Optimal design and integration of solar systems and fossil fuels for process cogeneration



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Because of the fluctuations in incident solar power, outlet power also changes over time (e.g., on an hourly basis or seasonally). If there is a need for a stable power outlet, there are options towards a steady state output of the system. This work is aimed at the development of systematic design procedures for two solar-based power generation strategies. The first is integration of fossil-fuel with the solar system to provide a compensation effect (power backup to supplement the power main source from solar energy). The second is the use of thermal energy storage (TES) systems to save solar energy in a thermal form and use it when solar input decreases. A common TES configuration is the two-tank system which allows the use of the collector heat transfer fluid (HTF) as a storing medium. For the two tanks, one tank has the hot medium (e.g., a molten salt) and the second has the cold storage media. Specifically, the following design challenges are addressed:

  1. What is the optimal mix of energy forms to be supplied to the process? 2. What are the optimal scenario and integration mode to deliver the selected energy forms? How should they be integrated among themselves and with the process?
  2. What is the optimal design of the energy systems?
  3. What is the optimal dynamic strategy for operating the various energy systems?
  4. What is the feasibility of using thermal energy storage to this optimum fossil fuel system? The developed procedure includes gathering and generation of relevant solar and climatic data, modeling of the various components of the solar, fossil, and power generation systems, and optimization of several aspects of the hybrid system. A case study is solved to demonstrate the effectiveness and applicability of the devised procedure.