Chapter 1

Solar Thermal Energy Systems

Sonia Fereres

Abstract

To date, concentrated solar power is the only type of renewable energy that allows for long term energy storage over sufficiently long periods of time and at large scales to completely eliminate the intermittent nature of the solar resource. It is a proven and mature technology as shown by its widespread deployment. However, cost reduction is essential in order to compete with alternative sources. Existing technologies are described in detail highlighting improvement opportunities. Increasing the overall solar-to-electric energy conversion efficiency by developing new power conversion pathways and looking for alternative markets for Concentrated Solar Power such as desalination, process heat, enhanced oil recovery or hybridization appear to be the best options for the future.

Total Pages: 1-69 (69)

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