Overview of Solar Thermal Technologies (1999)

This document, from 1999, provides an overview of key solar thermal applications - parabolic troughs, power towers and dish/engine systems - their characteristics, the kind of application they are best suited for, system performance, technologic comparison, together with a cost vs. value analysis.

Dish/engine systems are, hence, considered the most efficient systems, with low startup losses (29.4% record solar to electricity conversion) and appropriate for smaller high-value applications. Parabolic troughs are shown as a very reliable solar technology for near-term applications, given its maturity; while power towers with low cost and efficient thermal storage, promise to offer dispatchable, high capacity factor, solar-only power plants in the near future.

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