Before I dive into the conversation, I want to inform you that I am working in ZED Solar Ltd (http://zedsolar.com/ ), a company in Pakistan that is producing steam from parabolic dishes. Currently, this steam is going to be used for EOR (Enhanced Oil Recovery) in the Middle East.
Soon, the company is planning to move towards electric power generation (initially at a small scale of 1 MWe). I am doing a research these days whether the company should stick to Direct Steam Generation (DSG) like it is already doing for process steam and hence use a rankine cycle (Steam turbine) for power production
Perhaps we should use compressed air and use a gas turbine cycle for power production instead?
Both the HTFs have their pros and cons, eg, air needs very large pipes, thermal energy storage is difficult for DSG systems etc etc. The main goal however is to have a system producing energy with the lowest LCOE (Levelized Cost of Electricity).
I would like to have your views as to what HTF would you prefer and why . Hoping that the discussion would be an interesting one