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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/enconman

Parabolic trough solar collectors integrated with a Kalina cycle for high MARK

temperature applications: Energy, exergy and economic analyses

⁎

V. Zare , A. Moalemian

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran

A R T I C L E I N F O A B S T R A C T

Keywords: As a promising option for future power generation is the concentrating solar power systems with various types,

Economic analysis among which Parabolic Trough Solar Collectors (PTSC) are the most proven technology with lowest cost

Exergy analysis available today. Beneﬁts of this renewable energy source are challenged by means of relatively low energy

Kalina cycle conversion eﬃciency. To overcome the dilemma, one approach is employing an eﬃcient thermodynamic power

Parabolic trough collectors

cycle in order to enhance the overall power plant eﬃciency. The Kalina cycle (KC) is considered as an eﬃcient

Solar energy

alternative over the conventional or organic Rankine cycles in last few years. In the present work, the integration

of a novel conﬁguration of the KC, which is proper for utilizing high temperature heat sources, with PTSC is

proposed and analyzed. Thermal, thermodynamic and economic models are developed to investigate the in-

tegrated system performance from the viewpoints of energy, exergy and economics. The results indicate that,

exergy eﬃciencies of around 64% is achievable for power cycle unit while the overall power plant exergy

eﬃciency reaches to around 14%. The results of economic analysis revealed that if a lower LCOE is to be reached

increment of the number of collectors per row is more beneﬁcial than the increment of parallel rows of the

collectors.

tional and environmental parameters on the performance of PTCs, who

Among renewable energy resources, the solar one has received more found that the highest exergy destruction occurs due to the heat transfer

and more attention in recent years as it is an inexhaustible, safe and between the sun and the absorber. A novel thermal model for PTCs is

clean energy. Over the last decade lots of research works have been developed by Behar et al. [12] and validated using experimental data

devoted to analyze and discuss on diﬀerent aspects, types and appli- available from Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) tests with an average

cations of solar energy systems. Solar PV/T systems [1,2], application uncertainty of 0.64%. Guo and Huai [9] employed a multi-objective

of solar energy for air-conditioning systems [3–5], comprehensive stu- optimization to investigate the PTCs based on energy and exergy ana-

dies on solar thermal power generation [6,7] and analyzing Con- lyses and concluded that the exergy eﬃciency of the collector’s ﬁeld can

centrating Solar Power technologies (CSP) [8] have been considered in be increased at the expense of heat losses from receiver.

relevant scientiﬁc literature. Among diﬀerent CSP technologies, Para- With regards to various power generation units integrated with

bolic Trough Collectors (PTC) are the most mature and common sys- PTCs a number of papers are published recently. Regarding the avail-

tems which have been successfully employed in many places around the able heat source temperature from PTC (up to 400 °C [14]) Organic

world [9]. Rankine Cycles (ORCs) and Kalina cycles (KCs) are two proper choices

The ﬁrst solar electricity generation system is built in California in for power generation in this case and a lot of research papers are

1980s, since then researches on these systems have experienced great published on investigating ORC-based solar power plants. The perfor-

impetus investigating both the solar ﬁeld and the power generation mance of a low temperature regenerative ORC derived by PTCs is

unit. Thermal modeling and simulation of PTCs is recently conducted evaluated by Gang et al. [15], who indicated that the overall electrical

by some researchers [10–13], who investigated diﬀerent aspects of eﬃciency of about 8.6% for a solar irradiation of 750 W/m2 is

these systems from various perspectives. A detailed thermal model of a achievable. They also examined their proposed system performance for

PTC is presented by Kalogiro [10] using Engineering Equation Solver diﬀerent selected areas and assessed the inﬂuences of important oper-

(EES) and taking into account all modes of heat transfer. Padilla et al. ating parameters on its performance [16]. Quoilin et al. [17] conducted

⁎

Corresponding author.

E-mail address: v.zare@uut.ac.ir (V. Zare).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enconman.2017.09.028

Received 8 July 2017; Received in revised form 22 August 2017; Accepted 9 September 2017

Available online 18 September 2017

0196-8904/ © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

Dpi inside receiver pipe diameter (m) εgi glass envelope emissivity

Dpo outside receiver pipe diameter (m) εgo emissivity of the glass envelope outside surface

Dgi inside glass envelope diameter (m) ηex second law eﬃciency

Dgo outside glass envelope diameter (m) ηP pump isentropic eﬃciency

Ė exergy rate (kW) ηT turbine isentropic eﬃciency

fpi fraction factor of the receiver pipe inside ηth thermal eﬃciency

h convection heat transfer coeﬃcient (W/m2 K). Speciﬁc

enthalpy (kJ/kg) Subscripts and abbreviations

k thermal conductivity (W/m K)

hf HTF convection heat transfer coeﬃcient at Tf (W/m2 K) AWM ammonia–water mixture

ṁ mass ﬂow rate (kg/s) CD condenser

Nu Nusselt number CSP Concentrating Solar Power

Pr Prandtl number DNI Direct Normal Irradiance

P pressure (bar) HTF Heat Transfer Fluid

Q̇ heat transfer rate (kW) EV evaporator

s speciﬁc entropy (kJ/kg K) KC Kalina cycle

T temperature (°C or K) MX mixer

Tf mean (bulk) temperature of HTF (°C or K) ORC Organic Rankine Cycle

Tpi receiver pipe inside surface temperature (°C or K) P pump

Tpo receiver pipe outside surface temperature (°C or K) PP power plant

Tgi inside glass envelope surface temperature (°C or K) PTC parabolic trough collector

Tgo outside glass envelope surface temperature (°C or K) PTSC parabolic trough solar collectors

