A pre-feasibility study of a concentrating solar power system to offset electricity consumption at the Spier Estate

Lubkoll, Matti (2011-12)

Thesis (MScIng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Spier Estate - a wine estate in the Western Cape Province of South Africa - is engaged in a transition towards operating according to the principles of sustainable development. Besides changes in social and other environmental aspects, the company has set itself the goal to be carbon neutral by 2017. To this end, Spier is considering the on-site generation of electricity from renewable energy sources. This study was initiated to explore the technical and economic feasibility of a concentrating solar power plant for this purpose on the estate. The investigation was carried out to identify the most appropriate solar thermal energy technology and the dimensions of a system that fulfils the carbon-offset requirements of the estate. In particular, potential to offset the annual electricity consumption of the currently 5 570 MWh needed at Spier, using a concentrating solar power (CSP) system, was investigated. Due to rising utility-provided electricity prices, and the expected initial higher cost of the generated power, it is assumed that implemented efficiency measures would lead to a reduction in demand of 50% by 2017. However, sufficient suitable land was identified to allow electricity production exceeding today’s demand. The outcome of this study is the recommendation of a linear Fresnel collector field without additional heat storage and a saturated steam Rankine cycle power block with evaporative wet cooling. This decision was based on the system’s minimal impact on the sensitive environment in combination with the highest potential for local development. A simulation model was written to evaluate the plant performance, dimension and cost. The analysis was based on a literature review of prototype system behaviour and system simulations. The direct normal irradiation (DNI) data that was used is based on calibrated satellite data. The result of the study is a levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of R2.741 per kWh, which is cost competitive to the power provided by diesel generators, but more expensive than current and predicted near-future utility rates. The system contains a 1.8 ha aperture area and a 2.0 MWe power block. Operating the plant as a research facility would provide significant potential for LCOE reduction with R2.01 per kWh or less (favourable funding conditions would allow for LCOE of R1.49 per kWh) appearing feasible, which results in cost competitiveness in comparison a photovoltaic (PV) solution. Depending on tariff development, Eskom rates are predicted to reach a similar level between 2017, the time of commissioning, and the year 2025. The downside is that the plant would not solely serve the purpose of electricity offsetting for Spier, which may result in a reduced amount of electricity that may be generated. Further studies are proposed to refine the full potential of cost reduction by local development and manufacturing as well as external funding. This includes identification of suitable technology vendors for plant construction. An EIA is required to be triggered at an early stage to compensate for its long preparation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Spier wynlandgoed in die Wes-Kaap Provinsie van Suid-Afrika is tans in ‘n oorgangsfase tot besigheids-praktyke gebaseer op volhoubare ontwikkeling. Afgesien van die sosiale en omgewingsaspekte het die groep hom ook ten doel gestel om koolstof neutraal te wees teen 2017. Ten einde hierdie doel te bereik, moet die maatskappy sy algehele elektrisiteitsverbruik vervang met hernubare bronne. Hierdie studie is dus geloods om die tegniese en ekonomiese uitvoerbaarheid van 'n gekonsentreerde sonkragstasie op die landgoed te ondersoek. Hierdie ondersoek is gedoen om die mees toepaslike sontermiese tegnologie en die grootte van 'n termiese sonkragstelsel te bepaal, wat aan die koolstof vereistes van die landgoed voldoen. Die potensiaal om die jaarlikse elektrisiteitsverbruik van 5 570 MWh met 'n gekonsentreerde elektriese sonkragstelsel te vervang, is ondersoek. Weens die toename in die elektrisiteitsprys en die verwagte hoërkoste van opgewekte elektrisiteit word aanvaar dat die implementering van voorgestelde doeltreffendheidsverbeteringe, sal lei tot 'n afname in die aanvraag na elektrisiteit van tot 50% teen die jaar 2017. Voldoende beskikbare grond is geïdentifiseer om genoeg elektrisiteit te produseer om die huidige vraag na elektrisiteit te oorskry. Die uitkoms van die studie is die aanbeveling van 'n lineêre Fresnel kollektorveld sonder addisionele warmte storing, asook 'n versadigde stoom Rankine sikluskragblok met ‘n nat-verdamping verkoelingstelsel. Die besluit is gebaseer op die stelsel se minimale impak op die omgewing, tesame met die hoogste potensiaal vir plaaslike ontwikkeling. 'n Simulasie is ontwikkel om die aanleg se werkverrigting, grootte en koste te evalueer. Die analise is gebaseer op 'n literatuuroorsig van 'n prototipe stelsel gedrag en stelsel-simulasies. Die direkte normale sonstralings data wat gebruik is, is gebaseer op gekalibreerde satelliet data. Die bevinding van die studie is 'n gebalanseerd koste van elektrisiteit van R2.74 per kWh, wat mededingend is met die koste van elektrisiteit wat deur diesel kragopwekkers verskaf word, maar is aansienlik duurder as die huidige en toekomstige voorspellings van Eskom-tariewe. Die stelsel bevat 'n 1.8 ha son kollektor oppervlakte en 'n 2.0 MWe krag-blok. Daarbenewens, sal die gebruik van die aanleg as 'n navorsingsfasiliteit die potensiaal hê om die gebalanseerd koste van elektrisiteit te verminder na R2.01 per kWh of minder (gunstig befondsing voorwaardes sal gebalanseerd koste van elektrisiteit van R1.49 per kWh tot gevolg hê), wat mededingend is met die koste van 'n fotovoltaïese alternatief. Daar word voorspel dat Eskom-tariewe dieselfde sal bly vanaf 2017, die jaar van inbedryfstelling van die aanleg, tot en met die jaar 2025. Die nadeel is dat die aanleg nie noodwendig uitsluitlik vir die opwek van elektrisiteit vir Spier gebruik sal word nie, en daarom kan dit lei tot 'n vermindering in die hoeveelheid elektrisiteit wat deur die aanleg opgewek word. Daar word voorgestel dat verdere studies onderneem word om die moontlikheid van koste-besparings vir die aanleg te ondersoek deur gebruik te maak van plaaslike ontwikkeling en vervaardiging, asook eksterne befondsing. Dit sluit die identifisering van geskikte tegnologie verskaffers vir die aanleg-kostruksie in. 'n Omgewingsimpakstudie, volgens die EIA regulasies, moet ook so gou as moontlik gedoen word aangesien dit n langsame proses is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17809
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