Simulation of 1 MW Organic Rankine Cycle Coupled to Parabolic Trough Collectors in Palestine

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Saja Abuzant
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In the recent years, the world energy demand has increased, and so the fossil fuel consumption. However, utilization of fossil fuel such as coal, natural gas, and oil, could cause serious environmental issues like global warming. As a result, renewable energy technologies including solar technologies, have been increasingly adopted in the last decades. In this study, the potential of an Organic Rankine Cycle power plant driven by parabolic trough collectors is investigated by simulation analysis using SAM software. The proposed plant has a capacity of 1 MWe, it’s located at Jericho, Palestine. The suggested organic working fluid for the power block is n-Pentane. The selected cycle configuration is the Basic Organic Rankine Cycle with a recuperator, known commercially as Ormat. The plant is designed to operate 24 hours at the design point, so an indirect thermal energy storage system is added to the solar field. Then, by selecting the equinox day (21 September) at 12:00 PM as a design point, the annual performance of the solar organic power plant has been featured in all conditions during the year. According to the simulation results, the power plant annual energy generation is 4,018,483 kWh per year, with a capacity factor of 45.9%. The best performance for the plant is during July with 524,119 kWh/month, and the worst performance is during December with 115,881 kWh/month. This plant is designed to sell all the generated electricity from the power plant to the Palestinian Electricity Transmission Ltd with 0.28 ILS /kWh. It’s found that the LCOE for the proposed solar ORC power plant is equal to 14.6 ¢/kWh. The results of the feasibility study that included in this research indicate that this kind of investment is uneconomic, due to its high initial investment cost compared to the present value of its annual revenues. The study also includes a comparison between the adopted ORC with a traditional solar steam Rankine cycle with the same capacity and boundary conditions, the results show that the ORC has a better performance throughout the year, it generates more energy with more operating hours. However, the traditional steam Rankine cycles need smaller areas compared to the ORC.