Renewable Energy - Micro CS Thermal

What is Concentrating Solar Thermal?

Concentrating Solar Power (CST) concentrates solar power on a small area, using mirror or lenses. The heat from the solar energy used to heat water or fluid which is used to drive a heat engine.

Can Concentrating Solar Power (CST) be used in industrial and commercial applications?

Yes. CSP can be used for industrial and commercial applications for generating hot water, steam hot water, hot air and hot thermic oil. This type of application is called micro CST to distinguish it from the CST that uses the concentrated heat energy to generate electricity.

What are the different types of technologies that are used in micro CST?

There are several different technologies used in Concentrating Solar thermal in general but for micro CST in India the main types of technology used is the parabolic dish technology.

Parabolic dish systems consist of a parabolic-shaped dish concentrator reflects solar radiation onto a receiver mounted at the focal point.

Different vendors in India use single or multiple axis tracking systems.

What are the different applications in the industrial and commercial sector?

The typical applications are steam and hot water generation which can in turn be used for air conditioning, cooking, laundry and other uses. This has uses in hotels and hospitals.

Solar air conditioning uses the principle of absorption chilling which works on the principle of using a heat source (hot water) instead of electrical energy. Solar air conditioning is typically useful for small and medium chilling capacities of less than 100 TR.

The typical applications in the industrial sector are Pharmaceutical Industry (Sterilization, Drying, Syrup preparation), Textile industry (mercerizing, drying, finishing), Chemicals (drying, dissolving, distillation, thickening, leaching), Pulp & Paper Industry (pulping and bleaching), Food Industry (cooking, drying and canning)

What are the benefits of installing this technology?

Solar micro CSP works well to replace diesel and furnace oil. An example of a hotel & a hospital is provided below.

Like in all our cost benefit examples, the data shown is collected from vendor sources or customer case studies. The results are indicative and will depend on specific equipment and operating conditions.

Hotel Hospital
Number of rooms/beds 300 300
Capacity – steam per sunny day (kg) 10,000 5,040
Capital Cost Rs. 3,40,00,000 Rs. 1,70,00,000
Furnace Oil/Diesel Oil saved per annum 1,80,00 liters 90,000 liters
Furnace Oil/Diesel Oil saving per annum (Rs. 50/ liter) Rs. 90,00,000 Rs.45,00,000
Tax Benefit on Accelerated Depreciation amount Rs. 89,76,000 Rs. 44,88,000
Approximate payback period 2.78 years 2.78 years

As a potential customer, what are some of the questions that I should be asking?

Q. My hotel already has solar water heaters installed on my rooftop for hot water. Do I need micro CST?

The micro CST technology can be used for meeting steam requirements (and the hot water requirements not met by solar water heaters). The micro CST technology output of stream will be integrated into your boiler head. The steam will be used for air conditioning, laundry, cooking and then for hot water generation (for bathing). The micro CSP technology works in tandem with your solar water heaters. The micro CSP takes care of your high temperature needs and the solar water heaters of your low temperature needs.

Q. Are the dishes assembled on-site?

The dish components are fabricated off-site, shipped to the site, and assembled into a single dish on-site.

Q. How long does a dish take to set up and assemble?

It takes about 15-21 days to assemble and erect and commission-site. However, the product has to be placed on a foundation and that involves civil construction and co-ordination between two vendors and this process typically takes time.

Q. What type of land area do the products require?

Depending on the design and the vendor, the dish may require small ground area and a larger aerial space. You should check with your solution provider.

Q. Does the product work during monsoons?

No, it does not.

Q. Does the system produce water at a specific temperature and steam at a specific pressure.

Yes. You should ask your solution provider for guarantees and customer references.

Q. What type of maintenance does it require?

The troughs and the dishes require regular cleaning. Other than that the life of these systems are like other solar systems about 25 years.

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