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Energies 2016, 9(11), 885;

Exergy and Thermoeconomic Analyses of Central Receiver Concentrated Solar Plants Using Air as Heat Transfer Fluid

CNR Institute of Environmental Geology and Geoengineering, c/o Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Rome 00184, Italy
Politecnico di Milano, Milan 20156, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tatiana Morosuk
Received: 28 June 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 28 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exergy Analysis of Energy Systems)
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The latest developments in solar technologies demonstrated that the solar central receiver configuration is the most promising application among concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. In CSPs solar-heated air can be used as the working fluid in a Brayton thermal cycle and as the heat transfer fluid for a Rankine thermal cycle as an alternative to more traditional working fluids thereby reducing maintenance operations and providing the power section with a higher degree of flexibility To supply thermal needs when the solar source is unavailable, an auxiliary burner is requested. This configuration is adopted in the Julich CSP (J-CSP) plant, operating in Germany and characterized by a nominal power of 1.5 MW, the heat transfer fluid (HTF) is air which is heated in the solar tower and used to produce steam for the bottoming Rankine cycle. In this paper, the J-CSP plant with thermal energy storage has been compared with a hybrid CSP plant (H-CSP) using air as the working fluid. Thermodynamic and economic performances of all the simulated plants have been evaluated by applying both exergy analysis and thermoeconomic analysis (TA) to determine the yearly average operation at nominal conditions. The exergy destructions and structure as well as the exergoeconomic costs of products have been derived for all the components of the plants. Based on the obtained results, the thermoeconomic design evaluation and optimization of the plants has been performed, allowing for improvement of the thermodynamic and economic efficiency of the systems as well as decreasing the exergy and exergoeconomic cost of their products. View Full-Text
Keywords: concentrated solar plant; exergy cost analysis; exergoeconomic cost analysis concentrated solar plant; exergy cost analysis; exergoeconomic cost analysis

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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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Toro, C.; Rocco, M.V.; Colombo, E. Exergy and Thermoeconomic Analyses of Central Receiver Concentrated Solar Plants Using Air as Heat Transfer Fluid. Energies 2016, 9, 885.

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