Combining concentrating solar power with multiple effect distillation at inland locations - An economically viable option for Northern Chile?
In several previous studies only coastal locations are considered to be suitable for concentrating solar thermal power plants integrated with multiple effect distillation (CSP+MED), even though inland locations provide a better solar resource. The presented paper presents the concept of pumping seawater to inland locations for desalination by means of CSP+MED plants. For selected locations in Northern Chile it is shown that solar resource and altitude are the two most important factors for the identification of suitable locations for CSP+MED cogeneration plants. A substantially higher solar resource at inland locations can compensate the effect of increasing altitude on pumping power. For the case study it could be shown that inland CSP+MED plants are economically viable in Northern Chile. For locations in the Antofagasta region with high annual DNI sum up to 2,600 kWh/(m²a) plants located 90 km away from the coast are preferable, in the Copiapó region with moderate annual DNI sums of around 2,000 kWh/(m²a) plants located 15 to 30 km away from the coast provide the best economic performance.