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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04

Solar Dish Stirling System and its Economic Prospect in Bangladesh

Khalid Yousuf Khan, Nahian Al Subri Ivan, Ansari Saeed Ahmed, Abdul Hasib Siddique, Dhrupad Debnath
Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, American International University Bangladesh Kamal Attaturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Abstract This paper presents the design aspect of solar dish starling engine and the prospect of this type of power generation unit in Bangladesh. .In addition, in this paper the variable prospect of solar dish starling engine has been studied. Bangladesh, being a developing country with perpetual shortage of electricity and facing numerous hardships towards generating it, is constantly in search of an alternative source of energy, in which case, Renewable Energy has gained quite a reputation for. Harnessing electricity from solar energy looks more viable among other types of renewable energy in Bangladesh. The solar dish stirling engine technology is new and specially designed to use the solar ray to convert it to usable electricity. The economic aspect also gives this type of engine a great advantage over the existing SHS (Solar Home System). This paper explains working principle, grid connectivity and economic viability of Stirling engine system incorporated with effective design of solar tracking system to enhance the efficiency. Keywords Stirling engine, Grid Connectivity, Modeling, Over Voltage Protection, VAR compensators, NRE, Market Potential

achieved from this engine at present [1]. The Stirling engine has a smaller emission as the system is fully based on green energy. The maintenance is low and it is a reliable system [2]. II. STIRLING CYCLE The working principle of the Stirling engine and P-V diagram of Stirling cycle are shown in following Fig. 1. The Stirling cycle consists of 4 thermodynamic processes; Isovolumetric heating process described by stages 1-2 in P-V Diagram, Isothermal expansion process by 2-3, Iso-volumetric cooling process by 3-4, and Isothermal compression process by 4-1 [3].

I. INTRODUCTION This With rapid depletion of conventional fuel energy resource in the face of ever increasing energy demand, desperate efforts are being made to look for economic alternative energy throughout the world. Technology for electricity generation from solar and wind power has already been in wide application in many countries .In recent days there has been a significant improvement in the efficiency and cost effectiveness in the technology of harnessing electric energy from wind and solar power. An Auto-Rotating Stirling engine system is a new and economically viable solution to extract electric energy from solar power without producing any detrimental effect on environment. The efficiency of the engine is improved when maximum solar power tracking device is incorporated in it. Stirling engine is a closed cycle engine. It contains a fixed mass of working fluid which is commonly air, hydrogen or helium. In normal operation the engine is sealed and no gas enters of leaves the engine. No valves are required unlike other types of piston engines. However a small amount of lubrication is needed as the working fluid is helium or hydrogen. The solar power is used to heat the working fluid in this engine. 25% overall efficiency as well as 98% thermal efficiency has been

Fig. 1 Cycle of stirling engine

1-2 is Iso-volumetric heating process where the piston stays on top. The pressure of working gas in cylinder is increased by heating. 2-3 is Isothermal expansion process where the working gas expands keeping its temperature constant and the engine does the work. 3-4 is Iso-volumetric cooling process where the piston stays at the bottom. The pressure of working gas in cylinder is decreased by cooling. 4-1 is Isothermal compression process where the working gas is compressed keeping its temperature constant. The heat wasted in the Isovolumetric cooling process 3-4 is equal to the supplied heat in the Iso-volumetric heating process. Now, by adopting regenerator, the heat wasted in the Iso-volumetric cooling process is used in the Iso-volumetric heating process and thus the cycle's thermal efficiency follows: ...(1) Where Th is higher temperature and Tc is lower temperature. This efficiency equals to the efficiency of Carnot cycle, therefore Stirling cycle has the highest efficiency.

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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04 III. CONSTRUCTION OF STIRLING ENGINE Stirling Engine outputs the work by repeating 4 thermal processes which are isothermal heating, isovolumetric expansion, isothermal cooling and isovolumetric compression. But, only one piston cannot make this motion. Practical Stirling engine has to displace volumes, one of which is kept at high temperature and next is kept at low. Above 4 processes are accomplished by the working gas of engine that is reciprocated between these two volumes. And practical engine adds three elements of heat exchangers which are Heater, Cooler and Regenerator, for exchanging heat more effectively [4].

pistons are located in a straight line. By this construction design, the compression ratio of the engine is higher than conventional gamma type low temperature difference engines and friction losses are also reduced significantly [5].

