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Data and Resources

For concentrating solar power technologies, NREL features the following online solar radiation resource data and solar resource maps, as well as data for renewable energy power plants.

Also see TroughNet's data and resources specifically for parabolic trough technology.

Concentrating Solar Power Projects around the World

NREL, in conjunction with SolarPACES (Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems), maintains a database of CSP projects around the world with plants that are either operational, under construction, or under development. CSP technologies include parabolic trough, linear Fresnel reflector, power tower, and dish/engine systems. Each project profile includes background information, a listing of project participants, and data on the power-plant configuration.

Solar Resource Maps

Features the direct-normal solar radiation map of the U.S. Southwest, as well as filtered direct-normal solar radiation maps for the U.S. Southwest states and the Solar Power Prospector tool to assess specific regions.

Solar Radiation Resource Information

Provides a variety of solar radiation resources, including data files and collection activities, solar spectra information, solar codes and algorithms, solar models, solar calculators, and publications.

Technology Cross Reference

This section of NREL's Power Technologies Energy Databook Web site includes a technology profile for concentrating solar power.

Renewable Energy Converter

You can use this conversion tool on NREL's Power Technologies Energy Databook Web site to convert electricity from renewable sources—including concentrating solar power—into equivalent household energy needs and displaced emissions.

Optical Modeling of CSP Systems

SolTrace allows users to create geometric models for all types of CSP technology options (dish, tower, trough, etc.) to design and analyze optical performance of these systems.