Special Issue "Recent Advances in Solar Power Plants"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "Advanced Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Javier Muñoz-Antón
Website
Guest Editor
Departamento de Ingeniería Energética, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain
Interests: renewable energy; renewable energy technologies; energy engineering; thermal engineering; energy conversion; power generation; engineering thermodynamics; energy efficiency in building; solar power plants
Dr. Sungwoo Yang
Website
Guest Editor
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, USA
Interests: 1) fundamental research on developing new class of hybrid materials for efficient energy conversions and storages, and 2) applied research on devices and systems including for full spectrum solar energy conversion, thermal energy storage, water harvesting, and energy efficient buildings

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Concentrating solar power (CSP), is, today, a renewable energy alternative to PV or wind in terms of energy management. Although these competitors are cheaper, coupling with energy storage now gives the advantage to CSP to be a relevant electric network input or even a reliable heat process source. Moreover, the scientific community is supporting continuous advances in improving known technologies and totally disruptive concepts.

Some examples of new advances are improvements to thermal oil solar fields, new thermodynamic cycle concepts, etc. Collecting information on these new advances in CSP is one of the goals of this Special Issue, focusing on the following ideas:

  • Concentrating solar power plant improvements;
  • O&M experiences;
  • Heat process concepts;
  • New thermodynamic concepts;
  • Disruptive CSP technologies and ideas;
  • Thermal energy storage;
  • Heat process production and management.

Prof. Dr. Javier Muñoz-Antón
Dr. Sungwoo Yang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
On-Line Diagnosis and Fault State Classification Method of Photovoltaic Plant
Energies 2020, 13(17), 4584; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13174584 - 03 Sep 2020
Abstract
This paper presents an on-line diagnosis method for large photovoltaic (PV) power plants by using a machine learning algorithm. Most renewable energy output power is decreased due to the lack of management tools and the skills of maintenance engineers. Additionally, many photovoltaic power [...] Read more.
This paper presents an on-line diagnosis method for large photovoltaic (PV) power plants by using a machine learning algorithm. Most renewable energy output power is decreased due to the lack of management tools and the skills of maintenance engineers. Additionally, many photovoltaic power plants have a long down-time due to the absence of a monitoring system and their distance from the city. The IEC 61724-1 standard is a Performance Ratio (PR) index that evaluates the PV power plant performance and reliability. However, the PR index has a low recognition rate of the fault state in conditions of low irradiation and bad weather. This paper presents a weather-corrected index, linear regression method, temperature correction equation, estimation error matrix, clearness index and proposed variable index, as well as a one-class Support Vector Machine (SVM) method and a kernel technique to classify the fault state and anomaly output power of PV plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Solar Power Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved MPPT Algorithm for Photovoltaic Systems Based on the Earthquake Optimization Algorithm
Energies 2020, 13(12), 3047; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13123047 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nowadays, owing to the growing interest in renewable energy, Photovoltaic systems (PV) are responsible of supplying more than 500,000 GW of the electrical energy consumed around the world. Therefore, different converters topologies, control algorithms, and techniques have been studied and developed in order [...] Read more.
Nowadays, owing to the growing interest in renewable energy, Photovoltaic systems (PV) are responsible of supplying more than 500,000 GW of the electrical energy consumed around the world. Therefore, different converters topologies, control algorithms, and techniques have been studied and developed in order to maximize the energy harvested by PV sources. Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) methods are usually employed with DC/DC converters, which together are responsible for varying the impedance at the output of photovoltaic arrays, leading to a change in the current and voltage supplied in order to achieve a dynamic optimization of the transferred energy. MPPT algorithms such as, Perturb and Observe (P&O) guarantee correct tracking behavior with low calibration parameter dependence, but with a compromised relation between the settling time and steady-state oscillations, leading to a trade off between them. Nevertheless, proposed methods like Particle Swarm Optimization- (PSO) based techniques have improved the settling time with the addition of lower steady-state oscillations. Yet, such a proposal performance is highly susceptible and dependent to correct and precise parameter calibration, which may not always ensure the expected behavior. Therefore, this work presents a novel alternative for MPPT, based on the Earthquake Optimization Algorithm (EA) that enables a solution with an easy parameters calibration and an improved dynamic behavior. Hence, a boost converter case study is proposed to verify the suitability of the proposed technique through Simscape Power Systems™ simulations, regarding the dynamic model fidelity capabilities of the software. Results show that the proposed structure can easily be suited into different power applications. The proposed solution, reduced between 12% and 36% the energy wasted in the simulation compared to the P&O and PSO based proposals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Solar Power Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential Map for the Installation of Concentrated Solar Power Towers in Chile
Energies 2020, 13(9), 2131; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13092131 - 28 Apr 2020
Abstract
This study aims to build a potential map for the installation of a central receiver concentrated solar power plant in Chile under the terms of the average net present cost of electricity generation during its lifetime. This is also called the levelized cost [...] Read more.
This study aims to build a potential map for the installation of a central receiver concentrated solar power plant in Chile under the terms of the average net present cost of electricity generation during its lifetime. This is also called the levelized cost of electricity, which is a function of electricity production, capital costs, operational costs and financial parameters. The electricity production, capital and operational costs were defined as a function of the location through the Chilean territory. Solar resources and atmospheric conditions for each site were determined. A 130 MWe concentrated solar power plant was modeled to estimate annual electricity production for each site. The capital and operational costs were identified as a function of location. The electricity supplied by the power plant was tested, quantifying the potential of the solar resources, as well as technical and economic variables. The results reveal areas with great potential for the development of large-scale central receiver concentrated solar power plants, therefore accomplishing a low levelized cost of energy. The best zone is located among the Arica and Parinacota region and the northern part of the Coquimbo region, which shows an average cost of 89 USD/MWh, with a minimum of 76 USD/MWh near Copiapó. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Solar Power Plants)
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Other

