This paper presents arguments for the use of direct steam generation (DSG) in preference to other forms of generation in particular locations according to the prevailing environmental and economic conditions. In addition, the paper describes the development of a software tool based on Microsoft Excel and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which draws upon established physical relationships in the heat transfer literature to perform plant capacity calculations in a fast and convenient manner. The results of the VBA program determine the solar fraction of the plant, assuming that the plant is in operation for 10 h per day (07:30–17:30 hours), the solar fraction is shown to be 76% and the DSG plant achieves a 76% reduction in emissions. Construction costs are also estimated based on formulae from previous work.

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