This project will develop and verify a novel modular air cooled condenser (MACC) for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. This technology will enable CSP plants to increase net power output, and reduce costs compared to existing dry cooled plants. Conventional dry cooling is unresponsive to changes in ambient conditions. However, the MACC will incorporate sensors which detect changes in temperature, ambient wind, and fan flow rate, and control algorithms, which will communicate with these sensors to continuously vary fan speed. The MACC will therefore maintain optimum condenser pressure and temperature irrespective of ambient conditions. As a result, turbine outlet conditions will always be optimised, thus maximising power output and reducing operating costs. Also, because the MACC is modular, installation and maintenance costs will be significantly reduced.
The project will first optimise and characterise the performance at module level. Fan control algorithms will be developed and interfaced with temperature and flow sensors which will be developed. At system level, module layouts will be investigated to assess the possibility of harnessing the wind to assist fan operation. Both system and module level development will involve numerical simulation, analytical modelling, physical scale modelling, and measurements on full scale prototypes. The effects of all design options will be assessed using thermodynamic models. Techno-economic modelling will assess the life time cost implications of various design options. To prove the merits of the MACC, full scale testing in an operational CSP plant will be performed. The main outputs of the project will be patented MACC designs, an industrial scale prototype, and dissemination of project activities to ensure a lasting project legacy.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP - Collaborative project (generic)
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