Techno-Economic Assessment of Substituting Natural Gas Based Heater with Two- Tank Indirect Thermal Energy Storage System in Shams-1 Parabolic Trough Concentrated Solar Power Plant

  • Vahan Poghosyan

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


As any other solar energy based technology, parabolic trough (PT) concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are vulnerable to daily fluctuations in solar radiation. This dependence can be mitigated through a hybridization of solar energy with natural gas based heaters that supply thermal energy during the night or whenever solar irradiance level is low throughout the day. However, there is a more sustainable way for CSP plants to avoid power generation variability caused by transient weather conditions, i.e. installation of thermal energy storage (TES). Such a system stores surplus thermal energy provided by solar field during sunny hours and discharges it when the sun is not available. Shams-1 PT power plant located in Madinat Zayed, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has two natural gas based components, i.e. steam booster heater and heat transfer fluid (HTF) heater. In the current study a model of Shams-1 was designed in System Advisor Model (SAM) software and analysis of plant operation has been conducted. It has been attempted to replace the HTF heater with TES. A parametric study has been conducted to define the sizes of the solar field and of the TES such that the specified power target demand would be satisfied. The results of the parametric analysis showed that TES did not completely replace the HTF heater, within reasonable sizes of solar field and TES. Nevertheless, consequent simulations proved that installation of TES significantly increased capacity factor on the one hand and on the other, significantly decreased the fuel consumption.
Date of AwardMay 2014
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorMohamed Ali (Supervisor)


  • Natural Gas; Solar Energy Based-Technology; Thermal Energy Storage (TES); Shams-1; United Arab Emirates; Heat Transfer; System Advisor Model (SAM).

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