The systems analysis of a solar steam production plant is presented. The plant is designed to generate industrial process steam at 1034 kPag (150 lb/in.2g) for Dow Chemical Company’s Latex Manufacturing Plant located in Dalton, Ga. The project is intended to develop a demonstration unit with 929 m2 (10,000 ft2) of solar collector surface area. In this paper we have described an economic model developed for use in the systems analysis of solar steam plants, and discussed the systems analysis and optimization of the Dow solar steam plant. The economic model uses the annualized cost of a unit of fossil energy displaced by the solar steam plant as the cost-effectiveness parameter. The different factors that must be taken into account in developing this cost-effectiveness parameter are discussed. The concept selected for the detailed systems analysis uses an intermediate heat-transfer fluid in the primary loop. This fluid is circulated through the solar collectors to a boiler where steam is generated. Parabolic trough collectors are used in the system.

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