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Research Papers

Solar and Climatic High Performance Factors for the Placement of Solar Power Plants in Argentina Andes Sites—Comparison With African and Asian Sites

[+] Author and Article Information
L. S. Della Ceca

Instituto de Física Rosario
(CONICET—Universidad Nacional de Rosario),
Bv 27 de Febrero 210 bis,
Rosario, 2000, Argentina
e-mails: dellaceca@ifir-conicet.gov.ar;
dellaceca.lara@gmail.com

M. I. Micheletti

Instituto de Física Rosario
(CONICET—Universidad Nacional de Rosario),
Rosario, 2000, Argentina;
Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas
y Farmacéuticas,
Universidad Nacional de Rosario,
Rosario, 2000, Argentina

M. Freire

Instituto de Física Rosario
(CONICET—Universidad Nacional de Rosario),
Rosario, 2000, Argentina

B. Garcia, A. Mancilla

Instituto de Tecnologías en Detección
y Astropartículas,
Facultad Regional Mendoza,
Universidad Tecnológica Nacional,
Mendoza, 5500, Argentina

G. M. Salum

School of Biological Sciences and Engineering,
Yachay Tech University,
Urcuquí, 100650, Ecuador

E. Crinó

Facultad de Ciencias Fisico-Matemáticas
y Naturales,
Universidad Nacional de San Luis,
San Luis, 5700, Argentina

R. D. Piacentini

Instituto de Física Rosario
(CONICET—Universidad Nacional de Rosario),
Bv 27 de Febrero 210 bis,
Rosario, 2000, Argentina;
Laboratorio de Eficiencia Energética,
Sustentabilidad y Cambio Climático,
IMAE,
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas,
Ingeniería y Agrimensura,
Universidad Nacional de Rosario,
Rosario, 2000, Argentina
e-mail: ruben.piacentini@gmail.com

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received August 6, 2018; final manuscript received November 28, 2018; published online January 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Nieves Vela.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(4), 041004 (Jan 08, 2019) (18 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1362; doi: 10.1115/1.4042203 History: Received August 06, 2018; Revised November 28, 2018

The installation of solar power plants is currently having a notable expansion. The results presented show that the Argentinean Andes range, from the central to northern latitudes, is an excellent region for the placement of these plants, due to the sum of different positive factors: very high mean annual solar irradiation, low ambient temperature and relative humidity, low precipitable water content, normal wind speeds, and extremely low aerosol content of the atmosphere. The proposed regions are nearby San Antonio de los Cobres and El Leoncito and are compared with two important locations where large solar power plants have been (or will be) built: a site in Africa (Ouarzazate, Morocco) and one in Asia (Dubai, Arab Emirates). We present the results of the possible production of electricity, supplying a total of about 21,000 GWh, which is 15.6% of the 2015 Argentinean electric consumption and, consequently, could reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in a total mass of 11.2 × 106 tons of CO2eq. The installation of this type of renewable power plant will contribute significantly to the Argentinean population due to frequent (mainly summer) cutoff of electric power supply and, in particular, to isolated (low income) populations leaving in the Argentinean Andes range.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Map of South America showing the geographic location of the two sites proposed for the placement of solar power plants in Argentina: San Antonio de los Cobres (SAC, 24.045°S, 66.235°W, 3607 m a.s.l) and El Leoncito (LEO, 31.08°S, 69.27°W, 2627 m a.s.l). Image source: Normalized difference vegetation index MODIS/Terra product, Goddard Space Flight Center/NASA.2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Top: location of the SAC (circle) and nearby region at the Puna of Atacama desert, in Argentina Andes range with indication of the isolines (lines in altitude values). The numbers in bold are altitudes in meters, the straight thick lines indicate the places where the slopes are calculated (see bottom figure), and the polygon delimited by the thin line indicates the proposed limit for the placement zone of the solar power systems. Bottom: altitudinal data as a function of the distance from the West point of the sites, where slope lines numbers 1–5 are indicated in the top figure. Source of top figure: Landsat 8 obtained Aug. 16, 2016, band combination red-green-blue: 4-3-2 (source: U.S. Geological Survey).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Top: location of the LEO site (circle) and nearby region at the Central Argentina Andes range with indication of the isolines (lines with altitude values). The numbers in bold are altitudes in meters, the straight thick lines indicate the places where the slopes are calculated (see bottom figure), and the polygon delimited by the thin line indicates the proposed limit for the placement zone of the solar power systems. Bottom: altitudinal data as a function of the distance from the West point of the sites where slope lines numbers 1–5 are indicated in the top figure. Source of top figure: same as Fig. 2.

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Fig. 4

Grimm 1109 principle of operation. Source: Grimm, Tchenik GmbH & Co., Portable Laser Aerosol spectrometer and dust monitor 1.108/1.109 User manual, p. 11 [23].

