ABSTRACT

Solar energy can be used in a number of different ways to generate power. The most basic method is to capture solar heat and convert it to power by thermodynamic cycles. This chapter examines various aspects of this CST (or CSP) technology. This chapter points out that in order to generate significant power, solar radiation needs to be captured with high concentration on the solar cell so that high temperature is achieved. Chapter 1 examines various line and point sources to achieve this. Line sources involve, parabolic trough and linear Fresnel and point sources involve Parabolic dish and heliostat field central-receiver. The chapter describes each of them in detail. The chapter also examines advanced methods for power cycles such as supercritical CO2 cycle, supercritical steam cycle etc. Advanced mirror concepts for concentrating solar thermal systems, the next generation of solar radiation receivers which include particle receivers, liquid metal receivers etc. are also examined. The chapter explores various options for heat transfer fluids. Different options for the integration of power cycle to the concentrated solar tower are investigated. These include innovative power conversion cycles with liquid. The chapter examines the global status of commercial CST (or CSP) power plants. Finally, hybrid systems involving CSP are briefly evaluated.