Ẇ power (kW) RE recuperator

X ammonia mass fraction SEP separator

SPL splitter

a thermodynamic analysis of a small scale ORC integrated with PTC for which four diﬀerent nano-ﬂuids are used to enhance heat transfer in the

a rural location in Berea District of Lesotho, South Africa. Their results collector system, is evaluated by Toghyani et al. [26] using energy and

showed that an overall electrical eﬃciency between 7 and 8% can be exergy analyses. Their results showed that, the overall exergy eﬃciency

reached for a steady state operating condition at a nominal working of the system when nano-particles are employed can be increased by

point. He et al. [18] modeled and analyzed the performance of an ORC almost 3–11%. Desai and Bandyopadhyay [27,28] analyzed and com-

integrated with PTC for three organic working ﬂuids including: R113, pared thermo-economic performance of organic and steam Rankine

R123, and pentane and concluded that pentane yields the highest cycles powered by parabolic trough collectors and linear Fresnel re-

thermal eﬃciency. The performance of conventional steam Rankine ﬂectors. They compared diﬀerent working ﬂuids performance for ORC

cycle and combined steam Rankine with ORC, from energy and exergy and concluded that, amongst 12 working ﬂuids for ORC, R113 can

viewpoints, is analyzed and compared by Al-sulaiman [19,20], who achieve the lowest LCOE with a value of 0.344 $/kWh. The perfor-

reported that the main source of exergy destruction is the solar col- mance of a 1 MWe grid-connected solar thermal power plant with PTC

lector. Chacartegui et al. [21] analyzed the performance of a 5 MW is analyzed by Desai et al. [29,30] from the viewpoints of thermo-

parabolic trough plant integrated with an ORC power block with two dynamics and economics. They investigated the eﬀects of turbine inlet

diﬀerent thermal storage systems. They showed that, the indirect sto- pressure, temperature, solar radiation, plant size, and various cycle

rage layout is the most interesting from the viewpoint of LEC (16.19 c conﬁgurations on overall eﬃciency and LCOE and reported an esti-

€/kW) and productivity (28.2 GWh/y for a 5 MWe plant) for 10 h of mated minimum LCOE of about 18.8 ¢/kWh.

storage. Casartelli et al. [22] analyzed the performance of a 5 MWe The Kalina cycle (KC) is introduced as an ambitious competitor

ORC power plant with PTC for diﬀerent heat source temperatures and against the ORC for power generation from low and medium tem-

found that toluene is the most suitable working ﬂuid for temperature perature heat sources and recently applied for diﬀerent applications

levels close to 400 °C for which a levelized cost of electricity of 180 €/ such as geothermal power plants and industrial waste heat recovery

MWh is calculated. A pilot PTC with a design output of 650 kWth in- [31]. Rodríguez et al. [32] compared the exergetic and economic per-

tegrated with an ORC is constructed in Louisiana during 2012 and is formance of a KC and an ORC for a low temperature geothermal power

evaluated under various local weather conditions by Chambers et al. plant and reported that the KC generates 18% more power than the

[23]. Their results indicated a thermal eﬃciency of about 7–8% for the ORC with 17.8% lower levelized electricity cost. A comparison between

ORC power plant at an average Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) of diﬀerent power cycles for medium temperature geothermal resources is

800 W/m2. Borunda et al. [24] proposed a PTC system coupled with an presented by Coskun et al. [33], who found that the KC and the double

ORC for cogeneration of heat and power applied to a textile industrial ﬂash cycle provide the least levelized cost of electricity. The perfor-

process at medium temperature. Design and thermodynamic modeling mance of a KC driven by PTC for low temperature heat sources (a

of a solar plant with PTC and an ORC unit, being installed in Lesotho, is turbine inlet temperature of 106 °C) is analyzed by Wang et al. [34]

developed by Quoilin et al. [17] based on experimental data. Using real who conducted a parametric analysis from the viewpoint of ﬁrst law of

expander eﬃciency curves, they showed that an overall electrical eﬃ- thermodynamics to examine the eﬀects of some key thermodynamic

ciency between 7 and 8% is achievable. A simpliﬁed transient modeling parameters on the system performance and reported an optimized

of an ORC coupled to PTCs is conducted by Bamgbopa and Uzgoren system eﬃciency of 8.54%. Later for this conﬁguration of the KC,

[25], who aimed to assess the ORC response to heat input variations. Ashouri et al. [35] performed an economic analysis and reported that

The performance of an integrated steam Rankine cycle with PTC, in under a typical operating conditions, the system has a levelized cost of

682

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

electricity of 0.4274 $/kW with a solar-to-electricity exergy eﬃciency (450 °C) and pressure (over 100 bar). In another study, they compared

of 5.24%. Energy and exergy analyses of the Kalina cycle system 11 four diﬀerent layouts of the KC based on the number and/or placement

(KSC11) integrated with parabolic solar collectors, for a turbine inlet of the recuperators and optimized their performance for maximum

temperature of 130 °C, is performed by Sun et al. [36]. They reported a thermal eﬃciency for a turbine inlet temperature of 500 °C [41].

maximum generated power of 491 kW with an exergy eﬃciency of A comprehensive literature review explained above reveals that the

35.6% and energy eﬃciency of 6.48% for the month of August. scientiﬁc literature lacks about application and investigation of the KC

Regarding the employment of the KC for higher temperature heat performance for solar power plants with PTCs for high turbine inlet

sources (350–550 °C) some researches have been conducted indicating temperatures (up to 400 °C which can be provided by the PTCs). In the

the better performance of the KC over the Rankine cycle [37–39]. For a present paper, a novel conﬁguration of the KC which can eﬃciently

turbine inlet temperature of 482 °C, Ibrahim and Kovach [37] showed utilize the high temperature heat source available from PTCs ﬁeld is

that the KC is 10–20% more eﬃcient than the Rankine cycle with the employed and energy, exergy and economic analyses of the integrated

same boundary conditions. Modi and Haglind [40] proposed and ana- system are performed to evaluate the technical performance and to

lyzed the performance of a KC for direct steam generation central re- assess the LCOE. The considered KC conﬁguration (KCS123), is recently

ceiver solar thermal power plant with high live steam temperature introduced by Modi et al. [41] for high temperature applications. A

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the considered system (a); T-s diagram of the Kalina cycle (b).

683

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

thermal model to simulate the PTC ﬁeld is presented and a detailed 4. The isentropic eﬃciency for the turbine and pumps are assumed to

thermodynamic performance assessment of the KCS123 coupled to be 85% and 70%, respectively [41].

PTCs is conducted. The eﬀects of key variables on the PTCs ﬁeld and the 5. Heat losses from the system components are neglected.

overall system performance are examined via the parametric study 6. Thermal oil is considered as an incompressible ﬂuid.

using the Engineering Equation Solver (EES) software.

3. System modeling and analysis

2. System description and assumptions

3.1. Thermal modeling of PTC

The schematic of the considered system consisting of PTC ﬁeld

coupled to KCS123, as the power generation unit, is shown in Fig. 1(a) The approach used in this paper to simulate thermal performance of

and the T-s diagram of the Kalina cycle is presented in Fig. 1(b). Three the PTCs is adapted from Kalogirou [10]. The model is used to de-

recuperators are employed in the KCS123 to increase internal heat re- termine the useful heat gained by the receiver tube of the collectors and

covery and to enhance the overall system eﬃciency. As illustrated in exit temperature of the HTF leaving the PTCs system. A cross-section of

Fig. 1(a), in the considered system several numbers of PTCs in series the collector system, showing the glass cover and receiver tube, and its

and parallel with speciﬁed sizes and characteristics (as given in Table 3) thermal resistance model are illustrated in Fig. 2.

are used to heat up the Syltherm-800 as the Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) According to the nomenclature given in Fig. 2 and using Newton’s

to temperatures of up to 400 °C and then its thermal energy is trans- law of cooling, the convection heat transfer from the inside surface of

ferred to the ammonia–water mixture (AWM) in the evaporator. The the receiver pipe to the HTF can be expressed as [10]:

superheated AWM (state 1) expands through the turbine and goes to the

mixer 1 (MX1) after passing the recuperators 1 and 2 (RE1 and RE2). In Qḟ − pi,conv = hf πDpi (Tpi−Tf ) (1)

the MX1 it gets mixed with the ammonia lean liquid from the separator

to reduce the ammonia mass fraction in the condenser 1 (CD1). The where, the convection heat transfer coeﬃcient at the inside pipe dia-

mixed ﬂuid exiting the MX1 is called the basic solution (state 5). After meter, hf is given by:

passing the condenser and pump, a part of the basic solution goes to the

Kf ⎞

splitter (SPL) (state 9) where it is separated into vapor and liquid hf = Nu Dpi ⎜⎛ ⎟

D

⎝ pi ⎠ (2)

streams. The remaining part of the basic solution (state 8) is mixed with

the ammonia rich vapor coming from the separator in the MX2 to form

For the convective heat transfer from the receiver pipe to the HTF

the working ﬂuid again. This working ﬂuid (state 15) goes through the

the following Nusselt number correlation is used [10]:

CD2 and pump 2 to attain the high pressure required at the turbine

inlet. The high-pressure AWM exiting the pump 2 goes to the turbine f pi

⎛ ⎛⎜ ⎞ ⎞

after passing through the RE3, RE1 and EV. ( 8 ( Re Dpi − 1000 ) Pr f ) ⎟ 0.11

Nu Dpi = ⎜

⎛

⎝

f pi 2

⎜⎜ ⎜1 + 12.7 8 ((Prf ) 3 − 1) ⎟ ⎟⎟

⎠ ⎟

⎞

( )

Prf

Prpi

⎝⎝ ⎠⎠

1. The system works under steady state conditions. fpi = (1.82log (Re Dpi)−1.64)−2 (3)

2. Changes of kinetic and potential energies and exergies are ne-

glected. All ﬂuid properties except Prpi are evaluated at the mean HTF

3. The pressure losses in the pipelines and heat exchangers of the KC temperature (Tf ) . The Fourier’s law determines conduction heat transfer

are neglected [41]. through the receiver pipe wall as follows [10]:

model (b) [10].

684

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

2πkpipe (Tpo−Tpi )

̇ − po,cond = ⎜

Qpi ⎟

⎜

⎝

Ln D

Dpo

pi

⎟

⎠

( ) (4)

For thermodynamic analysis of the overall system including PTC

ﬁeld coupled to KC, thermodynamic models are developed for each of

the system components which are considered as control volumes under

where, kpipe is the receiver pipe thermal conductivity which is evaluated

steady state conditions. For such a control volume, the energy and

at the average receiver pipe temperature. Between the receiver pipe and

exergy balance equations are expressed as:

the glass envelope heat transfer occurs by convection and radiation. In

determination of the convection heat transfer, the case of vacuum in the QĊ . V −WĊ . V + ∑ ṁ in hin− ∑ ṁ out hout = 0 (12)

annulus is assumed for which the convection heat transfer occurs by

free-molecular convection and is given by [10]: EḊ = Ein

̇ −Eout

̇ (13)

̇ − gi,conv = πDpo hpo − gi (Tpo−Tgi )

Qpo where, EḊ is the exergy destruction rate within the component and Eiṅ

kstd

̇ denote for the total exergy rates entering and exiting the

and Eout

hpo − gi =

⎛⎛ ⎞ ⎞ control volume.

