Energy and Exergy Analysis of Solar Thermal Energy-based Polygeneration Processes for Applications in Rural India

Sanju Thomas, Ajith Kumar G., Sudhansu Sekhar Sahoo, Shinu Varghese


The objective of this paper is to analyze the energy and exergy of a solar thermal based polygenearation process used for rural application in India. Linear Fresnel reflector (LFR) is used as solar thermal energy generation source for polygeneration process. The LFR system design is slightly modified to bring down the cost of the solar field. Electric power, cooling and generation of hot water for process applications are various polygeneric applications discussed in this work. The system is modeled to be experimented for application in rural sector of India, where various processes can function in parallel to cater to livelihood enhancements. Such, stand alone units are useful for community based refrigeration units, especially during the season of harvest. Vapour absorption machine (VAM) and adsorption chiller are selected for consideration in cooling applications, while pasteurizing unit is explained as a hot water utilization method. Molten salt-based storage for short time duration is also investigated in the current study. Thermodynamic analysis and solar field optimization are done for the polygeneration process to identify various operating parameters. Key input parameters are varied to identify the changes in outputs of various components. Energy and exergy analysis shows that there is very less loss in most of the components, while LFR and VAM are found to be high exergy loss equipment. There is a scope of scaling up of such systems which can be operated as standalone units for applications in the rural regions.


energy analysis; exergy analysis; linear Fresnel reflector (LFR); polygeneration; solar thermal

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