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Potential of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycles to Reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity of Contemporary Concentrated Solar Power Plants

Department of Energy Engineering, University of Seville, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092 Seville, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5049;
Received: 31 May 2020 / Revised: 1 July 2020 / Accepted: 15 July 2020 / Published: 22 July 2020
This paper provides an assessment of the expected Levelised Cost of Electricity enabled by Concentrated Solar Power plants based on Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO 2 ) technology. A global approach is presented, relying on previous results by the authors in order to ascertain whether these innovative power cycles have the potential to achieve the very low costs of electricity reported in the literature. From a previous thermodynamic analysis of sCO 2 cycles, three layouts are shortlisted and their installation costs are compared prior to assessing the corresponding cost of electricity. Amongst them, the Transcritical layout is then discarded due to the virtually impossible implementation in locations with high ambient temperature. The remaining layouts, Allam and Partial Cooling are then modelled and their Levelised Cost of Electricity is calculated for a number of cases and two different locations in North America. Each case is characterised by a different dispatch control scheme and set of financial assumptions. A Concentrated Solar Power plant based on steam turbine technology is also added to the assessment for the sake of comparison. The analysis yields electricity costs varying in the range from 8 to over 11 ¢/kWh, which is near but definitely not below the 6 ¢/kWh target set forth by different administrations. Nevertheless, in spite of the results, a review of the conservative assumptions adopted in the analysis suggests that attaining costs substantially lower than this is very likely. In other words, the results presented in this paper can be taken as an upper limit of the economic performance attainable by Supercritical Carbon Dioxide in Concentrated Solar Power applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: LCoE; CSP; supercritical CO2 LCoE; CSP; supercritical CO2
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Crespi, F.; Sánchez, D.; Martínez, G.S.; Sánchez-Lencero, T.; Jiménez-Espadafor, F. Potential of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycles to Reduce the Levelised Cost of Electricity of Contemporary Concentrated Solar Power Plants. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 5049.

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