Small Hybrid Solar Power System: First Field Test Results
This paper presents field tests of an original concept of a small hybrid solar power plant integrating three technologies: hermetic volumetric scroll expander-generators installed in two superposed Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC), a (bio-)Diesel engine with heat recovery exchangers and a solar field made of two rows of sun following flat plate concentrators with vacuumed isolated collector tubes. The basic idea of the concept is to exploit the synergy between equipment, use cheap and maintenance free expander- generators, guaranty power availability at all time and improve the efficiency of the engine when it has to operate alone at night time by converting the waste heat with the solar ORC. This type of hybrid power plant is intended for rural electrification purposes in developing countries or cogeneration in applications like heated swimming pools in other countries. Pressurized hot water is used at this time as a thermal fluid in the collectors with HCFC123 in the topping cycle and HFC134a in the bottoming cycle. The field tests have been performed during the summer 2001 in Lausanne (Switzerland) and the pland proved operationally reliable. However performance results (with exergetic efficiencies up to 45%) did not meet the expectations but measures to improve the concept have been identified.