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Water use in Concentrated Solar Power Plants

2018.04.06     From: helioscsp

CSP consume water just like any other thermoelectric plant. Below you can see some statistics on water consumption of CSP plants compared to other systems. This information was extracted from the presentation “CSP Plants Operations and Maintenance” delivered by Raymond Branke (Fraunhofer ISE). You can read it in full here.


Average Water Consumption Factors (gal/MWh)


Cooling Tower and Dry Cooled Systems



Source: Macknick, J.; Newmark, R.; Heath, G. & Hallett, K. C. “Operational water consumption and withdrawal factors for electricity generating technologies: a review of existing literature”, Environmental Research Letters, 2012, 7, 045802


Estimated Annual Water Consumption


Fixed Solar Field Size for 100 MW (net) CSP Trough Plant with/without TES


Las Vegas, NV



NOTE: 1 acre-ft = 1233 cubic meters


Source: Turchi, C. S.; Wagner, M. J. & Kutscher, C. F. “Water Use in Parabolic Trough Power Plants: Summary Results from WorleyParsons’ Analyses National Renewable Energy Laboratory”, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2010


Relevant CSP Conference:2018 CSP Focus Conference(June 27-28 Morocco)

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