Survey of Power Tower Technology

[+] Author and Article Information
A. F. Hildebrandt, S. Dasgupta

Energy Laboratory, University of Houston, Houston, Tx 77004

J. Sol. Energy Eng 102(2), 91-104 (May 01, 1980) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3266137 History: Received March 06, 1980; Online November 11, 2009


With a national commitment to solar energy, the power tower concept could generate 40 gigawatts of electricity and double this amount in process heat by the year 2000. This technology lends itself to immediate integration into existing energy grids through repowering of existing oil and gas fired utilities. Recent technology has shown advances in receiver design, in heliostat fields surrounding the power tower, heliostat cost, and storage. Calculations indicate an energy amplification factor [EAF] of 20 for solar energy plants; i.e., the ratio of the electric energy produced over the lifetime of a power plant to the thermal energy required to produce the plant.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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