Key Messages

• Modeling was performed for solar thermal-biomass hybridization for power generation.
• Increment in capacity reduces the solar collector area per MW to 5,000 m2 (20 MW).
• Annual biomass requirement per MW reduced to 1600 tonnes at 20 MW scale.
• Hybrid mode of operation increases the plant capacity utilization from 23% to 47%.
• Cost of electricity by the hybrid plant is INR 6/kWh for plant capacities >5 MW.

Stand-alone renewable energy plants are usually unable to generate stable electrical power because of resource intermittency. Consequently, grid operators find it difficult to plan power supply. Employing electrical storage, thermal energy storage, and hybridization in stand-alone plants could provide some solutions. However, electrical and thermal storage have limitations at megawatt scales with major ones being not cost-effective and the increased solar field. Hybridization of multiple sources of renewable energy is a promising way to address intermittency issues.

 

*S. Dasappa, Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India, is the third author of this article.

Modeling and analysis of solar thermal and biomass hybrid power plants