You are on page 1of 10

RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES

OF THIRD MECHATRONICS PROUDLY PRESENTS

SOLAR CHIMNEY AND ITS APPLICATION IN COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

CONTENTS

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

ABSTRACT......02 SOLAR CHIMNEY.....04 CFD - AN INTRODUCTION.06 APPLICATION OF CFD....06 REGENERATOR ARRANGEMENT...08 MERITS ......09 CONCLUSION ...09

ABSTRACT: The word resource finds the meaning as a source of help. We need help always in some kind; after all, no man can live throughout without any help. The greatest help needed by todays machine man is the energy help. Till the present day energy is sufficient for his needs. Coming back to present world, there raises a necessity to search for a source, which is omnipresent and omnipotent to save the homosapien. We roamed round the galaxy in search of such an energy, the result of which has led us here. Yes, the same old resource, the solar energy. Solar energy is converted into electrical energy by means of a turbine. This may look very confusing now. But we shall see everything soon. Heat from the sun is used to heat air and hence to run a turbine. This concept leads to the unbelievable invention named The solar chimney. The solar chimney power plant converts global irradiance into electricity. Since chimneys are often associated negatively with exhaust gases, THIS CONCEPT IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE SOLAR TOWER POWER PLANT although it is totally different from the tower concepts. A solar chimney power plant has a high chimney (tower), with a height of up to 100 meters, and this is surrounded by a large collector roof, up to 3 miles in diameter, that consists of glass or resistive plastic supported on a framework.

Energy resources-A threat?


The word resource finds the meaning as a source of help. We need help always in some kind, after all no man can live throughout without any help. The greatest help needed by todays machine man is the energy help. Till the present day energy is sufficient for his needs. But what would be the condition tomorrow? Peeping into future, there stands a house with no light in night; wherein there is energy neither to cook the raw meat nor to preserve it; wherein fan stands a showpiece and air-conditioner only blocks the window, and TV-the idiot box stands a stupid dull mirror. Man remains amidst all these tortures as a worm thrown in the hot sun recklessly. We must not forget that its going to be our grandchildren in this situation and no one else. Coming back to present world, there raises a necessity to search for a source, which is omnipresent and omnipotent to save the homosapien. We roamed round the galaxy in search of such an energy, the result of which has led us here. Yes, the same old resource, the solar energy.

The concept:
Solar energy is converted into electrical energy by means of a turbine. This may look very confusing now. But we shall see everything soon. Heat from the sun is used to heat air and hence to run a turbine. This concept leads to the unbelievable invention named The solar chimney.

The solar chimney:


The figure next shows the picture of a solar chimney set up in Manzanares, Spain, in 1982.The idea was originally given by German structural engineer Schlaich Bergerman. The solar chimney power plant converts global irradiance into electricity. Since chimneys are often associated negatively with exhaust gases, THIS CONCEPT IS ALSO KNOWN AS THE SOLAR TOWER POWER PLANT although it is totally different from the tower concepts. A solar chimney power plant has a high chimney (tower), with a height of up to 100 meters, and this is surrounded

by a large collector roof, up to 3 miles in diameter, that consists of glass or resistive plastic supported on a framework

THE SOLAR CHIMNEY Towards its center, the roof curves upward to join the chimney, creating a funnel. It is a massive arrangement and hence can be setup in places where large areas are available. This massive structure has no name resemblance with the chimneys in our kitchens or in local industries. We are dealing with something beyond the present imagination.

How it works ?
The basic concept is that when air is heated, it tends to go up in the atmosphere since its specific volume increases. This concept is used in the solar chimney arrangement as shown schematically below. The sun heats up the ground (usually black surface) and the air underneath the collector roof, and the heated air follows the upward incline of the roof until it reaches the chimney. There, it flows at high speed through the chimney and drives wind generators at its bottom. The ground under the collector roof behaves as a storage medium, and can even heat up the air for a significant time after sunset. The efficiency of the solar chimney power plant is below 2%, and depends mainly on the height of the tower, and so these power plants can only be constructed on land, which is very cheap or free. Such areas are usually situated in desert regions.

AIR HEATED BY SUN RAYS However, the whole power plant is not without other uses, as the outer area under the collector roof can also be utilized as a greenhouse for agricultural purposes. As with trough and tower plants, the minimum economical size of solar chimney power plants is also in the multi-megawatt range. Ambient air is drawn into the glass collector. This is warmed by solar energy and rises up the chimney. The current of rising warm air drives a turbine. The prototype at Manzanares, Spain worked successfully over several years. There are proposals for the construction of commercial plants of up to 200 MW in India, South Africa, Australia and other countries. The capital cost is high but running costs are very low, the fuel is free and the power station has a long lifetime. The technology could become the cheapest method for the large-scale generation of solar electricity. The torque produced on the turbine is the factor that decides the rate of power produced in the external circuit. This factor can be calculated in-order to control the torque of the turbine. It depends on the momentum induced in the turbine blades which can be studied by the concept of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).

