Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.E.E.

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Elias Stefanakos, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Wilfrido Moreno, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yogi Goswami, Ph.D.

Keywords

PLC, Power Block, Solar Energy, Solar Radiation, Sun Tracking, Temperature Sensors

Abstract

The majority of the power generated today is produced using fossil fuels,emitting carbon dioxide and other pollutants every second. Also, fossil fuels will eventually run out. For the increasing worldwide energy demand, the use f reliable and environmentally beneficial natural energy sources is one of the biggest challenges. Alongside wind and water, the solar energy which is clean, CO2-neutral and limitless, is our most valuable resource.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is becoming one of the excellent alternative sources for the power industry. The successful implementation of this technology requires the efficient design of tracking and operation system of the CSP solar plants. A detailed analysis of components needed for the design of cost-effective and optimum tracker for CSP solar systems is required for the power plant modeling, which is the primary subject of this thesis. A comprehensive tracking and operating system of a parabolic trough solar power plant was developed focusing primarily on obtaining optimum and cost effective design through the simplified methodology of this work. This new model was implemented for a 50 kWe parabolic trough solar power plant at University of South Florida, Tampa.

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