SAM's concentrating solar power (CSP) models are for several different types of CSP systems that use a field of concentrating mirrors to focus sunlight on a receiver and heat a fluid that delivers heat to a steam-driven power cycle for electric power generation:
- Parabolic trough with an oil or salt heat transfer fluid, with our without thermal storage.
- Power tower with molten salt and optional storage, or direct steam and no storage.
- Linear Fresnel with molten salt and optional storage, or direct steam and no storage.
- Dish Stirling
SAM's two industrial process heat models are for a solar field that delivers heat directly to a thermal process:
- IPH parabolic trough with molten salt, oil, or pressurized steam for the field heat transfer fluid, and optional thermal storage with salt or oil as the storage fluid.
- IPH linear direct steam
The generic CSP model uses optical efficiency tables to represent the solar field and can be used to model any kind of CSP system for electric power generation.
The CSP performance models can be combined with financial models to calculate financial metrics based on pro-forma cash flows.