Sunday, February 24th, 2019

An improved model to evaluate thermodynamic solar plants with cylindrical parabolic collectors and air turbine engines in open Joule–Brayton cycle

Available online 19 March 2013
Publication year: 2013

An improved model to analyze the performance of solar plants operating with cylindrical parabolic collectors and atmospheric air as heat transfer fluid in an open Joule–Brayton cycle is presented. In the new model, the effect of the incident angle modifier is included, to take into account the variation of the optical efficiency with the incidence angle of the irradiance, and the effect of the reheating of the fluid also has been studied. The analysis was made for two operating modes of the plants: with variable air flow rate and constant inlet temperature to the turbine and with constant flow rate and variable inlet temperature to the turbine, with and without reheating of the fluid in the solar field. When reheating is used, the efficiency of the plant is increased. The obtained results show a good performance of this type of solar plant, in spite of its simplicity; it is able to compete well with other more complex plants operating with different heat transfer fluids.


► An improved model to calculate an innovative CPS solar plant is presented. ► The plant works with air in an open Joule–Brayton cycle. ► The reheating of the air increases the thermodynamic efficiency. ► The plant is very simple and competes well with other more complex solar plants.

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