⎜⎜ Dpo ⎟ ⎛ ⎛ ⎛ Dpo ⎞ ⎞⎞⎟ Simulation of the considered system and calculation of the perfor-

⎜⎜ D ⎟ + ⎜bλ ⎜ ⎜ Dgi ⎟ + 1⎟ ⎟ ⎟

gi ⎞

⎜⎜ ⎜ 2Ln ⎛⎜ ⎟⎟ ⎝ ⎝⎝ ⎠ ⎠⎠⎟

⎟ mance parameters are carried out for a given number of solar collectors.

⎝⎝ ⎝ Dpo ⎠ ⎠ ⎠ (5) To model the heat exchangers including evaporator, recuperators and

For the radiation heat transfer between the receiver pipe and the condensers, the pinch point assessment is an important factor on which

glass envelope the following equation is used: the cycle’ performance depend. The heat exchangers performances are

assessed by ﬁxing the pinch point (or minimum temperature diﬀerence)

σπDpo ((Tpo) 4−(Tgi ) 4) temperature diﬀerence of heat transferring streams within the heat

̇ − gi,rad =

Qpo

exchangers, as demonstrated by Fig. 3 for the case of evaporator.

⎛

⎝

( )+(

1

εpo

(1 − εgi ) Dpo

εgi Dgi ) ⎞⎠ (6) For the system under consideration in the present work, regarding

the fact that the kinetic and potential exergy eﬀects are ignored, the

The conduction heat transfer through the glass envelope is calcu- ﬂow exergy rate of a stream of matter is composed of the physical and

lated by [10]: chemical exergies. The physical exergy is expressed as:

2πk glass (Tgi−Tgo ) ̇ = ṁ [(h−h 0 )−T0 (s−s0 )]

Eph (14)

Q̇gi − go,cond =

Ln ( )

Dgo

Dgi (7) The chemical exergy for the ammonia–water mixture may be ex-

pressed as [42]:

where, k glass is assumed as a constant value of 0.78 W/m K [12]. From

the glass envelope to the atmosphere, the heat transfer occurs by con- e0 e0

̇ = ṁ ⎜⎛X ch,NH 3 + (1−X ) ch,H 2O ⎞⎟

Ech

vection and radiation. The convection heat transfer would either be ⎝ MNH 3 MH 2O ⎠ (15)

forced or natural depending on whether there is wind or not. The ra-

0

diation heat loss occurs due to the temperature diﬀerence between the where X denotes for ammonia fraction in the solution and and

ech,NH 3

0

glass surface and sky. The convection heat transfer, for the case of ex- ech,H 2O are the standard chemical exergies of ammonia and water, re-

istence of wind which is assumed in the present work, can be estimated spectively.

from Newton’s law of cooling as follows: The relations used for the ﬁrst and second law analysis of the system

components are given in Table 2. All of these relations along with the

Q̇go − a,conv = hgo − a πDgo (Tgo−Ta) equations of PTC thermal model are introduced into a computer pro-

gram, the solution of which simulates the system performance.

hgo − a = ( ) Nu

k air

Dgo Dgo

(8) For the proposed solar power plant the overall ﬁrst and second law

(energy and exergy) eﬃciencies are deﬁned as the ratio of net output

where, the Nusselt number in this case is estimated with Zhukauskas power to the thermal energy and exergy input associated with the solar

correlation for external forced convection ﬂow by [10]: irradiation on the PTC ﬁeld [43]:

1

̇

Wnet

m (Pr ) n ⎛ Pra ⎞ 4 ηth,PP =

Nu Dgo = C Re Dgo ( ) a ⎜ ⎟ ̇

Qsun (16)

⎝ Prgo ⎠ (9)

̇

Wnet

The values of constants in this equation can be found in Ref. [10]. ηex ,PP =

̇

Einput ,sun (17)

The net radiation heat transfer between the glass envelope and sky is

caused by the temperature diﬀerence between the glass cover and the

,sun is the input exergy to the solar ﬁeld which is a function

̇

where, Einput

sky and is given by:

of the solar irradiation intensity and total aperture area as follows [20]:

Q̇go − s,rad = σεgo πDgo (Tgo

4

−Ts4 ) (10) 4

̇ ⎛ 1 ⎛ T0 ⎞ 4 ⎛ T0 ⎞ ⎞

Einput ,sun = Aap,total × (DNI ) × ⎜1 + ⎜ ⎟ − ⎜ ⎟

where, Ts denotes for the eﬀective sky temperature which is approxi- 3 ⎝ Tapp ⎠ 3 ⎝ Tapp ⎠ ⎟ (18)

⎝ ⎠

mated as Tambient −8(°C) .

The collector’s thermal eﬃciency can be deﬁned as [9]:

Table 1

Composition and basic properties of Syltherm-800.

Q̇gain ṁ (h −h )

ηth,collector = = 24 24 26

̇

Qinputsun ̇

Qinputsun (11) Composition Dimethyl polysiloxane

where, Q̇gain denotes the useful heat absorbed by the HTF inside the Freezing point (°C) −60.15

̇ Density (@ 25 °C) (kg/m3) 930.7

receiver’s tube and Qinputsun is the total received thermal energy on the

Normal boiling point (°C) 202.4

collector surface. The main properties and characteristics of Syltherm- Speciﬁc heat (@ 25 °C) (kJ/kg K) 1.617

800 as the HTF are given in Table 1.

685

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

Table 3a

Cost functions and data used to calculate the capital cost of the system components

[35,46,47].

