Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Models

SAM includes models for the following kinds of CSP systems: Parabolic trough, molten salt and direct steam power towers, molten salt and direct steam linear Fresnel, dish Stirling, a generic CSP model, integrated solar combined cycle. References for the solar process heat models are listed separately below.

Kesseli, D.; Wagner, M.; Guédez, R.; Turchi, C. (2018). CSP-Plant Modeling Guidelines and Compliance of the System Advisor Model (SAM).DRAFT SolarPACES Conference Paper. ( PDF 300 KB)

Empirical Trough (Based on Excelergy)

Price, H. (2003). Parabolic Trough Solar Power Plant Simulation Model. Proceedings of the ISEC 2003: International Solar Energy Conference, 15-18 March 2003, Kohala Coast, Hawaii. New York: American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 665-673 pp.; NREL Report No. CP-550-34742. ( PDF 548 KB)

Physical Trough Model

Wagner, M. J.; Gilman, P. (2011). Technical Manual for the SAM Physical Trough Model. 124 pp.; NREL Report No. TP-5500-51825. ( PDF 3.7 MB)

Turchi, C.; Neises, T. (2015). Parabolic Trough Solar-Thermal Output Model Decoupled from SAM Power Block Assumptions. Milestone report prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy. ( PDF 542 KB)

Dish Stirling

Fraser, P. (M.S. 2008). Stirling Dish System Performance Prediction Model. University of Wisconsin-Madison. ( ZIP 1.8 MB)

Power Tower

Feierabend, L. (M.S., 2009). Thermal Model Development and Simulation of Cavity-Type Solar Central Receiver Systems. University of Wisconsin-Madison. ( ZIP 5.0 MB)

Kistler, B. (1986). A User's Manual for DELSOL3: A Computer Code for Calculating the Optical Performance and Optimal System Design for Solar Thermal Central Receiver Plants. Sandia Report No. SAND86-8018. ( PDF 10 MB)

Neises, T.; Wagner, M. (2012). Simulation of Direct Steam Power Tower Concentrated Solar Plant. ASME SE 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability July 23-26, 2012.

Wagner, M.; Newman, A.; Hamiltion, W.; Braun, R. (2017). Optimized Dispatch in a First-principles Concentrating Solar Power Production Model. Applied Energy Vol. 203 October 2017, pp. 959-971.

Wagner, M. (M.S. 2008). Simulation and Predictive Performance Modeling of Utility-Scale Central Receiver System Power Plants. University of Wisconsin-Madison. ( ZIP 32.3 MB)

Linear Fresnel

Wagner, M.; Zhu, G. (2012). A Direct-steam Linear Fresnel Performance Model for NREL's System Advisor Model. NREL Conference Paper CP-5500-55044. ( PDF 647 KB)

Wagner, M. (2012). Results and Comparison from the SAM Linear Fresnel Technology Performance Model: Preprint. NREL Conference Paper CP-5500-54758. ( PDF 726 KB)

Bachelier, C. (2012).SAM Linear Fresnel solar boiler model: Novatec Solar Boiler Sample File. SAM Virtual Conference: June 20, 2012.

Generic Solar System Model

Wagner, M. J.; Zhu, G. (2011). Generic CSP Performance Model for NREL's System Advisor Model: Preprint. 10 pp. NREL Report No. CP-5500-52473. ( PDF 729 KB)

Integrated Solar Combined Cycle

Turchi, C.; Ma, Z. (2014). Co-located Gas Turbine / Solar Thermal Hybrid Designs for Power Production. Renewable Energy Vol. 64 April 2014.7 pp.

Zhu, G.; Nieses, T.; Turchi, C.; Bedillon, R. (2015). Thermodynamic Evaluation of Solar Integration into a Natural Gas Combined Cycle Power Plant.Renewable Energy Vol. 74 February 2015. 9 pp.

CSP Power Cycle Models

Neises, T.; Boyd, M. (DRAFT 2018). Description of SAM's CSP User-defined Power Cycle Model. (PDF 279 KB) The user-defined power cycle option is available as part of the physical trough, molten salt power tower, and molten salt linear Fresnel CSP models in SAM.

Neises, T.; Turchi, C. (2014). A Comparison of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycle Configurations with an Emphasis on CSP Applications. Energy Procedia Vol 49 Pages 1187-1196. The Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (sCO 2) configuration is available as a power cycle option for SAM's molten salt power tower model.

Thermal Energy Storage

Ma, Z.; Glatzmaier, G.; Wagner, M.; Neises, Ty. (2012). General Performance Metrics and Applications to Evaluate Various Thermal Energy Storage Technologies. ASME 2012 6th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Parts A and B. San Diego, California, USA, July 23–26, 2012

CSP Modeling Approach

Dobos, A.; Neises, T.; Wagner, M. (2014). Advances in CSP Simulation Technology in the System Advisor Model. 7 pp. NREL/CP-6A20-61629.

Solar Industrial Process Heat

Kurup, P.; Turchi, C.; (2015).Initial Investigation into the Potential of CSP Industrial Process Heat for the Southwest United States. 78 pp.NREL/TP-6A20-64709. ( PDF 5.3 MB)