This work presents the design and techno-economic analysis of a 100 MWe concentrated solar power (CSP) system using a supercritical CO2 power block with 700 °C input temperature. Aiming to leverage the relatively higher efficiency of small heliostat fields and potential multi-build discounts, a numbering-up approach is examined, developing four alternative configurations (1×100, 2×50, 3×33, and 4×25MWe), in which each module has its own dedicated tower, heliostat field, receiver, thermal storage and power block. A comprehensive techno-economic model is combined with detailed annual simulations to yield levelised cost of energy (LCOE) estimations and analyse the potential of system numbering-up for high-temperature next- generation CSP systems based on liquid heat transfer fluids (HTFs). The simulations are verified against the System Advisor Model with differences in the LCOE calculations within ±1.0%. Comparing the four systems shows that a 1×100 MWe system leads to an LCOE of 54.88 USD∕MWhe , lower than for the numbered-up modules. However, the LCOE difference between configurations with one and two modules is moderate, with the 2×50MWe configuration showing an LCOE of 55.99USD∕MWhe (+2%). Despite their higher annual conversion efficiencies, the 3×33MWe and 4×25MWe systems are more capital-intensive and escalate LCOE by 6.9 and 12.2%, respectively. With size-dependent power block efficiency, further LCOE escalation with numbered-up systems is observed, however, multi-build savings could potentially reverse this cost escalation and a 13.9–19.6% saving on the two-module system would allow them to break even.
Asselineau, C., Fontalvo, A., Wang, S., Venn, F., Pye, J., & Coventry, J. (2023). Techno-economic assessment of a numbering-up approach for a 100 MWe third generation sodium-salt CSP system. Solar Energy, 263, 111935. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2023.111935
Read in full at SolarPACES: Techno-economic assessment of a numbering-up approach for a 100 MWe third generation sodium-salt CSP system or at Solar Energy, October Issue