Chapter 11: Concentrating Solar Power

Craig Turchi, J. Stekli, P. Bueno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

17 Scopus Citations


This chapter summarizes the applications of the supercritical CO2 (sCO2) Brayton cycle in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. The design and operation of CSP plants are reviewed to highlight the requirements for the power cycle and attributes that are advantageous for the solar-thermal application. The sCO2 Brayton cycle offers the potential of higher cycle efficiency versus superheated or supercritical steam cycles at temperatures relevant for CSP applications. In addition, Brayton cycle systems using sCO2 are anticipated to have smaller weight and volume, lower thermal mass, and less complex power blocks compared with Rankine cycles due to the higher density of the fluid and simpler cycle design. The simpler machinery and compact size of the sCO2 process may also reduce the installation, maintenance, and operation cost of the system. Power cycle capacities in the range of 10-150 MWe are anticipated for the CSP application. In this chapter, we explore sCO2 Brayton cycle configurations that have attributes that are desirable from the perspective of a CSP application, such as the ability to accommodate dry cooling and daily cycling, as well as integration with thermal energy storage.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationFundamentals and Applications of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (SCO2) Based Power Cycles
EditorsK. Brun, P. Friedman, R. Dennis
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780081008058
ISBN (Print)9780081008041
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-5500-68937


  • CSP
  • Solar thermal
  • Thermal energy storage


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