CSP vs PV

  • One of the key differentiating factors is that heat energy from CSP is more easily and efficiently stored than PV.
  • CSP heat storage is relatively cheap and its life expectancy long whereas PV would depend upon a battery bank that has a shorter life and is more expensive.
  • CSP is therefore better for 24/7 dispatchable power.
  • CSP can cope with rising energy demand, having higher peak efficiency – delivering electricity, air conditioning, hot water and process heat to meet diverse requirements.
  • CSP efficiency is at least double that of PV (15/20% compared with 10/15%).
  • CSP generated electricity is AC at the correct voltage whereas PV generates DC current that must be converted.
  • PV conversion from DC to AC requires additional equipment (an inverter) that requires maintenance and power (perhaps 10/20% of the energy}.
  • CSP plants have a proven track record with the first commercial installation in 1985.