In gas-cooled solar power plants the radiant energy of the sun is transferred to the cycle fluid in a cavity type solar receiver and converted into electric energy by means of a combined gas and steam turbine cycle incorporating a waste heat steam generator. The design and optimization of the energy conversion system in accordance with solar-specific considerations are described with particular regard to the gas turbine. In designing the energy conversion system several variants on the combined cycle with waste heat steam generator are investigated and special measures for the improvement of the cycle efficiency, such as the refinement of the steam process through the addition of pressure stages are introduced. It is demonstrated that the solar power plant meets the requirements both for straight solar and constant load operation with fossil fuel substitution. In order to establish the possibilities of attaining high part-load efficiencies in straight solar operation, two modes, variable and constant speed of the gas turbine, are compared with one another.

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