HTF and hydraulic 90"$"/ m2

circuit

Turbine 576.1

F ·C 0

397 BM ,T T

0

logCT = K1,T + K2,T ·logẆT + K3,T ·(logẆT )2

Heat exchangers 576.1 0

(B1,HE + B2,HE ·FBM ,HE )·CHE

397

0

logCHE = K1,HE + K2,HE ·logAHE + K3,HE ·(logAHE )2

Separator Zsep = 5.93Csep0

0

lnCsep = 3.49 + 0.448lnVsep + 0.107(lnVsep)2Vsep = 81.24Di3

Pump 576.1

(B1,P + B2,P . FBM ,P )·CP0

397

0

Fig. 3. Illustration of pinch point assessment in evaporator modeling. logCP = K1,P + K2,P . logẆP + K3,P ·(logẆP )2

where, Tapp denotes the apparent sun temperature as the equivalent heat

where, Zinvestment is the total investment cost of the plant ($), ZO & M is the

source temperature for exergy analysis [43,44].

annual operating and maintenance costs ($) and PGnet denotes for the

For the considered KC as the power generation unit which converts

annual net power generation by the power plant. Also, CRF is the ca-

the thermal energy absorbed in evaporator to mechanical power, the

pital recovery factor calculated as:

cycle eﬃciency can be deﬁned as:

i. (1 + i)n

Ẇ CRF =

ηth,cycle = net (1 + i)n−1 (22)

Q̇EV (19)

where, i is the interest rate and n is the number of years of the plant

̇

Wnet operation. The interest rate and the number of operation years in this

ηex ,cycle =

̇ −E25

E24 ̇ (20) work is assumed to be 8% and 25 years.

̇ −E25

where (E24 ̇ ) represents the useful exergy input to the Kalina cycle. To calculate the total investment cost of the plant the cost of in-

dividual components should be evaluated. The plant considered in this

3.3. Economic analysis paper can be divided into two subsystems; namely solar ﬁeld and Kalina

cycle. The data and formulas to calculate the capital cost of each

The economic investigation is conducted here to estimate the component of the subsystems are outlined in Tables 3a and 3b).

Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) generated by the considered solar The annual levelized operation and maintenance cost for a system

power plant. It is well known that the LCOE is the most commonly used composes of two types of expenditures; ﬁxed and variable costs. The

indicator to assess the feasibility of any solar thermal power plant and ﬁxed costs includes all the costs for operating labor, maintenance labor,

to compare diﬀerent power generation technologies [45]. The LCOE maintenance materials, administration and support, distribution and

can be calculated as [35,45]: marketing and etc., while the variable costs includes the costs of che-

micals, catalysts, raw water, etc. The variable cost is dependent on total

CRF . Zinvestment + ZO & M annual working hours of the system. In analyzing thermal systems’

LCOE =

PGnet (21) performance, usually total operating and maintenance costs of the plant

Table 2

Energy and exergy relations used in the system analysis.

Einput ̇ = E24

,sun + E26 ̇ + EḊ ,field

Solar pump ηPump =

ws

=

v 25 (P26 − P25) ̇ + ẆPump = E26

E25 ̇ + EḊ ,Pump

wa h26 − h25

ẆPump = ṁ 25 (h26−h25)

Evaporator Q̇EV = ṁ 24 (h24−h25) = ṁ 1 (h1−h19) ̇ + E19

E24 ̇ = E1̇ + E25

̇ + EḊ ,EV

Turbine ẆT = ṁ 1 (h1−h2) E1̇ = E2̇ + ẆT + EḊ ,T

wa h1 − h2

ηT = =

ws h1 − h2s

Recuperator 1 (h2−h3) = (h19−h18) E2̇ + E18

̇ = E3̇ + E19

̇ + EḊ ,RE1

Recuperator 3 ṁ 11 (h11−h12) = ṁ 17 (h18−h17) ̇ + E17

E11 ̇ = E12

̇ + E18

̇ + EḊ ,RE 3

Separator ṁ 10 h10 = ṁ 11 h11 + ṁ 13 h13 E10̇ = E11

̇ + E13̇ + EḊ ,SEP

Recuperator 2 ṁ 3 (h3−h4 ) = ṁ 9 (h10−h9) E3̇ + E9̇ = E4̇ + E10

̇ + EḊ ,RE 2

Condenser 2 ṁ 15 (h15−h16) = ṁ 22 (h23−h22) ̇ + E22

E15 ̇ = E16̇ + E23̇ + EḊ ,CD2

Mixer 1 ṁ 4 h4 + ṁ 14 h14 = ṁ 5 h5 E4̇ + E14

̇ = E5̇ + EḊ ,MX 1

Condenser 1 ṁ 5 (h5−h6) = ṁ 21 (h21−h20) E5̇ + E20

̇ = E6̇ + E21̇ + EḊ ,CD1

Pump 1 ηPump1 =

ws

=

v6 (P 7 − P6) E6̇ + ẆPump1 = E7̇ + EḊ ,Pump1

wa h7 − h6

ẆPump1 = ṁ 6 (h7−h6)

Splitter ṁ 7 h7 = ṁ 9 h9 + ṁ 8 h8 E7̇ = E8̇ + E9̇ + EḊ ,SPL

Mixer 2 ṁ 8 h8 + ṁ 12 h12 = ṁ 15 h15 E8̇ + E12

̇ = E15 ̇ + EḊ ,MX 2

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V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

Table 3b collectors per row (Nperrow ), number of parallel rows (Nparallel ), solar ir-

Constants for components’ cost functions. radiance (DNI ) , turbine inlet pressure (P1), ammonia mass fraction (X1)

and ambient temperature (T0 ) are investigated as design variables. Such

Constant Value Constant Value

a thermodynamic and economic analysis is essential to design eﬃcient

FBM ,T 3.5 K2,P 0.0536 and cost-eﬀective new generations of this type of power plants.

