Influence of the steam generator on the exergetic and exergoeconomic analysis of solar tower plants

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Solar power tower plants differ from conventional power plants in the steam generator design due to the higher heat duty. In this work, the influence of the steam generator heat exchangers (preheater, evaporator, superheater and reheater) on a solar power plant with molten salt receiver and thermal storage is studied for the first time. Energy, exergy and exergoeconomic analyses give a complete view of the cost flows within the system. The pinch point temperature difference in the evaporator is used as the main variable as it changes the steam generator design and the operating conditions of the plant, such as the inlet temperature of the receiver and the salt mass flow. All heat exchangers are designed and optimized at minimum cost for each pinch point to fulfill the thermomechanical limitations of TEMA standards and Pressure Vessel code. The field of heliostats, molten-salt receiver and the power-block (110 MWe) designs are kept constant throughout the paper. A low pinch point should be used to minimize the plant exergy destruction while the exergoeconomic approach obtains an optimum pinch point around 2-3 °C. Furthermore, the low exergoeconomic factor values show that the heat exchangers of the SG are crucial for the plant operation.
Exergy analysis, Exergoeconomic analysis, Solar power tower plant, Steam generator, Pinch point, Optimization
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Gómez-Hernández, J., González-Gómez, P. A., Briongos, J. V. & Santana, D. (2018). Influence of the steam generator on the exergetic and exergoeconomic analysis of solar tower plants. Energy, 145, pp. 313–328.