Introducing a central receiver system for industrial high-temperature process heat applications : A techno-economic case study of a large-scale CST plant system in a South African manganese sinter plant
Sammanfattning: The objective of this thesis was to investigate the potential for introducing a concentrating solar thermal (CST) central receiver plant system based on flexible heliostats - HelioPods - to provide high-temperature process heat in industrial applications. A CST plant system was designed in MATLAB, optically simulated for three design days in the ray-tracing software Tonatiuh and further analyzed in MATLAB by interpolating the results for each hour of the year. A case study was made on introducing a CST plant system based on HelioPods in a South African manganese sinter plant. The study included an investigation of the profitability of up- and downsizing the heliostat field annually with fluctuating heat demand. A circular heliostat field was modelled for the chosen location. The final field had a radius of 53 meters with the receiver located 60% from the field centre. The storage size was 16 demand hours and 17 plants were required. The results showed that 88% of the annual heat demand could be covered by solar heat in the design year. The marketing approach used for the following years was that the heat demand covered by solar heat should never be below the share at the first year, despite the predicted fluctuations in demand. Thus, a minimum solar share of 88% was used as a strategy for annual up- and downsizing of the fields throughout the investigated period of 25 years. That resulted in a field radius differing between 52 and 55 meters. The payback period of the final system was 4.35 years, the NPV was 54.33 MUSD over a period of 25 years and the LCOH was 35.39 USD/MWht. However, it was found that the profitability of the system was sensitive to the different scenarios for predicted future diesel prices, this since the pricing of the solar heat was set to 90% of the diesel price. The results in this thesis show that a CST plant system based on HelioPods is a suitable solution to supply high-temperature process heat to industrial applications. It also shows that the HelioPods can unlock potential for flexibility with changing production patterns in the industry of implementation. The results from the study can be used also for other industries with similar temperature range and heat demand. Thus, it could be argued that the implementation of a HelioPod based CST plant system also can be suitable for other industries located in high-DNI areas with dependency on conventional fuels and steady production throughout the whole day.
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