Development of a Simple Methodology Using Meteorological Data to Evaluate Concentrating Solar Power Production Capacity, A. M. Tavares, R. Conceição, F. M. Lopes, H. G.Silva, Energies, 15, 7693, 2022, Online version,


Evaluation of the Concentrating Solar Power capacity factor is critical to support decision making on possible regional energy investments. For such evaluations, the System Advisor Model is used to perform capacity factor assessments. Among the required data, information concerning direct normal irradiance is fundamental. In this context, the Engerer model is used to estimate direct normal irradiance hourly values out of global horizontal irradiance ground measurements and other observed meteorological variables. Model parameters were calibrated for direct normal irradiance measurements in Évora (Southern Portugal), being then applied to a network of 90 stations, part of the Portuguese Meteorological Service. From the modelled direct normal irradiance, and for stations that comprise 20 years of data, typical meteorological years were determined. Finally, to identify locations of interest for possible installations of Concentrating Solar Power systems, annual direct normal irradiance availabilities and the respective capacity factor, for a predefined power plant using the System Advisor Model, were produced. Results show annual direct normal irradiance availabilities and capacity factors of up to ~2310 kWh/m2 and ~36.2% in Castro Marim and in Faro, respectively. Moreover, this study supports energy policies that would promote Concentrating Solar Power investments in Southern Portugal (Alentejo and Algarve regions) and eastern centre Portugal (Beira Interior region), which have capacity factors above 30%.