Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

System Advisor Model (SAM) Simulation Modeling of a Concentrating Solar Thermal Power Plant with Comparison to Actual Performance Data
by Ezeanya, Emeka K., M.S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2017, 78; 10642898
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis focused on the modeling and simulation of a 50 kW Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) plant, which is located in Crowley, Louisiana. The model was developed using System Advisor Model (SAM), which is software created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for modeling and analyzing different renewable energy systems. The objective of this thesis is to develop a predictive model (using SAM) that will characterize the performance of the power plant and, thus, aid the analysis and evaluation of the plant’s performance. The power plant is a research facility of the Solar Thermal Applied Research and Testing (START) Lab. This facility is focused on the development and deployment of renewable energy systems, exploring solar power options in Louisiana, and providing insight into solar power development across different locations. The power plant uses water as its Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF). Part of the design constraint for the model is the low temperature requirement for the power cycle (88 °C–116 °C). Because the basic ORC model of SAM does not support this low temperature range, a custom power cycle was modeled using the user-defined power cycle option of SAM. Other characteristics and controls of the plant were also properly defined. The model was validated by comparing its predictions with the actual plant data. This comparison showed a good correlation between the predicted results and the actual plant data. The validated model was then used to perform parametric analyses across different locations. The analyses showed that by operating the power plant at the optimal combination of solar multiple and hours of storage, we can achieve about 70% reduction in the cost of electrical energy, which is, indeed, a significant cost reduction.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chambers, Terrence L.
Commitee: Massiha, Gholam H., Simon, William E.
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Mechanical Engineering
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Alternative Energy, Mechanical engineering
Keywords: Concentrating solar power (CSP), Levelized cost of energy (LCOE), Renewable energy systems, Solar multiple, System advisor model (SAM), Thermal storage
Publication Number: 10642898
ISBN: 978-0-355-85411-4
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