Techno-Economic Optimization and Market Potential Study of Small-Scale Particle Heating Receiver Based Central Receiver Power Tower Plants in MENA Region
Khatti, Shakir Shakoor
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Receiver designs using different heat transfer mediums such as salt, gas, and particulate material are under development. High-temperature operation characteristics of particle heating receiver (PHR) based central receiver power tower (CRPT) systems with low-cost thermal energy storage (TES) provide an advantage over the existing salt heating systems. Therefore, this study proposes to investigate and identify the best sites for small-scale PHR based CRPT system deployment to provide electricity to off-grid remote locations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region due to higher direct normal irradiation (DNI) in the region throughout the year. This research aims to develop and apply a methodology for the techno-economic analysis optimization and geographic information system (GIS) based market potential study of PHR based CRPT systems in the region. For sizing the system, optimum solar multiple (SM) and TES hours are found by performing techno-economic optimization in SolarPILOT and SAM. To compare the economic feasibility, a useful economic criterion, Levelized Savings for Electricity (LSFE) is calculated by taking the difference between Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of PHR based CRPT system and LCOE of stand-alone diesel generators. Suitable regions for PHR-CRPT sites are identified by excluding regions with higher slopes, extensive urbanization, proximity to electrical transmission lines, and other negative features. Favorable locales within the feasible region are identified by mapping the density of potential consumers, per capita electricity consumption, and LSFE. Overall results of GIS-based multi-criteria analysis are presented as maps showing favorable (higher savings) locales for investment in PHR-CRPT systems.