Optimisation of a Kalina cycle for a central receiver solar thermal power plant with direct steam generation

Anish Modi, Fredrik Haglind

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    Central receiver solar thermal power plants are regarded as one of the promising ways to generate electricity in near future. They offer the possibility of using high temperatures and pressures to achieve high efficiencies with standard power cycles. A direct steam generation approach can be used for such plants for improved performance. This approach can also be combined with using advanced power cycles like the Kalina cycle, which uses a zeotropic mixture of ammonia and water instead of pure water as the working fluid. This paper presents the optimisation of a particular Kalina cycle layout for a central receiver solar thermal power plant with direct steam generation. The variation in the cycle performance with respect to the turbine inlet ammonia mass fraction and pressure and a comparison of the initial investment with that of the basic Rankine cycle are also presented. Only high live steam conditions (temperature equal to 500 °C and pressure over 100 bar) were considered. The optimisation was performed using genetic algorithm. The results suggest that the optimum solutions for different turbine inlet ammonia mass fractions for the Kalina cycle occur at significantly different separator inlet conditions. Some of the Kalina cycle configurations can achieve similar or better cycle efficiency than the basic Rankine cycle but at a loss of the net electrical power output. The cost analysis suggests that some Kalina cycle configurations could have lower initial investment costs but only at higher turbine inlet pressure and inherently complex plant layouts as compared with the Rankine cycle.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the World Renewable Energy Congress XIII
    Number of pages7
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event 13th World Renewable Energy Congress - London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 3 Aug 20148 Aug 2014
    Conference number: 13


    Conference 13th World Renewable Energy Congress
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Solar thermal power plant
    • Central receiver
    • Kalina cycle
    • Optimisation


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