Concentrating solar power systems with advanced thermal energy storage for emerging markets

Mariana Lanzarini Lopes, Nathan Johnson, James E. Miller, Ellen Stechel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plants have demonstrated the potential to reduce use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Yet there are limits to the amount of instantaneous renewables penetration due their intermittency. CSP plants coupled with thermal energy storage can reduce solar power intermittency during the day and maintain power output for several hours into the night. This paper describes a CSP plant with storage that uses mixed ionic-electronic conducting metal oxide particles as both the heat transfer and thermal energy storage media. Thermodynamic and economic analyses are reported for a new design of a 4.6 MWe system using solar resource data from Johannesburg, South Africa. A cost comparison is made to local grid power prices to provide a case study for implementing the technology in emerging markets and developing countries. Demonstrated potential reductions in the cost of electricity and peak grid network loading are shown. Results and analyses are contrasted using system-wide metrics, subsystem metrics, and component-level metrics to inform design decisions that increase the societal impact of the sustainable energy system. The levelized cost of electricity produced by the CSP plant is 12 U.S. cents/kW, lower than the average 19 U.S. cents/kWh unsubsidized cost of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. This work demonstrates the opportunity for a large-scale, renewable, low-cost, and reliable alternative to existing grid power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGHTC 2016 - IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology for the Benefit of Humanity, Conference Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781509024322
StatePublished - 2016
Event6th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2016 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 13 2016Oct 16 2016

Publication series

NameGHTC 2016 - IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference: Technology for the Benefit of Humanity, Conference Proceedings


Other6th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Alternative Energy
  • Concentrating Solar Power
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Techno-economic Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'Concentrating solar power systems with advanced thermal energy storage for emerging markets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this