Title

Techno-economic analysis of a small scale solar power tower at varied locations

Publication Date

2018

Journal

AIP Conference Proceedings

Volume

2033

First Page

40034

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

Location selection is an important factor for the effectiveness and cost of a solar electricity generation system. Latitude and weather impact efficiency and availability, and local labor rates have a further influence on cost. To explore the impact of these effects, we performed techno-economic analysis of a small-scale solar power tower concept in six different locations in the United States, Australia, and India. The specific configuration we considered has a nominal power rating of 100 kWe and 5 hours of thermal energy storage. Further, we considered two deployment strategies: a single stand-alone 100 kWe tower, and a 20 MWe cluster of many towers. For each scenario, we used a probabilistic analysis method to evaluate levelized cost of electricity. We found that this configuration has potential for cost-competitive electricity generation and the ability to improve grid flexibility for integration of intermittent renewables. In addition, solar resource, latitude, and local labor rates all have an impact on the levelized cost of electricity of the system.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5067070

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