Fossil fuel based power generation is and will still be the back bone of our world economy, albeit such form of power generation significantly contributes to global CO2 emissions. Solar energy is a clean, environmental friendly energy source for power generation, however solar photovoltaic electricity generation is not practical for large commercial scales due to its cost and high-tech nature. Solar thermal is another way to use solar energy to generate power. Many attempts to establish solar (solo) thermal power stations have been practiced all over the world. Although there are some advantages in solo solar thermal power systems, the efficiencies and costs of these systems are not so attractive. Alternately by modifying, if possible, the existing coal-fired power stations to generate green sustainable power, a much more efficient means of power generation can be reached. This paper presents the concept of solar aided power generation in conventional coal-fired power stations, i.e., integrating solar (thermal) energy into conventional fossil fuelled power generation cycles (termed as solar aided thermal power). The solar aided power generation (SAPG) concept has technically been derived to use the strong points of the two technologies (traditional regenerative Rankine cycle with relatively higher efficiency and solar heating at relatively low temperature range). The SAPG does not only contribute to increase the efficiencies of the conventional power station and reduce its emission of the greenhouse gases, but also provides a better way to use solar heat to generate the power. This paper presents the advantages of the SAPG at conceptual level.
Field of Research
090608 Renewable Power and Energy Systems Engineering (excl Solar Cells)