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CSP plants | Concentrated solar power

Concentrated solar power is a very effective way of producing energy, but at the moment it is very expensive to build and the implementation time is much longer than photovoltaic or wind energy. Concentrated solar power is only suitable for large scaled projects and not for small plants. In contrast to photovoltaic and wind energy CSP is still under development and there are a lot of different types of plants, in the future the costs for CSP will decrease. In the pictures you can see some examples for the different types of CSP: The first two pictures show the “PS10 Solar Power Plant” in the southwest of Spain, which is world’s first commercial concentrating solar power tower, while the third picture shows a classical Parabolic through power plant.
Very important for Oman is the fact, that the produced heat can be used for desalination, which helps a lot with the water supply. The basic idea is to raise the temperature of sea water causing it evaporate, this condensed water can be used as fresh water.

CSP plant in Nevada, US


Advantages:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Heat storage possible
  • Decreasing costs for CSP in the future
  • Suitable for desert regions
  • Produced heat can be used for desalination

  • Disdvantages:

  • Expensive to establish
  • Not suitable for small plants
  • Technology (storage and heat transfer media) still under development
  • Implementation of CSP takes longer than PV
  • Location:
    Because of the space consumption of CSP it can’t be used in settled areas and also not in uneven terrain. Because the intensity of the sun is the most important factor it should be located in the south of the desert.

    Time frame:
    CSP plays a major role in our concept, because it uses the sun in its most effective way. Because this will be a key technology for Oman the implementation of CSP will be a long process. It is useful to make large-scaled projects, but in order to consider the different types of concentrated solar power it is better to make experiences with the different types of CSP instead of just forcing the cheapest or most efficient method(s). Therefore it is necessary to take enough time for reflecting the first facilities and to explore possible improvements on the different systems. And because of the long time frame it is especially important to start with the first CSP projects as soon as possible.