Muñoz Antón, Javier and Martínez-Val Peñalosa, Jose Maria and Abbas Camara, Rubén and Abánades Velasco, Alberto
Dry cooling with night cool storage to enhance solar power plants performance in extreme conditions areas.
"Applied Energy", v. 92
Solar thermal power plants are usually installed in locations with high yearly average solar radiation, often deserts. In such conditions, cooling water required for thermodynamic cycles is rarely available. Moreover, when solar radiation is high, ambient temperature is very high as well; this leads to excessive condensation temperature, especially when air-condensers are used, and decreases the plant efficiency. However, temperature variation in deserts is often very high, which drives to relatively low temperatures during the night. This fact can be exploited with the use of a closed cooling system, so that the coolant (water) is chilled during the night and store. Chilled water is then used during peak temperature hours to cool the condenser (dry cooling), thus enhancing power output and efficiency. The present work analyzes the performance improvement achieved by night thermal cool storage, compared to its equivalent air cooled power plant. Dry cooling is proved to be energy-effective for moderately high day–night temperature differences (20 °C), often found in desert locations. The storage volume requirement for different power plant efficiencies has also been studied, resulting on an asymptotic tendency.