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Cost-based design optimization of the heat exchangers in a parabolic trough power plant


  • González-Gómez, P.A.
  • Petrakopoulou, F.
  • Briongos, J.V.
  • Santana, D.


This paper addresses two important concerns of the design of steam generators of parabolic trough power plants: cost minimization and component reliability. A thorough economic analysis of the heat exchangers of the steam generator and oil-to-salt heat exchangers of a 50 MWe parabolic trough power plant is presented. The heat exchanger design is realized following TEMA standards and optimized using a genetic algorithm. Two design strategies are compared: the minimization of the total heat transfer area and the minimization of the total annualized cost. It is seen that the second approach provides substantial savings over the lifetime of the plant.

Suggested Citation

  • González-Gómez, P.A. & Petrakopoulou, F. & Briongos, J.V. & Santana, D., 2017. "Cost-based design optimization of the heat exchangers in a parabolic trough power plant," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 314-325.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:123:y:2017:i:c:p:314-325
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zaversky, Fritz & Sánchez, Marcelino & Astrain, David, 2014. "Object-oriented modeling for the transient response simulation of multi-pass shell-and-tube heat exchangers as applied in active indirect thermal energy storage systems for concentrated solar power," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 647-664.
    2. Usaola, Julio, 2012. "Participation of CSP plants in the reserve markets: A new challenge for regulators," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 562-571.
    3. Wagner, Sharon J. & Rubin, Edward S., 2014. "Economic implications of thermal energy storage for concentrated solar thermal power," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 81-95.
    4. Herrmann, Ulf & Kelly, Bruce & Price, Henry, 2004. "Two-tank molten salt storage for parabolic trough solar power plants," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 883-893.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Anming & Liu, Jiping & Zhang, Shunqi & Liu, Ming & Yan, Junjie, 2020. "Steam generation system operation optimization in parabolic trough concentrating solar power plants under cloudy conditions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 265(C).
    2. Ferruzza, Davide & Kærn, Martin Ryhl & Haglind, Fredrik, 2019. "Design of header and coil steam generators for concentrating solar power applications accounting for low-cycle fatigue requirements," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 236(C), pages 793-803.
    3. Li, Xiaolei & Xu, Ershu & Ma, Linrui & Song, Shuang & Xu, Li, 2019. "Modeling and dynamic simulation of a steam generation system for a parabolic trough solar power plant," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 998-1017.
    4. Zhang, Pan & Ma, Ting & Li, Wei-Dong & Ma, Guang-Yu & Wang, Qiu-Wang, 2018. "Design and optimization of a novel high temperature heat exchanger for waste heat cascade recovery from exhaust flue gases," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 3-18.
    5. Ferruzza, Davide & Kærn, Martin Ryhl & Haglind, Fredrik, 2020. "A method to account for transient performance requirements in the design of steam generators for concentrated solar power applications," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 269(C).
    6. Gómez-Hernández, J. & González-Gómez, P.A. & Briongos, J.V. & Santana, D., 2018. "Influence of the steam generator on the exergetic and exergoeconomic analysis of solar tower plants," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 313-328.
    7. Tian, Zhiyong & Perers, Bengt & Furbo, Simon & Fan, Jianhua, 2017. "Annual measured and simulated thermal performance analysis of a hybrid solar district heating plant with flat plate collectors and parabolic trough collectors in series," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 205(C), pages 417-427.
    8. González-Gómez, P.A. & Gómez-Hernández, J. & Briongos, J.V. & Santana, D., 2018. "Fatigue analysis of the steam generator of a parabolic trough solar power plant," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 155(C), pages 565-577.


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