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See detailTechnologies for heating, cooling and powering rural health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa
Orosz, Matthew; Quoilin, Sylvain ULg; Hemond, Harold

in Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy (2013)

This paper examines technical and economic choices for rural electrification in Africa and presents the rationale for trigeneration (capability for electricity, heating, and cooling) in health and ... [more ▼]

This paper examines technical and economic choices for rural electrification in Africa and presents the rationale for trigeneration (capability for electricity, heating, and cooling) in health and education applications. An archetypal load profile for a rural health clinic (25 kWhe/day and 118–139 kWht) is described, and a regional analysis is performed for sub-Saharan Africa by aggregating NASA meteorological data (insolation, temperature, and heating and cooling degree-days) using correlates to latitude. As a baseline for comparison, the technical, economic (using discounted cash flow) and environmental aspects of traditional electrification approaches, namely photovoltaic (PV) systems and diesel generators, are quantified, and options for meeting heating and cooling loads (e.g. gas-fired heaters, absorption chillers, or solar water heaters) are evaluated alongside an emerging micro-concentrating solar power ( -CSP) technology featuring a solar thermal organic Rankine cycle (ORC). Photovoltaics hybridized with LPG/Propane and -CSP trigeneration are the lowest cost alternatives for satisfying important but often overlooked thermal requirements, with cost advantages for CSP depending on latitudinal variation in insolation and thermal parameters. For a 15-year project lifetime, the net present cost for meeting clinic energy needs varied from 45 to 75 k USD, with specific levelized electricity costs of 0.26–0.31 USD/kWh. In comparison, diesel generation of electricity is both costly (>1 USD/kWh) and polluting (94 tons CO2 per site over 15 years), while LPG/Propane based heating and cooling emits 160–400 tons CO2 depending on ambient conditions. The comparative analysis of available technologies indicates that where the energy demand includes a mixture of electrical and thermal loads, as in typical health and education outposts, on-carbon emitting -CSP trigeneration approaches can be cost-effective. [less ▲]

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See detailSORCE: A design tool for solar organic Rankine cycle systems in distributed generation applications
Orosz, Matthew; Quoilin, Sylvain ULg; Hemond, Harold

(2010)

Recent interest in small-scale solar thermal combined heat and power (CHP) power systems has coincided with demand growth for distributed electricity supplies in areas poorly served by centralized power ... [more ▼]

Recent interest in small-scale solar thermal combined heat and power (CHP) power systems has coincided with demand growth for distributed electricity supplies in areas poorly served by centralized power stations. One potential technical approach to meeting this demand is the parabolic trough solar thermal collector coupled with an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) heat engine. Much existing research touches on aspects of the underlying physics and mechanics of this technology, but a holistic treatment including economic evaluation is lacking. Design and analysis tools are needed to specify the solar collector and power block configurations for meeting performance and financial targets for a range of applications in disparate environments. In this paper we present the Solar Organic Rankine Cycle Economic (SORCE) model combining semi-empirical multi-physics computation modules for solar resource and site environmental parameter characterization along with optical, thermal and electromechanical performance prediction of trough collectors and ORC systems with technical specifications and costs of standard system equipment. The model is tested with data from experimental solar ORC systems at MIT and deployed in Lesotho, southern Africa (29°12'48.44"S, 27°51'37.36"E). SORCE is available for download1 as an executable program derived from Engineering Equation Solver (EES) that enables site-specific evaluation of a solar ORC system for performance and cost comparison with alternatives (e.g. wind, solar PV, diesel, etc.). [less ▲]

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See detailSmall Scale Solar ORC system for distributed power
Orosz, Matthew; Mueller, Amy; Quoilin, Sylvain ULg et al

(2009)

A solar thermal organic Rankine cycle (ORC) can provide affordable energy supplies in remote regions. The advent of low-cost medium temperature parabolic trough collectors and ORC technology taking ... [more ▼]

A solar thermal organic Rankine cycle (ORC) can provide affordable energy supplies in remote regions. The advent of low-cost medium temperature parabolic trough collectors and ORC technology taking advantage of mass produced fluid machinery from HVAC industries are enabling developments for the production of small scale autonomous power generation units. Construction and testing of this type of system is discussed, including benchmarking of scrolls expanders (up to 75% isentropic effieiency) and the field testing of solar collectors (50% thermal efficiency at 150°C operating temperatures) with a nominal cost of $80 m-2. These results have led to the construction of a full-scale 3kW solar ORC power system designed to support a rural health clinic in Lesotho in southern Africa. [less ▲]

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