Economic Status and Prospects of Solar Thermal Industrial Heat

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper provides estimates of the levelized energy cost (LEC) of a mid-temperature parabolic trough system for three different development scenarios. A current technology case is developed that is representative of recent designs and costs for commercial systems, and is developed using data from a recent system installed in Tehachapi, California. The second scenario looks at designenhancements to the current technology case as a way to increase annual energy output and decrease costs. The third scenario uses the annual energy output of the enhanced design, but allows for cost reductions that would be possible in higher volume production than currently exist. A simulation model was used to estimate the annual energy output from the system, and the results were combinedwith cost data in an economic analysis model. The study indicates that R&D improvements in the current trough system show promise of reducing the (LEC) by about 40%. At higher production rates, the LEC of the solar system with R&D improvements could potentially be reduced by over 50%.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages11
    StatePublished - 1992
    Event1993 ASME/ASES Joint Solar Energy Conference - Washington, D.C.
    Duration: 26 Apr 199330 Apr 1993


    Conference1993 ASME/ASES Joint Solar Energy Conference
    CityWashington, D.C.

    Bibliographical note

    Prepared for the 1993 ASME/ASES Joint Solar Energy Conference, 26-30 April 1993, Washington, DC

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-471-5099


    • levelized cost of energy (LCOE)
    • parabolic trough
    • solar energy
    • solar thermal
    • Tehachapi


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