K1,T 2.7051 K3,P 0.1538 Regarding the size of the plant and its economic performance and

K2,T 1.4398 B1,HE 1.63 feasibility, number of collectors which aﬀects the HTF output tem-

K3,T – 0.1776 B2,HE 1.66 perature and mass ﬂow rate is the most important parameter. Fig. 4

B1,P 1.89 FBM ,HE 1.0

shows the eﬀects of the number of collectors in each row on the HTF

B2,P 1.35 K1,HE 4.3247

FBM ,P 1.5 K2,HE – 0.3030

output temperature and the absorbed thermal energy by the solar ﬁeld.

K1,P 3.3892 K3,HE 0.1634 As expected, increasing the number of collectors per row results in an

increase of HTF output temperature (T24 ). Referring to Fig. 4 it is seen

that, T24 can be increased from around 180 °C to 380 °C (which is ap-

is estimated to be 6% of the total capital cost [35]. proximately the highest temperature attainable with PTCs) as a result of

For the heat exchangers, as indicated in Table 3a, the purchased increasing the number of collectors from 4 to 20 in each row. Also, the

equipment cost is a function of heat transfer surface area (A). The heat ﬁgure indicates that when Nperrow of collectors is increased from 4 to 20,

transfer process in heat exchangers is modeled using the logarithmic the input thermal energy increases from around 1300 kW to 6480 kW.

mean temperature diﬀerence as follows: The eﬀects of the number of collectors per row on the net output

power and LCOE of the proposed system are presented in Fig. 5. The

Q̇ = U . A. ΔTLMTD (23) ̇ ) indicated in this ﬁgure is very si-

trend of the net output power (Wnet

where U is the overall heat transfer coeﬃcient, A is the heat transfer milar to that of HTF output temperature shown in Fig. 4 because an

area and ΔTLMTD is the logarithmic mean temperature diﬀerence de- increase in T24 results in a higher turbine inlet temperature of the KC

ﬁned as: (T1), as a result of which the generated power by the turbine is also

increased. Fig. 5 indicates that an increase in the number of collectors

ΔThotend−ΔTcoldend ̇ from 115 kW to

ΔTLMTD = ΔT

from 4 to 20 brings about a signiﬁcant increase in Wnet

ln ΔT hotend (24) around 860 kW. Fig. 5 also shows that, despite the fact that increasing

coldend

Nperrow of collectors would increase the capital cost of the solar ﬁeld,

where, ΔThotend and ΔTcoldend are the temperature diﬀerence between two

however, it results in a great decrease of the LCOE. This is due to the

streams at hot and cold end of the heat exchanger, respectively.

fact that as Nperrow increases the net output power is also increased and

the net eﬀect of increasing the output power and the capital investment

4. Results and discussion is a signiﬁcant reduction of LCOE as depicted in Fig. 5. Referring to

Fig. 5, LCOE generated by the considered system can be decreased from

The basic assumptions and design data of the solar ﬁeld and the KC around 0.43 to about 0.15 $/kWh as a result of increasing the number

for the simulation of the proposed system are outlined in Table 4. of collectors from 4 to 20 in each row.

The eﬀects of the number of parallel rows of collectors on the HTF

4.1. Model validation mass ﬂow rate and absorbed thermal energy by the solar ﬁeld are

shown in Fig. 6. Referring to Fig. 6, increasing the number of parallel

4.1.1. Validation of thermal analysis of PTCs rows results in an increase of HTF mass ﬂow rate (ṁ 24 ). It can be ob-

In order to verify the accuracy of the applied simulation model for served that, when Nparallel increases from 4 to 20, the HTF mass ﬂow rate

parabolic trough collectors, the results of experimental tests conducted is increased from around 2.6 kg/s to 13.3 kg/s. This increment of ṁ 24 ,

in Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) are used [12,48]. The SNL has

tested a small module of LS-2 collector of rotating platform to in-

Table 4

vestigate the eﬀect of various conditions on the PTC performance. The

The input data assumed in the simulation.

design parameters of the LS-2 module are given in Table 4. Syltherm-

800 has been selected as the HTF oil during the tests to analyze the Parameter Value Unit

collector performance at various temperatures. The calculated results of

Collector aperture width 5 m

HTF outlet temperature and collector thermal eﬃciency in this work

Collector length 7.8 m

are compared with the corresponding test results from SNL in Table 5. Collector reﬂectance 0.935 –

The table reveals a good agreement between the results obtained in this Receiver outer diameter 0.070 m

work with experimental data. Receiver inner diameter 0.066 m

Cover outer diameter 0.0115 m

Cover inner diameter 0.109 m

4.2. Veriﬁcation of KC thermodynamic model Cover thickness 0.006 m

Absorber thermal conductivity 54 W/m K

To validate the model developed for thermodynamic analysis of the Cover thermal conductivity 0.78 W/m K

Absorber absorbance 0.96 –

KC123 the results given by Modi and Haglind [41] are used. They ap-

Cover emittance 0.86 –

plied the KCS123 for a solar tower power plant with a central receiver Cover absorbance 0.02 –

and assumed that the KC operates with a turbine inlet temperature of Receiver shadowing 0.974 –

500 °C to generate a net power output of 20 MW. For these operating Twisting tracking error 0.994 –

conditions, the values of temperature, pressure, ammonia concentration Geometry accuracy of collector 0.98 –

Direct normal irradiance 850 W/m2

and mass ﬂow rate at state points of the cycle according to Fig. 1(a) are Number of collectors per row 10 –

given in Table 6. The table compares the results obtained in this work Number of parallel rows 10 –

with previously reported data and indicates a good agreement between Pump isentropic eﬃciency 70 %

them. Turbine isentropic eﬃciency 85 %

Pinch point temperature diﬀerence 10 °C

To examine the eﬀects of key operating parameters of both solar and

Ambient temperature 20 °C

KC sub-systems on the system performance, a parametric study is Ambient pressure 1 bar

conducted. The eﬀects of important parameters including number of

687

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

Table 5

Comparison of the results of present work with experimental results from SNL tests for

PTC ﬁeld.

