Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have quantified the significant value that concentrating solar power (CSP) plants can add to an electric grid.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy's primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.
At a 20-megawatt concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, some 10,000 mirrors reflect sunlight onto 10,000 receiver tubes, each of which must operate efficiently to get the maximum impact from the sun.
A promising Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology that uses a stationary receiver tube and an array of mirrors mounted near the ground can now be accessed within the System Advisor Model (SAM).
Over the years, as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has needed to model solar optical systems that have become more and more complex, it found that existing computer modeling tools were inadequate.