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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 18; doi:10.3390/su8010018

Stand-Alone Solar Organic Rankine Cycle Water Pumping System and Its Economic Viability in Nepal

School of Mechanical Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Filippo Sgroi and Giuseppe Ioppolo
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 21 December 2015 / Published: 24 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5055 KB, uploaded 24 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

The current study presents the concept of a stand-alone solar organic Rankine cycle (ORC) water pumping system for rural Nepalese areas. Experimental results for this technology are presented based on a prototype. The economic viability of the system was assessed based on solar radiation data of different Nepalese geographic locations. The mechanical power produced by the solar ORC is coupled with a water pumping system for various applications, such as drinking and irrigation. The thermal efficiency of the system was found to be 8% with an operating temperature of 120 °C. The hot water produced by the unit has a temperature of 40 °C. Economic assessment was done for 1-kW and 5-kW solar ORC water pumping systems. These systems use different types of solar collectors: a parabolic trough collector (PTC) and an evacuated tube collector (ETC). The economic analysis showed that the costs of water are $2.47/m3 (highest) and $1.86/m3 (lowest) for the 1-kW system and a 150-m pumping head. In addition, the cost of water is reduced when the size of the system is increased and the pumping head is reduced. The minimum volumes of water pumped are 2190 m3 and 11,100 m3 yearly for 1 kW and 5 kW, respectively. The payback period is eight years with a profitability index of 1.6. The system is highly feasible and promising in the context of Nepal. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar ORC water pumping system; irrigation; economic viability; thermal efficiency; solar energy; Stand-alone system solar ORC water pumping system; irrigation; economic viability; thermal efficiency; solar energy; Stand-alone system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baral, S.; Kim, K.C. Stand-Alone Solar Organic Rankine Cycle Water Pumping System and Its Economic Viability in Nepal. Sustainability 2016, 8, 18.

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