Integration of Solar Thermal Energy in an Oil-Fired Steam Turbine Power System in Saudi Arabia
The purpose of this paper is to analyze both the technical and economic feasibility of adding a small solar thermal component to an oil-fired power plant in Saudi Arabia. With the abundance of solar radiation and the historically high oil demand to generate electricity, Saudi Arabia is currently pursuing the development of its solar power generation capacity. While large-scale solar power plants require a great amount of capital expenditure at this time, there is opportunity to benefit from solar energy at lower capacity within conventional power systems. Jeddah, one of the country’s major cities, is selected for the case study. By pre-heating the boiler feedwater of a 90-MW power plant, the amount of oil saved for a plant with parabolic troughs and a collection area of 100,000 m2 is found to range from 263 to 291 barrels per day throughout the year. The results presented in this paper show that the concentrating solar power component of the proposed hybrid power plant is not profitable at this time; however, as costs decrease in the long-term, such a project should break even when the initial investment is made in 2018.