There’s only one debate that has been in the headlines more than the eternal debate between tower and trough, and that is PV and CSP.
Selecting between tower and trough and achieving the optimum size for CSP plants is a critical challenge not just from a technology approach but also from a financial point of view. So before plant designers begin, it is fundamental to have a good idea of the technology risk, the financial risk perception of each technology and the size of the plant.
“The main advantage of tower with molten salts over parabolic trough is that you can work at higher temperatures, 565º, compared to 390º. This translates into greater efficiency of the plant. The solar energy transfers directly to the salts which is the same fluid used in storage, while the parabolic trough transfers heat from oil into steam or salt. In tower everything is streamlined, there is a single fluid. A third advantage is that tower removes 90km of oil pipeline. Everything is concentrated in tower, reducing heat loss and keeping maintenance costs down”, said J.I Burgaleta, Technology Director at Torresol Energy to CSP Today.
“As the CSP technology develops in multiple markets and all these upcoming large scale projects proof their performance, we’ll see how risk perception from a financial point of view will come down, encouraging funding institutions and banks to invest in CSP projects worldwide”, explained Brandon Páramo, Project Manager at CSP Today.
At CSP Today Enhance Plant Engineering (12-13 November, Sevilla), Torresol will be joined by other leading developers such as SolarReserve, ACWA and Cobra, who are all active in multiple markets.