Design and evaluation of solar parabolic trough collector system integrated with conventional oil boiler

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In this paper an attempt has been made towards the design and evaluation of a solar parabolic trough collector (PTC) system integrated with a conventional oil boiler (COB) to increase the energy utilization effectiveness and reduce the environmental emission of the existing conventional oil boiler in the Kombolcha textile factory, in Ethiopia. The factory uses 8500 ton/annum of heavy fuel oil to generate 26 ton/hour of pressurized hot water at 140C temperature which causes an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, so the solar parabolic trough collector hot water generation system will be an appropriate solution for this application. Based on the available annual solar radiation, estimates of the solar fraction, solar energy unit price and system pay-back period have been carried out. The proposed system has the potential to save 1055.9 ton/year of fuel oil. The unit cost of PTC solar energy is estimated to be 0.0088 $/kWh and the payback period of the plant is five years. Since the unit price of oil energy (0.0424 $/kWh) is much greater than the unit price of solar energy by a substantial margin (0.033 $/kWh) in Ethiopia, therefore the water heating system by a solar parabolic trough collector is a feasible alternative to heating by a conventional oil boiler.

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