Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The effect of wind on the optimal design and performance of a modular air-cooled condenser for a concentrated solar power plant

Publication date: Available online 22 February 2014
Author(s): C. Butler , R. Grimes
Air-cooled condensers overcome one of the main issues facing the construction of concentrated solar power plants by replacing water with air as the medium for cooling of the steam turbine waste heat. The recent development of modular air-cooled condensers as an improvement on conventional designs means that the effect of wind on their performance needs to be quantified. This study examines these effects by numerically modelling the condenser at the system level and using the results to build a mathematical model to predict the optimal condenser configuration. These types of mathematical models can be easily used by a power plant designer to quickly predict what the performance of the power plant will be based on the condenser geometry using data from numerical models of appropriate size and boundary conditions. The designer can then make a trade-off between the plant performance and initial capital costs in commissioning the power plant. It has been found that when trying to optimise the performance, the historical wind condition distributions for a specific location should be used as significantly different condenser designs and orientations are required at different locations due to these distributions of local wind conditions.

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