Techno-Economic Analysis of CSP Incorporating sCO2 Brayton Power Cycles: Trade-Off Between Cost and Performance

Dario Alfani, Ty Neises, Marco Astolfi, Marco Binotti, Paolo Silva

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, thanks to the implementation of cost-competitive thermal energy storage, represent a dispatchable zero-emission alternative to traditional fossil fuel power plants. Next generation solar towers are expected to adopt high temperature receivers (>700°C) coupled to sCO2-based power blocks, which optimal design is generally pushed towards the maximum cycle efficiency, often neglecting the economic impact with the justification that the main share of the capital cost is represented by the heliostat field. As result, the scientific literature lacks in comprehensive studies on techno-economic evaluation of CSP+sCO2 power plants addressing the important correlation that exists between system cost and performances. This work provides a preliminary techno-economic analysis of a solar power tower comparing four different cycle configurations for the sCO2 power block. Results have been reported on a Pareto front, highlighting the tradeoff between the plant investment cost and the solar-to-electricity plant efficiency. The trends of the optimization variables and cycle results have been reported to give useful insights about proper assumptions for the sCO2 power block design. The recompressed cycle with intercooling resulted as the most promising configuration and it has been further analyzed through a comparison of different solutions on the Pareto front. The cost breakdown of the sCO2 power block has been reported to highlight which components have the greatest impact on the overall plant cost and how they vary along the optimal solutions front. Eventually, the optimization has been repeated introducing a correlation to compute the turbomachinery isentropic efficiencies, to investigate their effect on the techno- economic analysis.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 May 2022
Event26th International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems, SolarPACES 2020 - Freiburg, Virtual, Germany
Duration: 28 Sep 20202 Oct 2020

Conference

Conference26th International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems, SolarPACES 2020
Country/TerritoryGermany
CityFreiburg, Virtual
Period28/09/202/10/20

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-83279

Keywords

  • concentrated solar power
  • energy storage
  • heliostats
  • plant efficiency
  • solar power plants
  • thermodynamic cycles

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