CFD - An Introduction:
Computational Fluid Dynamics or simply CFD is concerned with obtaining numerical solution to fluid flow problems by using computers. The advent of highspeed and large-memory computers has enabled CFD to obtain solutions to many flow problems including those that are compressible or incompressible, laminar or turbulent, chemically reacting or non-reacting. CFD is predicting what will happen, quantitatively, when fluids flow, often with the complications of: Simultaneous flow of heat, Mass transfer (e.g. perspiration, dissolution), Phase change (e.g. melting, freezing, boiling), Chemical reaction (e.g. combustion, rusting), Mechanical movement (e.g. of pistons, fans, turbines), Stresses in and displacement of immersed or surrounding solids.

Application of CFD:
We need to know the velocity of air passing through the turbine in order to determine power output. For this, the airflow is to be mainly considered under CFD. It depends on The slope of the collecting roof. The inlet and throat areas for air. Rate of heating by the sun.

We consider air as a fluid and thus for maximum velocity of fluid, the roof area should not be too flat. It may be steep, but as the slope increases, the pressure to be developed in the collecting area decreases because the volume inside increases and thus the velocity is reduced. Thus optimum slope is to be designed so that both velocity and pressure are maintained high. Then, the inlet and throat areas of the collecting area are designed such that there is maximum velocity. It is seen that sufficient air comes in proportional to the outgoing air. If the space for inlet is lesser than the required space to be equal to the outgoing air, then the velocity will decrease 7

because pressure fall will occur and hence it will be compensated in the form of velocity drop. Even, if the inlet area is bigger than the calculated area, then more cold air will come in and thus heating of air decreases which ultimately results in slow down of the velocity of airflow towards the turbine. Thus CFD studies the various factors that affect the velocity of airflow, helping the solar chimney arrangement to increase the efficiency as much as possible.Results from CFD analysis say that air flows through the turbine at a velocity of around 50kms per second. But still the overall efficiency of the arrangement is only 2-3%.

Would a regenerator improve the efficiency?


The overall conversion efficiency from solar energy to electricity is 23%. Where does the other 97% go?. There is a temperature drop with altitude of about 10C for a 100-meter chimney. Large quantities of warm air have to be lifted from the ground to chimney top. This is gravitational energy loss. The air that leaves the chimney is above ambient temperature at that altitude. This is thermal energy loss. Ambient air that is drawn into the collector is warmed and expands with little increase in pressure. The majority of solar input is lost in the simple expansion of air before it reaches the turbine. None of this is surrendered to the turbine. Would a regenerator improve efficiency? A modified solar chimney is proposed where the paramount consideration is the rigorous elimination of all energy losses. The solar collector is sealed and double-glazed with low emissivity glass. The entire floor area has a solar absorber. The chimney is well insulated and incorporates a heat exchanger along most of its length. Warm air rises from the solar collector and drives the turbine. Its residual energy is then transferred to incoming air in the heat exchanger - such energy recovery can be over 95% efficient. Incoming air enters well up the chimney at a level h from the top, which is needed to drive the system. The incoming air is warmed as it travels down the chimney. It passes through the turbine and then between the two layers of glass to ground level, entering the solar collector from underneath the absorber.

REGENERATOR ARRANGEMENT
There are no pumps. The chimney is open to the air and at atmospheric pressure. The driver is gravity - air in the collector is warmed by solar energy and rises because it is lighter. This will draw in colder, ambient air, which is heavier. It is claimed that the energy losses listed earlier will be dramatically reduced in this proposal. The loss of potential energy for the exit air is virtually compensated by the gain in potential energy for the incoming air, except that due to h. The regenerator should dramatically reduce the loss in thermal energy for exit air. If the regenerator was 100% efficient, then the volume of air entering the chimney per second will equal the volume of air leaving the chimney per second. There will be no net loss due to the expansion of air. There will be some energy losses through the double-glazing, through the walls of the chimney and to gravitation due to the height h. Any losses in the turbine or due to friction in the heat exchanger will be recycled as heat into the incoming air. The main energy loss will be in the regenerator and will manifest itself in the exit air having a higher temperature than ambient air at that altitude, a higher velocity and a greater volume than incoming air. The challenge would be to construct a regenerator of ever-higher efficiency. The modifications suggested would perhaps double the capital cost of the solar chimney. It is an assertion, however, that its efficiency will be increased by several folds and hence the overall profit is increased.

Merits: This unique chimney is also helpful for green house effect. The large area
under the double glazed cover can be utilized for vegetation purpose on basis of green house effect. Thus the area is not wasted and as well as, the energy, derived. Also, we can very well see that there is zero power input by us to which there is an output. Isnt this a great matter of wonder?

INSIDE VIEW OF COLLECTOR AREA NO CARBON DIOXIDE! Every process involving production of power has carbon dioxide as an unavoidable waste product. But here there is no combustion and no carbon dioxide.

Use in India:
A tropical country like India can potentially generate 200MW power and this can be of great importance when utilized properly.

Conclusion:
A power plant with -A resource energy, which could not exhaust soon. -A working medium that is omnipresent -An exhaust that doesnt harm the atmosphere. -A massive energy output, which has become invincible. Really a boon to the growing world. Let us invest on the chimney and enjoy the everlasting interest with actually no capital.

References
www.howstuffworks.com www.poweronline\energyresources.com

10