An interdisciplinary approach to designing and evaluating a hybrid solar-biomass power plant

Jonathan Nixon, Prasanta Kumar Dey, Philip Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Energy security is a major concern for India and many rural areas remain un-electrified. Thus, innovations in sustainable technologies to provide energy services are required. Biomass and solar energy in particular are resources that are widely available and underutilised in India. This paper aims to provide an overview of a methodology that was developed for designing and assessing the feasibility of a hybrid solar-biomass power plant in Gujarat. Design/methodology/approach: The methodology described is a combination of engineering and business management studies used to evaluate and design solar thermal collectors for specific applications and locations. For the scenario of a hybrid plant, the methodology involved: the analytical hierarchy process, for solar thermal technology selection; a cost-exergy approach, for design optimisation; quality function deployment, for designing and evaluating a novel collector - termed the elevation linear Fresnel reflector (ELFR); and case study simulations, for analysing alternative hybrid plant configurations. Findings: The paper recommended that for a hybrid plant in Gujarat, a linear Fresnel reflector of 14,000 m2 aperture is integrated with a 3 tonne per hour biomass boiler, generating 815 MWh per annum of electricity for nearby villages and 12,450 tonnes of ice per annum for local fisheries and food industries. However, at the expense of a 0.3 ¢/kWh increase in levelised energy costs, the ELFR can increase savings of biomass (100 t/a) and land (9 ha/a). Research limitations/implications: The research reviewed in this paper is primarily theoretical and further work will need to be undertaken to specify plant details such as piping layout, pump sizing and structure, and assess plant performance during real operational conditions. Originality/value: The paper considers the methodology adopted proved to be a powerful tool for integrating technology selection, optimisation, design and evaluation and promotes interdisciplinary methods for improving sustainable engineering design and energy management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-337
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Energy Sector Management
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Power plants
Biomass
Quality function deployment
Energy security
Fisheries
Exergy
Energy management
Solar energy
Ice
Boilers
Costs
Industry
Electricity
Innovation
Pumps
Power plant
Methodology
Interdisciplinary approach
Hot Temperature
Design optimization

Keywords

  • Biomass
  • Decision making
  • Scenario analysis
  • Solar
  • Thermodynamic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

An interdisciplinary approach to designing and evaluating a hybrid solar-biomass power plant. / Nixon, Jonathan; Dey, Prasanta Kumar; Davies, Philip.

In: International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2013, p. 321-337.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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