to maximize ROI and the value of the concentrating solar thermal (CST) plant to the grid
        • 14.1. Introduction
        • 14.2. Optimal operation in solar trough plants
        • 14.3. Optimization of flux distribution in solar tower plants
        • 14.4. Conclusions and future works
    • Part Six. Cost competitive CST plants concepts
      • 15. Linear Fresnel reflector (LFR) plants using superheated steam, molten salts, and other heat transfer fluids
        • 15.1. Introduction (motivation)
        • 15.2. Heat transfer fluids
        • 15.3. Higher temperatures: molten salts as HTF and thermal energy storage medium
        • 15.4. Advanced LFR and molten salts: a new concept plant
        • 15.5. Yearly performance
        • 15.6. Discussion
        • 15.7. Conclusions
      • 16. Central tower systems using the Brayton cycle
        • 16.1. Introduction and history
        • 16.2. Solarization of gas turbines
        • 16.3. Solar gas turbine cycle concepts
        • 16.4. System components
        • 16.5. System studies
        • 16.6. Conclusions
        • Abbreviations
      • 17. Solar power towers using supercritical CO2 and supercritical steam cycles, and decoupled combined cycles
        • 17.1. Introduction
        • 17.2. Solar power towers with supercritical cycles
        • 17.3. Decoupled solar combined cycles
        • 17.4. Summary and conclusions
      • 18. Solar thermal processing
        • 18.1. Introduction
        • 18.2. H2/CO production
        • 18.3. Material processing and chemical commodity production
        • 18.4. Other thermal processes
        • 18.5. Other solar processes
        • 18.6. Conclusions and future trends
    • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 494
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Woodhead Publishing 2016
  • Published: November 10, 2016
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780081005170
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780081005163

About the Editor

Manuel Blanco

Prof. Manuel Blanco has more than 30 years of experience as a solar researcher and engineer and has contributed to advancing the state-of the-art of Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) technologies. He is an expert on Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, Optics, and Modelling of Energy Systems. He is a Full Professor and holder of the European Research Area (ERA) Chair in Solar Thermal Energy of the Cyprus Institute’s Energy, Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC). He is also the Chair of the Executive Committee of SolarPACES, the Technology Collaboration Program of the International Energy Agency responsible for promoting the development and deployment of solar thermal power technologies and the solar-assisted manufacturing of fuels and chemicals. Until August, 2016, he has been Science Leader of the Solar Energy Systems Research Group of CSIRO -Australia’s National Research Agency, as well as the Director of the Australian Solar Thermal Research Initiative (ASTRI). He is the former Director of the Solar Thermal Energy Department of the National Renewable Energy Centre of Spain (CENER), Chair and Full Professor of the Engineering Department of the University of Texas at Brownsville, and Director of the Plataforma Solar de Almería of CIEMAT, which is the largest European solar research infrastructure.

Affiliations and Expertise

Cyprus Institute’s Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, Nicosia, Cyprus

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