Research Papers

Potential for Cogeneration Through Solar Energy in the Tissue Industry: Technical and Economic Aspects

[+] Author and Article Information
Roberto Gabbrielli1

Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Energia e dei Sistemi, Facoltà di Ingegneria,  Università di Pisa, Largo L. Lazzarino, 56126 Pisa, Italyr.gabbrielli@ing.unipi.it

Francesco Zammori

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica, Nucleare e della Produzione, Facoltà di Ingegneria,  Università di Pisa, Via Bonanno Pisano, 25/B, 56126 Pisa, Italyfrancesco.zammori@ing.unipi.it


Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(1), 011015 (Nov 29, 2011) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005087 History: Received September 24, 2010; Revised September 02, 2011; Published November 29, 2011; Online November 29, 2011

This paper investigates the feasibility of a solar cogeneration system, as a solution to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in a tissue mill, located in the industrial district of Lucca (North Italy). Although the paper sector has a high theoretical potential for the use of solar energy, the implementation of a solar thermal plant may not be economically sustainable, due to the expensive investment of such a system and to the uncertainty of future benefits. These issues are even more relevant in a moderate climate, where the high variability of the direct normal irradiance can prevent the technical feasibility of the plant. To demonstrate the possible use of solar energy in paper mills, a concentrating solar power plant with thermal storage, based on parabolic trough technology, has been chosen as a feasible solution for combined heat and power generation and its technical and economical performances have been evaluated through an extensive simulation analysis. The results obtained prove the feasibility of the proposed system and assure a good economic profitability. Results also show how the possibility of benefiting from economic incentives for renewable electric power generation is fundamental to reduce the payback period and to assure the profitability of the investment.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Papermaking machine (the paper sheet is shown in bold)

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Figure 4

Net thermal power provided by the solar field

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Figure 5

The proposed combined heat and power plant

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Figure 6

Temperature-entropy diagram of the steam cycle

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Figure 7

Comparison of three operating strategies with respect to the coverage of the energy requirements in the cogeneration plant



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