Case Studies in Thermal Engineering (Dec 2020)

Preliminary cost-effectiveness assessment of a Linear Fresnel Concentrator: Case studies

  • Yousra Filali Baba, Mechanical and Structural Engineer, Energetic and Thermal PhD,
  • Hamid Ajdad,
  • Ahmed Al Mers,
  • Abdelfattah Bouatem,
  • Badr Bououlid Idrissi,
  • Soukaina El Alj

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22
p. 100730


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Produce superheated steam for industrials process has been presented as one of the main advantageous applications of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants particularly Linear Fresnel Concentrator (LFC). LFC belongs to this category and produces either steam or hot liquid by concentrating sunlight and converting it to energy. This technology has shown great potential with regard to its integration into several industrial processes including cooling, enhanced oil recovery (EOR), agro-food processes, etc. Nevertheless, despite the growing interest of the scientific and industrial community to this technology, the majority of studies have been focused on the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) estimation and there is still lack of a clear technology economic competitiveness demonstration at a relevant scale. Aiming to take one step forward in the cost-effectiveness of LFC according to the Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) level and the fossil fuel price, this work assesses the economic competitiveness of solar boiler based on Fresnel technology and devoted to producing heat for industrials requiring saturated or overheated steam and operating at medium temperature i.e. up to 200 °C: a research area that has rarely been tackled so far. To achieve this purpose, the total payback period has been simulated for several scenarios: industrials already working with a fossil fuel boiler and industrials looking for a new steam production system, and eventually, without Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system and with 2 h of TES system. LFC total payback period has been subsequently compared, with boilers already existing in the market e.g. Heavy Fuel Boilers, Diesel Boilers, etc. Results from the study have shown that LFC could be an excellent alternative to boilers existing in the market and that the payback period is conditioned by DNI level and varies between 2 and 9 years depending on the chosen scenario and the climatic conditions.