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Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of autonomous and classical heliostats for heliothermodynamic power plants for concentrated solar power

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5 Author(s)
Raul, P.G.J. ; Lab. de Genie Chimique; 4, Univ. de Toulouse, Toulouse, France ; Alaric, M. ; Pascal, M. ; Catherine, A.
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For concentrated solar plants with a tower receiver, in almost all cases, heliostats are fed by an electrical network, which crosses a large field by long cables. This situation leads to the need to dig trenches all across the field yet it is possible to use autonomous fields provided by photovoltaic panels and storage system, to avoid those long cables and trenches. The approach developed here is to analyze and compare the effective environmental impact of the autonomous heliostat field and a classical field by use of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. In this paper, the components of each kind of fields are described and LCA is applied to both types of heliostat structures. Based on the obtained results, the energy supplied in the electrical grid heliostat is responsible for the higher environmental impact over its life-time even if the photovoltaic panel itself generates a huge amount of environmental impacts during production phase.

Published in:

Renewable Energies and Vehicular Technology (REVET), 2012 First International Conference on

Date of Conference:

26-28 March 2012