Research Papers

Study of Using Solar Thermal Power for the Margarine Melting Heat Process

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohamed A. Sharaf Eldean

Department of Engineering Science,
Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering,
Suez University,
Suez 43537, Egypt
e-mail: mwahab31@yahoo.com

A. M. Soliman

Department of Engineering Science,
Faculty of Petroleum and Mining Engineering,
Suez University,
Suez 43537, Egypt
e-mail: ahmed.hassan@suezuniv.edu.eg

1Corresponding author.

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 December 27, 2012; final manuscript received August 18, 2014; published online September 11, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Werner Platzer.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(2), 021004 (Sep 11, 2014) (13 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1344; doi: 10.1115/1.4028367 History: Received December 27, 2012; Revised August 18, 2014

The heating process of melting margarine requires a vast amount of thermal energy due to its high melting point and the size of the reservoir it is contained in. Existing methods to heat margarine have a high hourly cost of production and use fossil fuels which have been shown to have a negative impact on the environment. Thus, we perform an analytical feasibility study of using solar thermal power as an alternative energy source for the margarine melting process. In this study, the efficiency and cost effectiveness of a parabolic trough collector (PTC) solar field are compared with that of a steam boiler. Different working fluids (water vapor and Therminol-VP1 heat transfer oil (HTO)) through the solar field are also investigated. The results reveal the total hourly cost ($/h) by the conventional configuration is much greater than the solar applications regardless of the type of working fluid. Moreover, the conventional configuration causes a negative impact to the environment by increasing the amount of CO2, CO, and NO2 by 117.4 kg/day, 184 kg/day, and 74.7 kg/day, respectively. Optimized period of melt and tank volume parameters at temperature differences not exceeding 25 °C are found to be 8–10 h and 100 m3, respectively. The solar PTC operated with water and steam as the working fluid is recommended as a vital alternative for the margarine melting heating process.

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Fig. 1

The Savola-Egypt company terminals and margarine tanks with different capacities

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Fig. 2

A schematic diagram of the first configuration

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Fig. 3

A schematic diagram of the second and third configurations: PTC with water steam or HTO instead of steam boiler as in the first configuration

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Fig. 4

A photograph of the visual model panel that been developed under the REDS-SDS browser related to the proposed configurations

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Fig. 5

The result curves for the variation of hourly costs, $/h versus the variation of NOT and tank volume, m3

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Fig. 6

The variation of hourly costs, $/h versus the variation of butter tank temperature difference,  °C and the period of melt (POM), h at tank volume equal to 100 m3

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Fig. 7

The variation of hourly costs, $/h, versus the variation of tank volume, m3, and the period of melt (POM), h, at tank temperature difference = 20 °C

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Fig. 8

The effect of period of melt (POM), h parameter on: (a) steam mass flow rate, kg/s, (b) tank and PTC thermal load powers, kWth, (c) hourly costs, $/h, and (d) PTC field area, m2

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Fig. 9

The effect of top glass covers on the total hourly cost parameter for the conventional and solar configuration

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Fig. 11

Specific energy cost (SEC, $/kW h) parameter comparison for all configurations

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Fig. 10

The hourly costs, $/h for all units based on all proposed configurations at: 10 h, 100 m3 capacity, and tank temperature difference at 20 °C

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Fig. 12

The natural gas exhaust analysis according to the conventional configuration (config1)




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