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CONTROL-ORIENTED CONCENTRATED SOLAR POWER

PLANT MODEL
ABSTRACT
We model the dynamics of solar thermal plantsthe first model covering all processes
between market demand through power output at millisecond resolutionfor the purpose of
control design. Our model integrates solar reflectors, power tower, salt tank, boiler, turbine,
generator, piping, and pumps along with the flows of energy and information between them. We
show how our detailed model permits control designs that can potentially enhance the life of the
power tower, and thereby aid in reducing generation costs of solar power to a level competitive
to current electricity price. Our modeling also opens up several problems of control and
optimization of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants that can quickly bring the maturity of
CSPs near that of traditional coal-fired plants and aid their integration with the other power
sources. We show some of this potential via simulations.