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Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0002-7041-1134

Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Year Degree Awarded

2019

Month Degree Awarded

February

First Advisor

Jon G. McGowan

Second Advisor

Matthew A. Lackner

Subject Categories

Energy Systems | Mechanical Engineering

Abstract

In recent decades, growth in the world population, economic and living standards have been responsible for substantial increases in global energy consumption. Moreover, exploitation of fossil fuels to supply energy demands has led to global climate change, which is expected to have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences on the planet. These factors have motivated the importance and necessity of developing more efficient ways for energy conservation and generation that avoid the production of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. One method to address these issues is to develop combined production such as multigeneration for simultaneous production of electricity, cooling, fresh water, etc. using renewable energy sources such as solar. By using hybrid systems with multiple output products, the overall efficiency of the system can be increased over a single output system, and by using renewable sources, carbon and other harmful emissions are avoided. Waste heat recovery can also play a substantial role in energy saving and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Investment on waste heat recovery systems is an appealing way to provide alternative energy sources and conserve resources.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) represents a promising renewable energy system that can provide high temperature thermal energy for electricity generation. In recent years, the CSP sector has experienced a considerable growth in terms of both global installed capacity as well as technological maturity and innovation. CSP development can play an important role for global shift towards sustainable and low carbon power generation. Solar power tower plants are gaining growing interest due to possibility of providing high temperature thermal energy.

The overall objective of this thesis is to propose, model, simulate, and optimize several integrated systems that can efficiently, renewably, sustainably, and economically address different demands including power, fresh water, and cooling for both residential and industrial applications. Due to importance of waste heat recovery in energy saving and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, another main objective of this study to investigate the feasibility of waste heat recovery. Concentrated solar tower is used as a prime or supplementary mover for all proposed configurations and cycles, enabling a high temperature thermal heat source to generate electricity and provide thermal requirements of other systems.

The results generated from this project will provide substantial insight regarding the technical, economic and environmental aspects of utility scale hybrid multigeneration systems using concentrated solar tower as a primary or supplementary energy source. The proposed configurations have the potential to make a significant impact on supplying all products. This thesis will provide guidelines for constructors, investors, decision makers and plant operators with a large number of decisions including choosing the optimal configurations based on existing demands of a location as well as operating and controlling the sub-systems.

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