DNI (W/m2) Wind speed Tin (°C) Tout (°C) Collector thermal

(m/s) eﬃciency (%)

[48] work [48] work

968.2 3.70 151.0 173.3 170.3 70.90 70.74

982.3 2.50 197.5 219.5 216.1 70.17 70.11

909.5 3.30 250.7 269.4 265.8 70.25 68.87

937.9 1.0 297.8 316.9 312.9 67.98 67.40

which in turn raises the mass ﬂow rate of AWM vapor produced in the Fig. 4. Eﬀects of the number of collectors per row on the HTF output temperature and

evaporator of the KC turbine, brings about a power generation en- input thermal energy.

the net output power is enhanced by a signiﬁcant amount (from about

150 kW to 760 kW) when Nparallel is increased from 4 to 20. Fig. 7 also

depicts the variation of LCOE with increasing the number of parallel

rows of collectors. It can be seen that, increasing Nparallel results in a

decrease of LCOE, despite the increase of capital costs associated with

solar collectors. As can be seen, at the expense of increasing Nparallel

from 4 to 20 the LCOE can be decreased form around 0.34 to 0.17

$/kWh. A comparison between the results indicated in Figs. 5 and 7

reveals that if a lower LCOE is to be reached increment in Nperrow is more

beneﬁcial than the increment in Nparallel of collectors.

Fig. 8 shows the variations of power plant energy and exergy eﬃ-

ciencies and net output power of the proposed system with the turbine

inlet pressure of the KC (P1). As the ﬁgure indicates, for a given turbine

inlet temperature, increasing turbine inlet pressure results in an in-

crease of net output power as a result of which the power plant thermal Fig. 5. Eﬀects of the number of collectors per row on the net output power and LCOE.

and exergy eﬃciencies are also increased. The ﬁgure illustrates how

much power and eﬃciency enhancement can be gained when P1 raises. that a huge amount of energy and exergy is lost/destructed in the solar

It is observed that, when P1 increases from 80 to 160 bar a signiﬁcant ﬁeld, as the maximum values of ηth and ηex are around 25.0% and 63.9%

eﬃciency improvement is attained, as the thermal and exergy eﬃ- for the KC and 12.7% and 13.9% for the overall power plant. The dif-

ciencies of the power plant is increased by 14.1% (from 11.1% to ference between ηth and ηex of the cycle and such a high exergy eﬃ-

12.7%) and 13.9% (from 12.2% to 13.9%), respectively. ciency of the cycle is due to the fact that the cycle has a considerable

To reveal the values of energy and exergy losses in the PTC ﬁeld, the energy loss. However, the exergy loss is very low as the lost energy is of

energy and exergy eﬃciency values of the KC, as the thermal to me- very low quality.

chanical power conversion unit, are presented in Fig. 9 with respect to Eﬀect of the turbine inlet pressure of the KC on the LCOE is pre-

the turbine inlet pressure. A comparison between Figs. 8 and 9 indicates sented in Fig. 10. Referring to Fig. 10, for a given turbine inlet

Table 6

Comparison of the results of present work (a) with the available data in literature (b) [41] for KC123.

Stream Temperature (°C) Pressure (bar) Ammonia concentration (kg NH3/kg solution) Mass ﬂow rate (kg/s)

2 200.9 183.2 6.004 5.98 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

3 95.06 93.9 6.004 5.98 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

4 39.26 38.4 6.004 5.98 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

5 42.10 41.2 6.004 5.98 0.6736 0.6723 55.76 52.26

6 24.20 24.2 6.004 5.98 0.6736 0.6723 55.76 52.26

7 24.26 24.3 8.679 8.28 0.6736 0.6723 55.76 52.26

8 24.26 24.3 8.679 8.28 0.6736 0.6723 18.07 17.63

9 24.26 24.3 8.679 8.28 0.6736 0.6723 37.69 34.62

10 54.19 52.0 8.679 8.28 0.6736 0.6723 37.69 34.62

11 54.19 52.0 8.679 8.28 0.9946 0.9946 11.74 11.57

12 39.77 39.3 8.679 8.28 0.9946 0.9946 11.74 11.57

13 54.19 52.0 8.679 8.28 0.5284 0.5106 25.95 23.05

14 43.89 43.1 6.004 5.98 0.5284 0.5106 25.95 23.05

15 35.34 34.3 8.679 8.28 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

16 27.3 27.3 8.679 8.28 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

17 31.77 31.3 152.2 152.17 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

18 36.66 35.3 152.2 152.17 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

19 141.7 134.3 152.2 152.17 0.8 0.8 29.81 29.20

688

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

Fig. 6. Eﬀects of the number of parallel rows of collectors on the HTF mass ﬂow rate and Fig. 9. Eﬀects of the turbine inlet pressure on the Kalina cycle thermal and exergy eﬃ-

input thermal energy. ciencies.

Fig. 7. Eﬀects of the number of parallel rows of collectors on the net output power and

LCOE. Fig. 10. Eﬀects of the turbine inlet pressure on the LCOE.

becomes lower than 0.9. Referring to Fig. 11, it can be concluded that

increasing the ammonia fraction at the turbine inlet has a negative

eﬀect on the system performance. The results shown in Fig. 11 reveals

that, for the considered power plant if higher output power and energy

and exergy eﬃciencies are aimed the X1 should be selected as low as

possible value that the practical limitations allow.

