The intermittency of renewable energies continues to be a limitation for their more widespread application because their large-scale storage is not yet practical. Concentrating solar power (CSP) has the possibility of thermally storing this energy to be used in times of higher demand at a more feasible storage price. The number of concentrated solar energy related projects have grown rapidly in recent years due to the advances in the associated solar technology. Some of the remaining issues regarding the associated high investment costs can be solved by integrating the solar potential into fossil fuel generation plants. An integrated solar combined cycle system (ISCCS) tends to be less dependent to climatic conditions and needs less capital inversion than a CSP system, letting the plant be more reliable and more economically feasible. In this work thus, two technologies of solar concentration (i) parabolic trough cylinder (PTC) and (ii) solar tower (ST) are initially integrated into a three-pressure levels combined cycle power plant. The proposed models are then modeled, simulated and properly assessed. Design and off design point computations are carried out taking into account local environmental conditions such as ambient temperature and direct solar radiation (DNI). The 8760 hourly-basis simulations carried out allow comparing the thermal and economic performance of the different power plant configurations accounted for in this work. The results show that injecting energy into the cycle at high temperatures does not necessarily imply a high power plant performance. In the studied plant configurations, introducing the solar generated steam mass flow rate at the evaporator outlet is slightly more efficient than introducing it at cycle points where temperatures are higher. At design point conditions thus, the plant configuration where the referred steam mass flow rate is introduced at the evaporator outlet generates 0.42% more power than those in which the steam is injected at higher cycle temperatures. At off design point conditions this value is reduced to 0.37%. The results also show that the months with high DNI values and those with low mean ambient temperatures are not necessarily the months which lead to the highest power outputs. In fact a balance between these two parameters, DNI and ambient temperature, leads to an operating condition where the power output is the highest. All plant configurations analyzed here are economically feasible, even so PTC related technologies tend to be more economically feasible than ST ones due to their lower investment costs.

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