Increasing the Capacity Factor of Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plants

Pr. Kamel HOOMAN

School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering, Queensland University, Australia.

Though the levelized cost of electricity (LCoE) of a PV plant is currently lower than that of a concentrated solar thermal (CST) plant, the latter offers the possibility of higher capacity factors at lower costs. This is mainly because storage of electricity in batteries is more expensive than thermal energy storage on a per kW basis. Hence, thermal energy storage plays a key role in development of CST. The choice of thermal energy storage depends on the thermodynamics cycle temperatures. Proper choice of thermal energy storage, based on a technoeconomic analysis, conducted for a CST plant in Australia, will be discussed. The selected system is then optimized, aiming at shortening the charge/discharge period, using a combination of numerical, experimental and theoretical techniques results of which will be presented and discussed.


Pr. Kamel HOOMAN : Dr. Hooman has over two decades of work experience in industry and academia. His research focuses on thermofluids engineering, with a particular attention to energy conversion, using numerical, theoretical and experimental techniques. He is an Associate Editor for Journal of Porous Media, Heat Transfer Engineering and International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. He serves on many Editorial Boards and has acted as Guest Editors for some journals with Applied Thermal Engineering and ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering being the latest ones. He has received awards and fellowships from the Emerald, Australian Research Council, Australian Academy of Science, National Science Foundation China, and Chinese Academy of Sciences. With over 150 journal papers and some book chapters, he has also presented as Keynote/Plenary in numerous conferences and meetings. While a full time academic taff at the University of Queensland, Dr. Hooman has held visiting professor positions in Europe and Asia. His has Co-authored a book “Convection Heat Transfer in Porous Media” which has been published in November 2019.