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Fig. 5

Top: monthly mean of daily solar irradiation incident on a horizontal plane in the four investigated places: the high altitude Argentinean sites of SAC and LEO, the Sahara desert African site of Ouarzazate (OUR), Morocco, and the Arabic desert near Dubai site (DUB). The annual mean is also given as a horizontal line of the same color as the corresponding curve. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the annual mean of each curve is represented by a vertical gray bar, for the four different places, for comparison purposes.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Top: monthly mean of daily solar irradiation incident on the optimum (near latitude) angle of the site in the four investigated places, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same as in Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of solar irradiation incident on the optimum (near latitude) angle.

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Fig. 7

Direct solar radiation transmittance along a vertical path through the atmosphere of the Argentinean East Andes range sites of SAC and LEO calculated employing the SMARTS2 algorithm [16]

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Fig. 8

Top: percentage monthly mean of the daylight cloud amount in the four investigated places, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same as in Fig. 4, bottom, for the annual mean of the daylight cloud amount.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Temporal series of (maximum, mean, and minimum) ambient temperature (° C) at the SAC site. The data were obtained during the day, between 6:00 and 20:00 h, local time (= UT – 3 h) in the September 2012–August 2013 period, employing the Reinhardt MWS 4M weather station.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Temporal series of (maximum, mean, and minimum) ambient temperature at the LEO site. The data were obtained during the day, between 6:00 and 20:00 h, local time (= UT – 3 h) in the February 2013–October 2014 period, employing the Reinhardt MWS 4M weather station.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Ambient temperature probability density at the SAC site, obtained through a statistical analysis of the data shown in Fig. 9. The broken curve is the corresponding normal distribution function.

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Fig. 12

Ambient temperature probability density at the LEO site, obtained through a statistical analysis of the data displayed in Fig. 10. The broken curve is the corresponding normal distribution function.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Top: monthly mean of the maximum air temperature at 10 m above the ground surface, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same asin Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of maximum air temperature.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Top: monthly mean of the medium air temperature at 10 m above the ground surface, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same asin Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of medium air temperature.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Top: monthly mean of the minimum air temperature measured at 10 m above the ground surface, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same as in Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of minimum air temperature.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Percentage monthly mean relative humidity in SAC and LEO, obtained with the Reinhardt weather station. The horizontal lines correspond to the annual mean values of SAC (thick line) and LEO (thin line).

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Fig. 17

Relative humidity frequency of ground-based measurements of ground-based measurements at SAC site, obtained through a statistical analysis of the data registered by the Reinhardt weather station and in the daylight period

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Fig. 18

Relative humidity frequency of ground-based measurements at LEO site, obtained in the same way as for the SAC site (Fig. 17)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 19

Top: percentage monthly mean of relative humidity in the four investigated places, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same as in Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of relative humidity.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 20

Wind speed probability density at the SAC site, obtained through a statistical analysis of the data registered by the Reinhardt weather station. The broken curve is the corresponding normal distribution function.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 21

Wind speed probability density at the LEO site, obtained in the same way as for the SAC site (Fig. 20)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 22

Top: monthly mean of wind speed in the four investigated places, represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: the same as in Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of wind speed.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 23

Top: monthly mean precipitable water content of the atmosphere at the four sites. Bottom: annual mean represented in a similar way as in Fig. 5, top. Source of data: SSE/NASA. Bottom: The same as in Fig. 5, bottom, for the annual mean of precipitable water.

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Fig. 24

Hourly mean of the total mass concentration for the SAC site (top) and for the LEO site (bottom), measured with the GRIMM 1109 aerosol spectrometer

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Fig. 25

Aerosol mass concentration daily mean during daytime for SAC (left) and LEO (right) sites. The daytime period for each site (local hour UTC – 3 h): 8:00 am–9:00 pm for SAC and 7:00 am–10:30 pm for LEO. Measurements in the LEO site from Dec. 27, 2012 (4:10 pm) to Jan. 4, 2013 (5:35 pm) and for SAC from May 6, 2013 (3:32 pm) to May 9, 2013 (3:31 pm).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 26

Aerosol optical depth at 550 nm measured by the SeaWiFS sensor (SeaStar satellite/NASA) for the two Argentinean sites: SAC (top) and LEO (bottom) (triangle and segment, monthly mean and standard deviation, respectively) and measured by CASLEO AERONET station (circle and segment; see Sec. 2.2.5). Note that the horizontal line is the mean value of 0.028 for SAC and 0.027 for LEO, and the dotted line corresponds to the lineal trend: 0.0018 per year for SAC and 0.0010 per year for LEO.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 27

Aerosol optical depth at 550 nm measured by SeaWiFS sensor (SeaStar satellite/NASA) for the African and Asian sites, respectively: Ouarzazate (top) and Dubai (bottom) (triangle and segment). Note that the horizontal line is the mean value of 0.25 for Ouarzazate and 0.39 for Dubai.

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