Research Assistant

April 2013 - October 2013

In completion of a Masters thesis and an internship, I worked as a research assistant at Concentrating Solar Power Group in Heat and Power Division in KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

The project is performed under TESCONSOL umbrella, a KIC Innoenergy project of the European Institute of Technology in Co-operation with Gas Natural Fenosa and TOTAL as Industrial Partners.

As a part of research team to build up a tool to analyse the Solar Thermal power plants, a model was developed to analyse Direct Steam Generation (DSG) in Solar Central Receiver Tower system.
Ivanpah Solar Thermal Power Plant, being the latest in Concentrating Solar Power and based on Direct Steam Generation principle, is considered as the base-line of this work.

Tasks Performed:

  • MATLAB was used to model the heat transfer phenomena in the central tower and to optimize the regenerative Rankine power cycle of the power plant.

  • FORTRAN programming language is used to design new DSG components required for the dynamic simulations in TRNSYS.

  • TRNSYS is used for the dynamic simulations of the DSG Central Tower Solar Thermal Power Plant, which forms the basis for the thermo-economic analysis performed afterwards.


Firstly, a schematic of a large scale power plant (123 MW - capacity of one central tower of Ivanpah CSP plant) was prepared based on a Regenerative Rankine Power Cycle. The components of this power block were thermo-dynamically modeled (e.g. Steam turbines were modeled using Stodola Expansion Model) and optimized to get the required mass flow rate of water-the working fluid.

Secondly, a new architecture for the receiver structure was proposed based on the literature review. The optimized mass-flow rate was used to establish the heat-transfer at the receiver. The pressure drop and Critical Metal Temperature were the two important critical conditions were used. A manufacturer's guide was used to develop a database of selecting dimensions of the pipes (Material AISI 316L) according to maximum working pressure and corresponding Critical Metal Temperature.

Along with the heat transfer analysis these critical conditions limited the number of set (diameter and thickness of the pipes) of dimensions of the receiver. The final dimensions were chosen based on allowable pressure drop, overall efficiency and financial analysis. These dimensions were used to develop a Trnsys component which was programmed using Fortran.

Project Summary