Collector factor in a solar chimney power plant: CFD analysis for the pilot plant in Manzanares
Solar chimneys are popular systems for their simple structures and clean energy generation. Thanks to its semi-permeable structure, the collector, one of the system’s basic elements, transfers solar radiation to the system. As a result of the heating of the system air under the collector by the solar radiation passing through the collector, it is directed to the high chimney in the collector centre. During the upward movement of the system air, it converts its energy into electricity via a turbine. Due to its large structure, estimating the amount of energy entering the collector system creates a great cost. The ideal size for the collector is therefore important. This study offers a recommendation for the ideal collector size for the pilot plant in Manzanares in terms of collector size and power output. While 59 kW power output is obtained with the system with a collector radius of 122 m in the reference case, it is observed that the power output increases by 78% when the collector radius is increased to 170 m and the collector area is doubled. The ratio of the ideal collector radius to the reference size for the pilot plant should be in the range of 1–1.5.