Theoretical Analysis of Closed Rankine Cycle Solar Pond Power Generator

  •  Rajamohan Ganesan    
  •  Chua Bing    
  •  Balasundaram Kumar    


Thermal energy extraction from solar pond is theoretically studied with the use of Rankine cycle heat engine. The Rankine power cycle configuration consists of evaporator, turbine, condenser, feed pump and R-134a which is used as the working fluid. A solar pond is considered as the heat source for the evaporator. Fresh water circulates through an internal heat exchanger, located in the lower convective zone of the pond, and transfers its thermal energy to evaporator. The heat that is absorbed increases the temperature of a working fluid and causes the working fluid to vaporize. When the working fluid has taken enough potential energy, the fluid vaporizes and begins to rise, thereby converting some of the potential energy to kinetic energy. The vapor flows under high pressure to the turbine and thereby expanding through the turbine from a higher pressure to a lower pressure. Useful work can be extracted from this expansion process. The turbine is placed in between the evaporator and condenser section of the cycle. The water is acting as heat sink for the condenser.  An attempt is made to analyze the thermodynamic aspects of the cycle and the net works generated by the system are elaborated. The report presents the analysis of an alternative method of thermal energy extraction from solar energy thermal resource with the use of solar pond.

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