This study of concentrating solar thermal power generation sets out to evaluate the main existing collection technologies using the framework of the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). It encompasses parabolic troughs, heliostat fields, linear Fresnel reflectors, parabolic dishes, compound parabolic concentrators and linear Fresnel lenses. These technologies are compared based on technical, economic and environmental criteria. Within these three categories, numerous sub-criteria are identified; similarly sub-alternatives are considered for each technology. A literature review, thermodynamic calculations and an expert workshop have been used to arrive at quantitative and qualitative assessments. The methodology is applied principally to a case study in Gujarat in north-west India, though case studies based on the Sahara Desert, Southern Spain and California are included for comparison. A sensitivity analysis is carried out for Gujarat. The study concludes that the linear Fresnel lens with a secondary compound parabolic collector, or the parabolic dish reflector, is the preferred technology for north-west India.
- solar thermal collectors
- multi-criteria decision making