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Comparative Economic Analysis of Concentrating Solar Technologies

[+] Author Affiliations
Brandon Duquette, Todd Otanicar

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA

Paper No. IMECE2011-63956, pp. 145-150; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


One of the noted benefits of concentrating photovoltaics (PV) is the reduced cell area which results in reduction of the overall system cost. A variety of studies have looked at the cost for concentrating PV systems and made comparisons to concentrating solar thermal power plants, typically resulting in concentrating solar thermal power having lower system costs. Recently a widespread design space was assessed for the potential efficiency improvements possible with a coupled hybrid PV/thermal solar energy system for electricity generation. The analysis showed that modest efficiency improvements could be made but no assessment of the economic impact was made. Although modest efficiency gains can be made such a hybrid system requires more components than one of the conventional stand alone concentrating solar power plant on its own resulting in significantly different system costs. As a result we look to compare the overall system costs of three different solar power technologies: concentrating PV, concentrating solar thermal, and the concentrating hybrid approach. Additionally we will focus on documenting the necessary hybrid efficiencies to make a hybrid system competitive as well as the feasibility and means for achieving these efficiencies.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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