The potential for highly efficient and cost competitive solar energy collection at high temperatures drives the actual research and development activities for particle tower systems. One promising concept for particle receivers is the falling particle receiver. This paper is related to a particle receiver, in which falling ceramic particles form a particle curtain, which absorbs the concentrated solar radiation. Complex operation strategies will result in higher receiver costs, for both investment and operation. The objective of this paper is to assess the influence of the simultaneous variation of receiver costs and efficiency characteristics on levelized cost of heat (LCOH) and on levelized cost of electricity (LCOE).
Applying cost assumptions for the particle receiver and the particle transport system, the LCOE are estimated and compared for each considered concept. The power level of the compared concepts is 125 MWel output at design point. The sensitivity of the results on the specific cost assumptions is analyzed. No detailed evaluation is done for the thermal storage, but comparable storage utilization and costs are assumed for all cases.