J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr3-169-Pr3-179
Performance history and future costs of parabolic trough solar electric systemsG.E. Cohen1, D.W. Kearney2 and H.W. Price3
1 KJC Operating Company, Boron, California 760-762-5562, U.S.A.
2 Kearney & Associates, Del Mar, California 619-481-8044, U.S.A.
3 National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, Colorado 303-384-7437, U.S.A.
The five 30-MW SEGS (Solar Electric Generating System) Plants located at Kramer Junction, California, have been in operation since 1987. This paper reports and discusses performance trends for the period 1987 through 1997. Included are details on the electrical output, solar field performance, plant efficiency and solar conditions. Output of the plants during the period has an overall upward trend, with variations due to the influences of weather, significant alterations in the O&M structure and procedures, maturity of operation and experience, and spare parts availability. In recent years the output has risen markedly. As a result, performance in 1996-1997 showed the attainment of many new records for output and efficiency. Key factors effecting these achievements are discussed. The potential for further cost reduction in parabolic trough power technology is also examined in depth. A number of opportunities are discussed which can lead to reductions in the cost of the technology, improvements in performance, or reductions due to project structure or financing alternatives.
© EDP Sciences 1999