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Journal of Energy in Southern Africa

On-line version ISSN 2413-3051
Print version ISSN 1021-447X

J. energy South. Afr. vol.21 n.2 Cape Town  2010


A techno-economic feasibility study on the use of distributed concentrating solar power generation in Johannesburg



Christiaan César Bode; Thomas John Sheer

School of Mechanical, Industrial and Aeronautical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg




The technical and financial feasibility of small-scale distributed Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP) systems for urban areas in Johannesburg, South Africa, is investigated. The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), located in central Johannesburg, is used as the basis of a case study for the implementation of these systems. A number of proven CSP technologies were identified and a technology screening was performed to identify suitable technologies for possible implementation, for a reference output of 120 kW(e). From these, a number of systems were chosen for more detailed evaluation and the hourly energy production of these systems was analysed, using local weather data. The Compound Linear Fresnel Reflector system (CLFR) proved to be most suitable because of the space and cost benefits it offers. Systems that integrate organic Rankine cycles (ORC) as well as thermal storage and hybridisation were also investigated. The levelised cost of electricity (LEC) was predicted to be between R4.31 and R3.18 per kWh. Currently these technologies cannot compete financially with the price of local, fossil produced electricity, but with the increase in electricity tariffs and demand for clean reliable power CSP technologies, may become competitive in distributed generation systems in urban areas.

Keywords: concentrating solar power, distributed generation



Full text available only in pdf format.



The assistance and advice provided by Thomas Roos of the CSIR, Pretoria, is gratefully acknowledged. The financial assistance of the South African National Energy Research Institute (SANERI) towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions arrived at, are those of the authors and are not necessarily to be attributed to SANERI.



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Received 14 July 2009
Revised 11 May 2010

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