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Frontiers in Energy >> 2021, Volume 15, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11708-020-0676-1

Numerical simulation of underground seasonal cold energy storage for a 10 MW solar thermal power plant in north-western China using TRNSYS

. Institute of Refrigeration and Cryogenics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.. College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China

Accepted: 2020-06-10 Available online:2020-06-10

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This paper aims to explore an efficient, cost-effective, and water-saving seasonal cold energy storage technique based on borehole heat exchangers to cool the condenser water in a 10 MW solar thermal power plant. The proposed seasonal cooling mechanism is designed for the areas under typical weather conditions to utilize the low ambient temperature during the winter season and to store cold energy. The main objective of this paper is to utilize the storage unit in the peak summer months to cool the condenser water and to replace the dry cooling system. Using the simulation platform transient system simulation program (TRNSYS), the borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) system model has been developed and the dynamic capacity of the system in the charging and discharging mode of cold energy for one-year operation is studied. The typical meteorological year (TMY) data of Dunhuang, Gansu province, in north-western China, is utilized to determine the lowest ambient temperature and operation time of the system to store cold energy. The proposed seasonal cooling system is capable of enhancing the efficiency of a solar thermal power plant up to 1.54% and 2.74% in comparison with the water-cooled condenser system and air-cooled condenser system respectively. The techno-economic assessment of the proposed technique also supports its integration with the condenser unit in the solar thermal power plant. This technique has also a great potential to save the water in desert areas.

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