concentrated solar power, CSP, energy technology, hybridization, energy sources, dispatchability


Concentrated solar power (CSP), or solar thermal power, is an ideal technology to hybridize with other energy technologies for power generation. CSP shares technology with conventional power generation and can be readily integrated with other energy types into a synergistic system, which has many potential benefits including increased dispatchability and reliability, improved efficiency, reduced capital costs through equipment sharing, and the opportunity for flexible operation by alternating between energy sources. Another advantage of CSP technology is the ability to readily store via thermal energy storage (TES), making the intermittent solar resource dispatchable. A review of CSP hybridization strategies with coal, natural gas, biofuels, geothermal, photovoltaic (PV), and wind is given. An overview of different configurations for hybridizing CSP with these other energy sources is also provided. Hybridized CSP plants present different types and levels of synergy, depending on the hybrid energy source, the location of the plant, the CSP technology used, and the plant configuration. Coal, natural gas, and biofuel hybrids with CSP present many opportunities to inject solar heat at various temperatures. These combustible fuels provide reliability, dispatchability, and flexibility but are not entirely renewable solutions (with the exception of biofuels). Geothermal, wind, and PV hybrid designs with CSP can be entirely renewable, but lack some of the benefits of hydrocarbon fuels. Effective geothermal-CSP hybrid designs require low temperature operation where efficiency is limited by the power cycle. Wind-CSP and PVT (photovoltaic/thermal) lack dispatchability, but have other advantages. The pursuit of ideal CSP hybrid systems is an important research topic as it allows for further development of CSP technologies while providing an immediate solution that increases the use of solar power.

Original Publication Citation

Powell, K. M., Rashid, K., Ellingwood, K., Tuttle, J., & Iverson, B. D. (2017). Hybrid concentrated solar thermal power systems: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 80, 215-237.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering