Modeling; Simulation and Performance Evaluation of Parabolic Trough Solar Collector Power Generation System

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Addis Ababa University


Parabolic troughs are one of the low cost solar electric power options available today and have significant potential for further cost reduction. Parabolic trough power plants use concentrated sunlight, in place of fossil fuels, to provide the thermal energy required to drive a conventional power plant. These plants use a large field of parabolic trough collectors which track the sun during the day and concentrate the solar radiation on a receiver tube located at the focus of the parabolic shaped mirrors. A heat transfer fluid passes through the receiver and is heated to temperatures required to generate steam and drive a conventional Rankine cycle steam power plant. In this thesis paper model of a parabolic trough power plant, taking into consideration the different losses associated with collection of the solar irradiance and other thermal losses is presented. MATLAB software is used to model the power plant at reference state and TRNSYS software is used to simulate the performance of the model at off design weather conditions. MATLAB modeling of the power plant is used to find the different reference values which are used as inputs for the TRNSYS modeling and simulation of the power plant. The reference values include the solar field area, the heat transfer fluid (HTF) and steam/water mass flow rates, overall heat transfer coefficients of the different heat exchangers, etc. The TRNSYS modeling and simulation are used to determine the net power, initial steam temperature, the inlet and outlet heat transfer fluid temperatures out of the solar field and steam and HTF mass flow rates in hourly basis for representative days of year 2001. The cost and financial analysis is made for the power plant. Solar Advisor Model is used to make this analysis under Addis Ababa weather condition. This analysis is used to determine the different costs associated with the power plant. The cash flow for the 30 years of operation of the power plant is also shown.



Thermal Engineering Stream