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DOI INVÁLIDO -- URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890414007158 The improvement of the solar power tower using solar salt is one of the main goals of researchers. Any method or invention to improve the efficiency of this technology contributes to promote the renewable energies. The use of a Potential Energy Recovery System (PERS) in two different solar power tower plants of 20 and 100 MW has been analysed. The PERS is formed, at least, by one turbine, located at the hot salt pipe coming from the receiver. The turbine is engaged to the shaft of the feed pump, which raises the heat transfer fluid from the cold tank to the receiver. It reduces the parasitic power consumption of the plant, and increases its global efficiency. Different PERS configurations have been modelled. Based on an energetic and economic analysis, the optimal configuration is a geometrical similar turbine of three times the volume flow rate of one feed pump. The PERS has been proven to be a cost reductive and clean tool. For a 100 MW power plant of 30-year lifetime the investment cost is 1.26 M$ and the annual cash flow is 0.89 M$, while for a plant of 20 MW these values are 0.26 M$ and 0.19 M$, respectively. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
solar power tower; parasitic power consumption; potential energy; storage tanks;