Two solar thermal electric power plants and a solar total energy experimental facility were constructed for the effective use of solar thermal energy and then operated for about three years. Their development for commercial use has been completed because of low system performance and the poor solar conditions in Japan. Under these circumstances, for future development of these systems, we believe it is most important to improve system performance under poor solar conditions such as those experienced in Japan. Therefore, we consider here a method to improve system availability based on the operating characteristics of the system. It is shown that under poor solar conditions, it is important to collect not only high temperature heat but also low temperature heat, according to the solar condition, and to use the collected heat for either heat energy supply or electricity generation.

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