1981-02-01

Heat Engine Requirements for Advanced Solar Thermal Power Systems 810454

A power conversion subsystem consisting of an engine, an alternator, and auxiliaries is an important portion of most parabolic dish solar thermal power systems. Requirements and constraints have been established for such power conversion subsystems in the post-1985 time frame on the basis of expected needs of commercial parabolic dish power systems. To be competitive with conventional power systems, solar thermal systems using dish concentrators will need power conversion subsystems rated at less than 40 kW, with a net efficiency of 40 percent at full power and 37 percent at half-power.
Time between major overhauls should be at least 50,000 hours of solar operations. Minor maintenance and lubrication for a production subsystem should not exceed four times per year and, if possible, should not take more than one man-hour each time. The subsystem should operate properly at any angle to the horizontal. Cost targets include a factory price of $180 per kilowatt electric for the power conversion subsystem, and operation, maintenance and replacement cost averaging 0.1c per kilowatt hour for 30 years of solar operation (1980 dollars). These targets are for a production rate of 25,000 engines per year.

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