Solar Thermal Power Generation

by A. Luzzi,

Technical Report, December 2004


CSP Unique ID 1279


Electronic Resource


December 2004


Library's review

Solar thermal power generation systems capture energy from solar radiation, transform it into heat, and then use an engine cycle to generate electricity. The majority of electricity generated around the world comes from thermally driven steam-based systems. The heat for these systems is
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largely provided by the combustion of coal, oil, or natural gas or by nuclear fission. The concept of substituting solar radiation for these thermal inputs leads to the consideration of solar thermal power generation. The second law of thermodynamics expresses the empirically observed fact that the potential conversion efficiency from heat to electricity (work) increases with the temperature of the thermal input available. For solar systems, this naturally leads to the consideration of methods for concentrating solar radiation to achieve high temperatures.
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