(243g) Green Steam Initiative: Novel and Cost Effective Parabolic Trough Collector System
It is a stated goal of renewable energy research to make solar power reach price parity with power from fossil fuel based power plants. Solar-thermal plants are capital intensive and do not benefit strongly from economies of scale. Hence, reducing unit costs is the most effective path to an economically attractive technology. Conventional parabolic trough systems have limitations not least of which are the expensive mirror and support requirements required to maintain high precision in the optics. In an effort involving parabolic trough systems we have been able to develop an innovative, low cost, dismantlable and field assemblable solar collector reflector and receiver-housing costing 75 $/m2. This cost, which includes the cost of the receiver, is about 44% of the commercial collector costs. Further, we show that tremendous synergies can be realized by integrating the solar thermal system with a coal fired power plant: a concept called the Green Steam Initiative.
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