Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of a Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Plant in Tower Configuration with and Without Thermal Energy Storage (TES)
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Despite the big deployment of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, their environmental evaluation is still a pending issue. In this paper, a detailed life cycle assessment (LCA) of a CSP tower plant with molten salts storage in a baseload configuration is carried out and compared with a reference CSP plant without storage. Results show that the plant with storage has a lower environmental impact due to the lower operational impact. The dependence on grid electricity in a CSP tower plant without storage increases its operation stage impact. The impact of the manufacturing and disposal stage is similar in both plants. When analyzed in detail, the solar field system and the thermal energy storage (TES) and heat transfer fluid (HTF) systems are the ones with higher impact. Within the storage system, the molten salts are those with higher impact. Therefore, in this study the impact of the origin of the salts is evaluated, showing that when the salts come from mines their impact is lower than when they are synthetized. Results show that storage is a key element for CSP plants not only to ensure dispatchability but also to reduce their environmental impact.
Is part ofSustainability, 2021, vol. 13, núm. 7, p. 3672-1-3672-20
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