Hybrid solar-fossil fuel power generation
Author(s)Sheu, Elysia J. (Elysia Ja-Zeng)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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In this thesis, a literature review of hybrid solar-fossil fuel power generation is first given with an emphasis on system integration and evaluation. Hybrid systems are defined as those which use solar energy and fuel simultaneously, thus excluding the viable alternative of solar thermal plants which use fossil fuels as backup. The review is divided into three main sections: performance metrics, the different concentrated solar receiver technologies and their operating conditions, and the different hybridization schemes. In addition, a new linear combination metric for analysis of hybrid systems, which considers trade-off of different metrics at the fleet level, is presented. This metric is also compared to alternative metrics from multi-objective optimization. Some previous work only evaluates the hybrid cycle at a certain point in time, which can be misleading as this evaluation would not take into account certain aspects of hybrid cycle such as fluctuating solar supply. Furthermore, almost all previous work designs the hybrid solar-fossil fuel systems for a certain point in time and then evaluates the performance of the system for an entire year. By not taking into account fluctuating solar supply and selling price of electricity in the design of the system, the best possible annual performance of the hybrid cycle may not be reached. Second, an analysis of solar reforming as the integration method for the hybrid cycle is presented, in particular steam reforming of methane. Two solar reforming systems are analyzed: one with a parabolic trough and the other with a solar tower. From the analysis, it is determined that parabolic troughs are not suitable for steam reforming due to the relatively low operating temperatures. The tower reformer system is integrated with a standard combined cycle, and the design and operation of the hybrid cycle is optimized for highest work output for a fixed fuel input and solar collector area (essentially optimizing for maximum cycle efficiency). A heuristic two step procedure is used for the optimization due to the limitation of the optimizer which cannot simultaneously optimize both design and operation. From the optimization, it is determined that the tower reforming integration method is a promising integration option in that this type of hybrid cycle yields high incremental solar efficiencies and also satisfies the linear combination metric for efficiency and CO₂ emissions (i.e., the analyzed hybrid cycle has a higher efficiency for a fixed CO₂ emissions compared to a linear combination of solar only and fossil fuel only cycles).
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 83-92).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology