A validated energy model of a solar dish-Stirling system considering the cleanliness of mirrors

Giuseppina Ciulla, Valerio Lo Brano, Christina Kalogeri, Alessandro Buscemi, Christian Chiaruzzi, Alessandro Buscemi

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Abstract

Solar systems based on the coupling of parabolic concentrating collectors and thermal engines (i.e. dish-Stirling systems) are among the most efficient generators of solar power currently available. This study focuses on the modelling of functioning data from a 32 kWe dish-Stirling solar plant installed at a facility test site on the University of Palermo campus, in Southern Italy. The proposed model, based on real monitored data, the energy balance of the collector and the partial load efficiency of the Stirling engine, can be used easily to simulate the annual energy production of such systems, making use of the solar radiation database, with the aim of encouraging a greater commercialisation of this technology. Introducing further simplifying assumptions based on our experimental data, the model can be linearised providing a new analytical expression of the parameters that characterise the widely used Stine empirical model. The model was calibrated against data corresponding to the collector with clean mirrors and used to predict the net electric production of the dish-Stirling accurately. A numerical method for assessing the daily level of mirror soiling without the use of direct reflectivity measures was also defined. The proposed methodology was used to evaluate the history of mirror soiling for the observation period, which shows a strong correlation with the recorded sequence of rains and dust depositions. The results of this study emphasise how desert dust transport events, frequent occurrences in parts of the Mediterranean, can have a dramatic impact on the electric power generation of dish-Stirling plants.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine20
RivistaApplied Energy
Volume260
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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