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Triple cycle for solar thermal power system adapted to periods with varying insolation

Shuo Peng, Hui Hong and Hongguang Jin

Energy, 2013, vol. 60, issue C, 129-138

Abstract: In the current study, a new solar-driven triple cycle is proposed to allow power generation during low insolation periods. This triple cycle integrates the solar gas-turbine top cycle, the steam Rankine cycle, and the Kalina bottom cycle. During the top cycle of the proposed system, compressed air was heated to 1000 °C or higher in the solar tower receiver. The heated compressed air was then used to drive the gas turbine to generate electricity. A Rankine cycle with a back-pressure steam turbine was utilized to recover waste heat from the gas turbine, thereby generating electricity through the steam turbine. The bottom cycle is the Kalina cycle, which comprises another back-pressure turbine and utilizes ammonia–water mixture as working fluid. After driving the steam Rankine cycle, the flue gas from the gas turbine sequentially heats the ammonia–water mixture to produce power. A new operational strategy was presented to generate electricity during low insolation period without the backup of fossil fuel. In middle insolation periods, the air is heated by the solar field and then directly drives the steam Rankine cycle, bypassing the gas turbine. In low insolation periods, the heated air directly drive the Kalina cycle, bypassing the Brayton cycle and the steam Rankine cycle. The off-design performance was investigated and the irreversibility was disclosed with the aid of the energy-utilization diagram method. Thus, the proposed system can utilize low insolation to generate electricity. This study provides a possibility to improve the solar–electric efficiency.

Keywords: Triple cycle; Solar gas turbine; Steam Rankine cycle; Kalina cycle; Off-design performance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
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