This paper investigates the integration of Concentrating Solar Power technology in Combined Cycles for power production. Starting from a state of the art of CSP plants, the paper investigates alternative plant configurations, assessed and compared with a through-life thermoeconomic analysis. Plant layouts include thermal storage to manage the load demand of the plant throughout the day, considering both variable solar input and variable power demand. Focus is on the impact of thermal storage devices on optimal layouts.
The hybrid combined CSP plants are analyzed using original software tools, WTEMP for the design point analysis and WECoMP for the time-dependent thermoeconomic optimization, to take into proper account the time-dependent nature of both the electrical load demand and the hour-by-hour irradiation during the year.
The analysis shows that combining CSP technology with existing combined cycles a significant reduction of fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is obtained, with an optimal solar share factor of about 20%, providing the grid with fully dispatchable power generation.