Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Optimal annual operation of the dry cooling system of a concentrated solar energy plant in the south of Spain

Publication date: Available online 10 April 2015
Author(s): Mariano Martín
This work presents the optimization of the operation of a concentrated solar power plant with dry cooling over a year, evaluating the molten salts storage, the power block and the air cooling system as a function of the climate and atmospheric conditions. We locate the plant in the south of Europe, Almería (Spain), due to the high solar irradiation and for comparison purposes with a wet cooling based facility. The optimization of the system is formulated as a multiperiod MINLP (mixed integer non-linear programming problem) that is solved for the optimal production of electricity over a year defining the main operating variables of the thermal cycles and the cooling system. The power produced ranges from 9.5 MW in winter to 25 MW in summer, where 5% of this power is consumed by the air cooling system. The annual production cost of electricity is 0.16 €/kWh and the investment required is 265 M€, both slightly higher than when wet cooling is used, but with negligible water consumption. For the selected location, the wet based technology generates slightly less CO 2 than the air cooled facility.

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