Hybridization of solar dish-stirling technology: Analysis and design



Integration of renewable energies differentiates high concentration solar thermal technologies from photovoltaics. The popularization of high concentration solar thermal technologies facilities can be increased if alternative energy sources are used, with a significant advantage in investment recovery. As the operation hours are increased, the environmental impact is also improved. This article analyzes the hybridization of two dish-Stirling facilities, distinguishable by the two different fuels utilized: natural gas and biogas. Different considerations for the design of required elements for hybridization are presented, specifically the burner and the heat exchanger for biogas use. An evaluation of the environmental impact associated with hybridization using natural gas and then biogas is also carried out. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is performed with SimaPro software for each fuel scenario using: (i) the Ecoindicator-99 impact evaluation method; and (ii) CO2-equivalent emissions. Novel aspects of this study include the analysis of the global output of the hybrid system, considering two different fuels. Analysis also takes into consideration environmental criteria to establish a comparison. Results show an advantage for hybridization using biogas, a renewable source, instead of natural gas. The environmental viewpoint, considered by the LCA, adds a differential decision criterion at the same time that it favors investments in this technology. © 2014 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 1459–1466, 2014