Previous work by the authors has shown that broader analyses than those typically found in literature (in terms of operating pressures allowed) can yield interesting conclusions with respect to the best candidate cycles for certain applications. This has been tested for the thermodynamic performance (first and second laws) but it can also be applied from an economic standpoint. This second approach is introduced in this work where typical operating conditions for concentrated solar power (CSP) applications (current and future generations of solar tower plants) are considered (750 °C and 30 MPa). For these, the techno-economic performance of each cycle is assessed in order to identify the most cost-effective layout when it comes to the overnight capital cost (OCC). This analysis accounts for the different contributions to the total cost of the plant, including all the major equipment that is usually found in a CSP power plant such as the solar field and thermal energy storage (TES) system. The work is, thus, aimed at providing guidelines to professionals in the area of basic engineering and prefeasibility study of CSP plants who find themselves in the process of selecting a particular power cycle for a new project (set of specifications and boundary conditions).

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