Comparative analysis of designing solar and geothermal power plants: A case study
McCay, Mary Helen
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Geothermal and solar thermal are renewable, clean energy sources with immense potential for electricity generation. Concentrating Solar Power can achieve very high temperatures and high efficiencies compared to geothermal power plants. However, it is intermittent and must be coupled with thermal storage or another source for continuous power generation. Geothermal resources exist in varying temperatures but are too small for economic power production; however, it is not intermittent. This paper briefly summarizes the location-specific design considerations for geothermal and solar thermal plants. The performance of both these types of power plants is analysed in terms of capacity factor, thermal energy storage hours, solar multiple, area requirement, and levelized cost of energy for a given set of environmental conditions at two separate locations, Las Cruces, US and Aydin, Turkey. Electricity consumption for an example airport at Aydin is provided by DHMI Airport authority administration, which was used as load profile for Aydin. This analysis is performed using the System Advisor Model. Simulation of parabolic trough, power tower, linear Fresnel, dish Stirling, and geothermal energy conversion systems are performed and the results are compared.