CSP Library

Cost impact model for using polymer film based lightweight mirror construction in CSP plant

Publishing date: September 2010


Parabolic troughs in CSP power plants have steadily grown over the years in order to improve costefficiency. Weight and fragility of the glass mirrors currently used represents a challenge for further aperture increases since scales currently reached already require mirrors to be segmented instead of continuous for reasons of logistical manageability. As an alternative we suggest the adoption of advanced troughs using panelized reflectors because of their lightweight and easy to handle properties as well as their potential for higher reflectivity. We evaluated the possible effect on construction cost, when using such advanced troughs in a CSP power plant. Therefore we modeled a virtual Andasol-1 power plant based on publicly available information and expert assumptions with a hypothetical 10 m lightweight panel coated with highly reflective polymer film instead of the actual 5.7 m segmented glass mirrors. We show what a modified plant layout would look like and what the different construction cost saving aspects regarding receiver elements, labour cost, transportation, and mirror area are under specific assumptions. In base and best case scenarios cost saving potential between 3-5% of the total cost is feasible when conservatively assuming an equal specific cost for collector and support.


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