Modeling and analyses are critical to understanding and improving the performance and economics of CSP systems. Because of the complexity of these systems, multiple models of components at various scales are needed. Information from detailed smaller-scale models and tests are often distilled into larger-scale, total-system models (see Figure 1).
This work focuses on the need to develop and integrate rigorous models and analyses of detailed components and processes so that large-scale, total-system models are more accurate and reliable. Probabilistic models are needed to quantify uncertainties and to identify parameters and processes that most impact system performance and cost. In addition, coupled processes such as the impact of wind and gravity loads on optical performance of heliostats or other collectors are needed to better predict performance in normal and off-normal conditions. Finally, models of emerging technologies that can improve system performance (e.g., solid particle receiver for thermal storage) and cross-cutting analyses that will enable certification of CSP systems are described.