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Research Papers

Optimal Collector Type and Temperature in a Solar Organic Rankine Cycle System for Building-Scale Power Generation in Hot and Humid Climate

[+] Author and Article Information
Rambod Rayegan

Florida International University,
Mechanical and Materials
Engineering Department,
Miami, FL 33174
e-mail: rambod.rayegan@fiu.edu

Yong X. Tao

University of North Texas,
Mechanical and Energy
Engineering Department,
Denton, TX 76203
e-mail: yong.tao@unt.edu

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received December 5, 2011; final manuscript received May 31, 2012; published online August 31, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Werner Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(1), 011012 (Aug 31, 2012) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-11-1269; doi: 10.1115/1.4007300 History: Received December 05, 2011; Revised May 31, 2012

The objective of this paper is to determine the optimal solar collector type and temperature of a building-scale power generation system employing solar organic Rankine cycle (ORC) engine for a geothermal air-conditioned net zero-energy building (NZEB) in a hot and humid climate. In the authors' previous work, 11 fluids have been suggested to be employed in solar ORCs that use low-temperature or medium-temperature solar collectors. In this paper, the system requirements needed to maintain the electricity demand of a commercial building have been compared for the 11 suggested fluids. The solar collector loop, building, and geothermal air conditioning system are modeled using TRNSYS with the required input for the ORC system derived from the previous study. The commercial building is located in Pensacola of Florida and is served by grid power. The building has been equipped with two geothermal heat pump units and a vertical closed loop system. The performance of the geothermal system has been monitored for 3 weeks. Monitoring data and available electricity bills of the building have been employed to calibrate the building and geothermal air conditioning system simulation. Simulation has been repeated for Miami and Houston in order to evaluate the effect of the different solar radiations on the system requirements.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Building and GSHP system TRNSYS model

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Fig. 2

The building geometry created in Google SketchUp

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Fig. 6

Solar collector loop TRNSYS model

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Fig. 7

Required collector area for running the solar ORC which employs low-temperature evacuated tube collector and isopentane as the working fluid for Pensacola, Miami, and Houston

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Fig. 5

Monthly average of indoor and outdoor temperatures for each hour of every day in March in Pensacola

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Fig. 4

Monthly average of indoor and outdoor temperatures for each hour of every day in February in Pensacola

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Fig. 3

The electrical power consumption of the north zone heat pump unit based on measured data and simulation results

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Fig. 8

Monthly power generation per collector unit for the solar ORC which employs low-temperature evacuated tube collector and isopentane as the working fluid for Pensacola, Miami, and Houston

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Fig. 9

Monthly average of solar radiation incident upon the collector surface for Miami, Pensacola, and Houston

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