Research Papers

Viability Assessment of a Concentrated Solar Power Tower With a Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle Power Plant

[+] Author and Article Information
Ali Sulaiman Alsagri

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Unayzah College of Engineering,
Qassim University,
Unayzah 51911, Saudi Arabia
e-mail: a.alsagri@qu.edu.sa

Andrew Chiasson

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
University of Dayton,
Dayton 45469, OH
e-mail: achiasson1@udayton.edu

Mohamed Gadalla

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
American University of Sharjah,
Sharjah 26666, UAE
e-mail: mgadalla@aus.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 2, 2018; final manuscript received April 11, 2019; published online April 24, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Marc Röger.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 141(5), 051006 (Apr 24, 2019) (15 pages) Paper No: SOL-18-1153; doi: 10.1115/1.4043515 History: Received April 02, 2018; Accepted April 15, 2019

The aim of this study was to conduct thermodynamic and economic analyses of a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant to drive a supercritical CO2 recompression Brayton cycle. The objectives were to assess the system viability in a location of moderate-to-high-temperature solar availability to sCO2 power block during the day and to investigate the role of thermal energy storage with 4, 8, 12, and 16 h of storage to increase the solar share and the yearly energy generating capacity. A case study of system optimization and evaluation is presented in a city in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh). To achieve the highest energy production per unit cost, the heliostat geometry field design integrated with a sCO2 Brayton cycle with a molten-salt thermal energy storage (TES) dispatch system and the corresponding operating parameters are optimized. A solar power tower (SPT) is a type of CSP system that is of particular interest in this research because it can operate at relatively high temperatures. The present SPT-TES field comprises of heliostat field mirrors, a solar tower, a receiver, heat exchangers, and two molten-salt TES tanks. The main thermoeconomic indicators are the capacity factor and the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). The research findings indicate that SPT-TES with a supercritical CO2 power cycle is economically viable with 12 h thermal storage using molten salt. The results also show that integrating 12 h-TES with an SPT has a high positive impact on the capacity factor of 60% at the optimum LCOE of $0.1078/kW h.

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Fig. 1

Concentrated solar power tower system coupled with thermal energy storage

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Fig. 2

Distance between heliostats

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Fig. 3

Loss parameters in the heliostat field [22]

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Fig. 4

Method for selecting direct normal irradiance

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Fig. 5

(a) Recompression Brayton configuration and (b) temperature–entropy diagram of sCO2 recompression cycle

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Fig. 6

Sub-heat exchanger

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Fig. 7

An explanation of heat exchanger nodalization

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Fig. 8

Efficiency at different number of sub-heat exchangers

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Fig. 9

Recuperated Brayton cycle efficiency at different maximum pressure and pressure ratio: (a) Dostal’s et al. model and (b) current model

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Fig. 10

Recuperated Brayton cycle efficiency at different maximum pressure and pressure ratio: (a) Bryant’s et al. model and (b) current model

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Fig. 11

Monthly solar irradiance in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Fig. 12

Levelized cost as a function of solar multiple and size of thermal energy storage

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Fig. 13

Capacity factor as a function of solar multiple and size of thermal energy storage

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Fig. 14

Heliostat field layout with optical efficiency

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Fig. 15

Atmospheric attenuation efficiency of each heliostat

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Fig. 16

Cosine efficiency of each heliostat

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Fig. 17

Interception efficiency of each heliostat

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Fig. 18

Breakdowns of capital cost

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Fig. 19

Breakdown of the solar power tower system cost fraction for different thermal energy storage capacity



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