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Performance analysis of a solar-assisted OTEC cycle for power generation and fishery cold storage refrigeration

Yuan, Han and Zhou, Peilin and Mei, Ning (2015) Performance analysis of a solar-assisted OTEC cycle for power generation and fishery cold storage refrigeration. Applied Thermal Engineering, 90. pp. 809-819. ISSN 1359-4311

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The cold storage in fishery industry is in great demand in tropical coastal regions. This research proposes an ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) based solar-assisted combined power and refrigeration cycle, which can be used for both electricity generation and fishery cold storage application. In this proposed combined cycle, the ammonia/water is selected as the working fluid and the warm/cold seawater is utilized as the heating/cooling source. A two-stage ejector system is introduced, the turbine is used to produce power and the evaporator is used to produce refrigeration output. Besides, a flat-plate solar collector is utilized to increase the heating source temperature. To evaluate the performance of the proposed cycle, a mathematical model is developed and a simulation program is developed; the performance comparison between it and a previous two-stage ejector OTEC cycle is made, which shows this solar-assisted cycle has a slightly lower power-production efficiency of 2.27% but a much higher comprehensive-production efficiency of 7.89% under the given working condition. Furthermore, parametric analysis is performed to guide the theoretical performance of this combined cycle. The results show that the generator pressure, solar collector outlet temperature and rich solution concentration all affect the cycle performance; the entrainment ratio of the first-stage ejector is greatly affected by the rich solution concentration.