Eﬀect of ammonia fraction of turbine inlet solution on the LCOE is

presented in Fig. 12. It can be seen that increasing the ammonia fraction

at the turbine inlet brings about an increase in LCOE. This is mainly

attributed to the fact that, increasing ammonia fraction results in a

̇ (as presented in Fig. 11), as a result of which the LCOE

decrease of Wnet

increases. It can be observed from Fig. 12 that, as X1 increases from 0.75

to 0.9 kgNH3/kgH2O the LCOE increases from around 0.202 to 0.220

Fig. 8. Eﬀects of the turbine inlet pressure on the net output power and power plant

thermal and exergy eﬃciencies.

in LCOE. This is mainly due to the fact that, increasing turbine inlet

̇ (as presented in Fig. 8) which

pressure results in an increase of Wnet

dominates the increment of the size and cost of the turbine as its inlet

pressure and generated power increases. It can be observed from Fig. 10

that, as P1 increases from 80 to 160 bar the LCOE decreases from around

0.225 to 0.205 $/kWh.

Another important parameter aﬀecting the performance of the

KC123 is the ammonia mass fraction of the AWM solution entering the

turbine ( X1). The eﬀects of this parameter on the values of net output

power and power plant thermal and exergy eﬃciencies are depicted in

Fig. 11. The lower bond for X1 is selected to be 0.75 since for the values

Fig. 11. Eﬀects of the ammonia fraction of turbine inlet solution on the net output power

lower than this value the quality of the stream exiting the turbine and power plant thermal and exergy eﬃciencies.

689

V. Zare, A. Moalemian Energy Conversion and Management 151 (2017) 681–692

Fig. 15. Eﬀects of direct solar irradiation intensity on the net output power and LCOE.

Fig. 12. Eﬀects of the ammonia fraction of turbine inlet solution on the LCOE.

the net output power and power plant thermal and exergy eﬃciencies

of the proposed system are shown in Fig. 14. The ﬁgure indicates a

higher output power and eﬃciency as DNI increases. This is due to the

fact that an increase of DNI results in receiving more solar radiation

energy to the PTC ﬁeld, as a result of which T24 (as the heat source

temperature of the KC) increases. Referring to Fig. 14, it is observed

that when DNI increases from 600 to 1000 W/m2 the thermal and ex-

ergy eﬃciencies are increased from 11.5% to 11.9% and from 12.5% to

13.0%, respectively. Such an eﬃciency increment can be accounted as a

slight performance enhancement with a relatively large increment of

DNI (from 600 to 1000 W/m2). This point can be considered as an in-

teresting characteristic and advantage of the proposed system on which

the reduction of DNI doesn’t have signiﬁcant negative eﬀect, implying

that the proposed power plant works eﬃciently with low DNI, in dif-

Fig. 13. Eﬀects of the ambient temperature on the net output power and power plant

ferent hours of day or diﬀerent seasons, without suﬀering a consider-

thermal and exergy eﬃciencies.

able reduction in eﬃciency. It should be pointed out that increasing the

DNI has a signiﬁcant inﬂuence on net output power (as presented in

Fig. 15), however, regarding the eﬃciency deﬁnitions as given by Eqs.

(16) and (17), since both the numerator and denominator of the frac-

tion are increased with increasing the DNI, the net eﬀect on the eﬃ-

ciencies are relatively slight as presented in Fig. 14.

The variations of net output power and LCOE of the considered

power plant with DNI are shown in Fig. 15. As expected, DNI increment

has a signiﬁcant positive eﬀect on the output power. An increment of

DNI from 600 to 1000 W/m2 results in a signiﬁcant increase in output

power from around 260 to about 455 kW. It is clear that such an in-

crease in output power would increase the size and cost of the system

components specially the turbine. However, Fig. 15 reveals that in-

creasing the DNI results in a decreases in LCOE, implying that incre-

ment of Wneṫ dominates the increment of system components’ costs. It

can be seen from Fig. 15 that, as DNI increases from 600 to 1000 W/m2

Fig. 14. Eﬀects of direct solar irradiation intensity on the power plant thermal and exergy the LCOE decreases from 0.179 to 0.118 $/kWh.

eﬃciencies. The irreversibility assessment of the system components is an im-

portant outcome of the second law analysis by which the contribution

of each subsystem or component on total exergy destruction can be

$/kWh.

identiﬁed. For the proposed system in this work, the breakdown of

The inﬂuence of the ambient temperature on the net output power

exergy destruction ratios in each system component is illustrated in

and power plant thermal and exergy eﬃciencies of the proposed system

Fig. 16. Referring to Fig. 16, more than 90% of total exergy destruction

is shown in Fig. 13. The ﬁgure indicates a lower output power and

of the system occurs in PTC solar ﬁeld. Therefore, there is a large po-

eﬃciency as T0 increases. This is mainly due to the fact that an increase

tential of improving the collector performance which can be achieved

of the ambient temperature brings about a higher condenser tempera-

by improving its optic performance and reducing heat losses. As the KC

ture (and thus pressure) which results in a lower power generation by

has minor contribution on total exergy destruction; more investment

the turbine. Referring to Fig. 13, a signiﬁcant decrease in output power

should be put on solar subsystem in order to improve the overall system

and eﬃciencies is observed when T0 increases from 15 to 45 °C. The

performance. The large exergy destruction of the solar ﬁeld can be at-

output power decreases from 395 to 315 kW (a reduction by 20.2%)

tributed to the fact that in solar ﬁeld the high-quality solar irradiation

and the exergy eﬃciency of the power plant decreases from 13.3% to

energy (with a temperature of as high as 4500 K [43,44]) is converted

10.7%.

to thermal energy with lower quality in PTC at a temperature of lower

In evaluating solar thermal power plant performance direct normal

than 400 °C. Regarding these temperature levels and material

irradiance, which varies with geographical location and the time of day,

690

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