Development of Performance Acceptance Test Guidelines for Large Commercial Parabolic Trough Solar Fields: Preprint

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Prior to commercial operation, large solar systems in utility-size power plants need to pass a performance acceptance test conducted by the EPC contractor or owners. In lieu of the present absence of engineering code developed for this purpose, NREL has undertaken the development of interim guidelines to provide recommendations for test procedures that can yield results of a high level ofaccuracy consistent with good engineering knowledge and practice. The fundamental differences between acceptance of a solar power plant and a conventional fossil-fired plant are the transient nature of the energy source and the necessity to utilize an analytical performance model in the acceptance process. These factors bring into play the need to establish methods to measure steady stateperformance, potential impacts of transient processes, comparison to performance model results, and the possible requirement to test, or model, multi-day performance within the scope of the acceptance test procedure. The power block and BOP are not within the boundaries of this guideline. The current guideline is restricted to the solar thermal performance of parabolic trough systems and hasbeen critiqued by a broad range of stakeholders in CSP development and technology.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2010
EventSolarPACES 2010 - Perpignan, France
Duration: 21 Sep 201024 Sep 2010


ConferenceSolarPACES 2010
CityPerpignan, France

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-49367


  • acceptance tests
  • parabolic trough
  • performance
  • solar thermal electric
  • uncertainty analysis


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