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Comparison of Linear Fresnel and Parabolic Trough Collector power plants

: Morin, G.; Dersch, J.; Platzer, W.; Eck, M.; Häberle, A.


Solar energy 86 (2012), No.1, pp.1-12
ISSN: 0038-092X
ISSN: 0375-9865
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISE ()
Solarthermie und Optik; Solarthermie; Solarthermie; Solarthermische Kraftwerke; Solaranlagen; Solarthermische Kraftwerke

The Linear Fresnel Collector (LFC) technology is currently being commercialised by several companies for the application in solar thermal power plants. This study compares the electricity generation costs for LFC and Parabolic Trough Collector (PTC). PTC is the most commercial CSP technology to date and is therefore regarded as the benchmark. For reasons of comparability, direct steam generation is assumed for both LFC and PTC. For the LFC, cost data comparable to typical CSP plant sizes are hardly available. Therefore, the break even cost - referring to aperture-specific collector investment - is determined, where cost-parity of the electricity generation with a PTC reference plant is reached. This study varies the assumptions on collector performance and operation and maintenance costs to reflect different designs of LFC technologies. The calculations were carried out using cost and hourly simulation performance models. Depending on the assumptions, the costs for a li near Fresnel collector solar field should range between 78 and 216 /m2 to reach cost-parity at assumed reference solar field costs of 275 /m2 for the PTC. The LFC principle of arranging the mirrors horizontally leads to lower aperture-related optical efficiency which must be compensated by lower cost per m2 of aperture compared to PTC. The LFC is a collector with significant cost reduction potential, mainly due to cheaper mirrors and structural advantages.The presented cost and performance targets shown in this study must be met by LFC technology developers to reach the PTC benchmark.