EAS 524: Design, Modeling and Optimisation of CST Power Plants


Course Title

Design, Modeling and Optimisation of CST Power Plants

Course Code

EAS 524

Course Type




Instructor’s Name

Prof. Manuel Blanco (Lead Instructor), Asst. Prof. Victor Grigoriev



Lectures / week

1 (3 hour)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

Purpose: Concentrating Solar Thermal (CST) Power Plants collect and concentrate solar radiation and transform it into thermal energy –typically in terms of the enthalpy increase of working fluid. The thermal energy is then either used to run a conventional power block and generate electricity or stored as thermal energy to be used when needed for electricity generation. The capacity of CST power plants to store energy in an environmentally friendly and economically efficient way is a distinguishing characteristic and a competitive advantage of these plants. As other energy power systems that use renewable energy sources, CST power plants can make an important contribution to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and to the transition to a sustainable world energy system and, as such, environmentally friendly. The purpose of the course is to familiarize the students with the underlying principles of CST power plant technologies and initiate them in their design, modelling and optimization.
Objectives: The objectives of the course are to provide the doctoral students with a clear understanding of the technical and economic aspects that characterize the main CST technologies, and of the methods and trade-offs involved in their design, modelling and optimization. The course will also familiarize the doctoral students with the overall CST plant design, modelling and optimization process and expose them to state-of-the-art computer tools available to facilitate this process.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course the student should be obtain a good understanding of:

- The fundamentals of the thermal conversion of CST energy into power.
- The potential and limitations of CST power plants as a major source of renewable power in Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the World.
- The basics of the different CSTP technologies, including technical and economic aspects.
- The technical and techno-economic considerations involved in the design, optimization, and implementation of commercial CST power plants.
- The state-of-the-art tools that are publically available to facilitate the preliminary screening and sizing of CST power plants for a specific location and set of boundary conditions, both technical and economic.

The students should also:

- Have acquired range of methods to identify and select sustainable solutions to design problems, and to improve existing solution.
- Successfully undertake the task of sizing, modelling and simulating CST power plants using key publically available tools and computer languages.


EAS 500

Background Requirements


Course Content


1. Introduction
1.1. Energy, renewable energy, climate change
1.2. Resources depletion, solar energy conversion
2. Solar Radiation
2.1. The Sun.
2.2. Sun-Earth geometry.
2.3. Measurement of solar radiation.
2.4. Solar radiation models.
2.5. Evaluation and estimation of the solar resource.
3. Overview CST Power Plants I
3.1. General characteristics.
3.2. Value proposition.
3.3. General status and perspectives.
4. Overview of CST Power Plants II
4.1. Dispatchability.
4.2. Thermal Storage.
4.3. Hybridization
5. The Role of Modelling at the different stages of a CST power plant project.
5.1. Modelling approaches and guidelines.
5.2. Modelling at the pre-feasibility study phase
5.3. Modelling at the feasibility study phase.
5.4. Modelling at the project development phase.
5.5. Modelling at the project due diligence phase.
5.6. Modelling at the commissioning phase.
6. Simulation tools I
6.1. Methods and tools for optical modelling
6.2. Methods and tools for energy modelling
7. Simulation tools II
7.1. Methods and tools for system sizing and optimization.
7.2. Explanation and assignment of modelling projects for the course.
8. Parabolic Troughs (PT)
8.1. Technology Description.
8.2. Economics.
8.3. Specificities to the modelling of PT power plants.
9. Linear Fresnel (LF)
9.1. Technology Description.
9.2. Economics.
9.3. Specificities to the modelling of PT power plants.
10. Solar Towers (ST)
10.1. Technology Description.
10.2. Economics.
10.3. Specificities to the modelling of ST power plants.
11. Presentation and Discussion of the PT / LF Modelling Assignments
11.1. Presentations of the different assignments with Q&A.
11.2. Feedback from the instructor.
12. Presentation and Discussion of the ST Modelling Assignments
12.1. Presentations of the different assignments with Q&A.
12.2. Feedback from the instructor.

Teaching Methodology

Lectures, seminars, tutorials


- Concentrating Solar Power Technology: Principles, Developments and Applications (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy Book 21) 1st Edition. K. Lovegrove (Editor), W. Stein (Editor). Woodhead Publishing; 2012. ASIN:B00HEMSUAO
- Advances in Concentrating Solar Thermal Research and Technology (Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy) 1st Edition. Manuel Blanco (Editor), Lourdes Ramirez Santigosa (Editor). Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0081005163.
- Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics 4th Edition. Adrian Bejan. Wiley 2016. ISBN: 1119052092.
- Thermal Design and Optimization 1st Edition. Adrian Bejan, George Tsatsaronis, Michael J. Moran. Wiley-Interscience; 1 edition (November 28, 1995). ISBN-13: 978-0471584674.


Coursework, essays, presentations



Publications & Media