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Open AccessCase Report
Application of Photovoltaic Systems for Agriculture: A Study on the Relationship between Power Generation and Farming for the Improvement of Photovoltaic Applications in Agriculture
Energies 2020, 13(18), 4815; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13184815 - 15 Sep 2020
Abstract
Agrivoltaic (agriculture–photovoltaic) or solar sharing has gained growing recognition as a promising means of integrating agriculture and solar-energy harvesting. Although this field offers great potential, data on the impact on crop growth and development are insufficient. As such, this study examines the impact [...] Read more.
Agrivoltaic (agriculture–photovoltaic) or solar sharing has gained growing recognition as a promising means of integrating agriculture and solar-energy harvesting. Although this field offers great potential, data on the impact on crop growth and development are insufficient. As such, this study examines the impact of agriculture–photovoltaic farming on crops using energy information and communications technology (ICT). The researched crops were grapes, cultivated land was divided into six sections, photovoltaic panels were installed in three test areas, and not installed in the other three. A 1300 × 520 mm photovoltaic module was installed on a screen that was designed with a shading rate of 30%. In addition, to collect farming-cultivation-environment data and to analyze power generation, sensors for growing environments and wireless-communication devices were used. As a result, normal modules generated 25.2 MWh, bifacial modules generated 21.6 MWh, and transparent modules generated 25.7 MWh over a five-month period. We could not find a difference in grape growth according to the difference of each module. However, a slight slowing of grape growth was found in the experiment group compared to the control group. Nevertheless, the sugar content of the test area of the grape fruit in the harvest season was 17.6 Brix on average, and the sugar content of the control area was measured at 17.2 Brix. Grape sugar-content level was shown to be at almost the same level as that in the control group by delaying the harvest time by about 10 days. In conclusion, this study shows that it is possible to produce renewable energy without any meaningful negative impact on normal grape farming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Solar Power Plants)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Biomass for photovoltaic applications
Authors: Indra Neel Pulidindi, Aharon Gedanken
Affiliation: Deoartment of Chemistry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, SJTU, Shanghai China; Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Abstract: Solar energy is vital for the sustenance of life processes and is a vital source of energy. Innovative methods need to be developed for the effective utilization of the clean and abundantly energy supply from Sun. We attempted to convert biomass to bioethanol using solar energy in a specially deslgned solar reactor. The bioethanol (2 M) produced from glucose making use of solar energy was used as fuel in direct ethanol fuel cells resulting in a current density and power density of 700 mAcm-1 and 330 mWcm-1 at an operating cell voltage of 1.65 V. This example shows that the conventional definition and scope of photo voltaic cells itself need to be widened so that other alternate energy sources like biomass and fuel cells are included in the definition. Such a path ahead lead to sustainability of energy and effective use of solar energy for the exponentially increasing demand for clean energy. In addition to our own results, recent advances in solar power plants will also be summarized giving the readers an clear understanding of extent of reliability on solar power plants for future needs.

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