Fig. 1 The schematic view of 1kW class low temperature difference Stirling Engine

Fig. 2 The model of practical stirling engine

In E-H Expansion Space, the working gas is heated up by the Heater and flows into this space. This space is displaced by the power piston in 2 piston type Stirling Engine or by the displacer piston in displacer type Stirling engine. The H-R Heater heats up the working gas. R-K Regenerator receives the heat from the working gas while the gas is flowing from high temperature end to low temperature end, or gives charged heat to the gas while the gas is flowing from low temperature end to high temperature end. Stirling Engine's high thermal efficiency is obtained by this action, and then the performance of this element affects the engine performance significantly. K-C Cooler cools down the working gas. In C Compression space, the working gas is cooled by the Cooler and flows into this space. This space is displaced by the power piston in 2 piston type Stirling Engine, or by the displacer piston in displacer type Stirling engine. To summarize, the Stirling engine uses the temperature difference between its hot end and cold end to establish a cycle of a fixed mass of gas, heated and expanded, and cooled and compressed, thus converting thermal energy into mechanical energy. The greater the temperature differences between the hot and cold sources, the higher the thermal efficiency. The maximum theoretical efficiency is equivalent to the Carnot cycle; however the efficiency of real engines is less than this value due to friction and other losses. IV. DESCRIPTION OF 1KW DISH TYPE STIRLING ENGINE This 1KW class low temperature difference Stirling engine adopts unique Alpha Type construction originated by suction, and succeeds in reducing friction losses and dead spaces. Generation of 740W of output power has been accomplished by this engine. A. High Compression Ratio and Low Friction Losses The In this engine, Fig. 3, Alpha type construction is adopted, and expansion side and compression side power

B. High Performance Plate Fin and Tube Type Heat Exchanger Suctions high performance plate fin and tube type heat exchangers are used for the heater and the cooler of the engine, and conventional laminated wire net type is used in the regenerator. This wire net is made of Brass [5]. C. X Yoke Mechanism; The Unique Driver Mechanism Both expansion and compression side power pistons are driven by unique mechanism, called X yoke Mechanism. This mechanism consists of two yokes. Each yoke has two liner bearings, one of which is located for vertical direction and other one is located for a certain angle of inclination. These two yokes are combined with facing each other. With rotation of crank, the sliders located on inclined linear bearings reciprocate along these bearings, and the yokes themselves work with linear motion for vertical direction that follows phase angle of this formula. 1800-(the angle of inclination of slanting bearing)*2 (2) In this engine, slanting angle is set at 150. Therefore phase angle of both pistons become 1500. By adopting this mechanism, engine's driving mechanism and engine itself becomes more compact, and helps to reduce mechanical friction losses which depend on side thrust of piston rings. D. High Power Operation by Pressurized Buffer Space Engine's body is the applied structure of pressure vessels. Therefore the engine can operate under higher buffer pressure than conventional low temperature difference engines shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6. As a result, engine performance increases significantly [5]. V. HELIOSTAT DEVICE The designed solar tracker device has two identical parts: Control Unit and Operational unit. An embedded system has been introduced to run the system successfully. Solid state relays have been used to bridge the electronic and mechanical part of the tracker device.

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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04 A. Basic System Principle The circuit has been designed in such a way that it takes two inputs and controls the tracker. Basically the circuit creates two instructions for the mechanical part. One is given by the operator once and the other comes from the light direction finding tube. B. Control Unit The heart of the electronic control unit is a PIC 16F84A microcontroller. There are three types of PIC 16F84A, these are PDIP, SOIP and SSOP. In Bangladesh PDIP is more available than the other two types, thus in this circuit PDIP has been used. It has three key features that satisfy the objective: 8 bit multi channel analog to digital converter 13 input/output pins 64 bytes of data EEPROM memory

Fig. 6 Comparison with the previous image for showing the consistency of the engine output

To control the motor, an additional circuit shown in Fig. 7 has been developed which consists of four 2N2222 model transistors, four 1N4148 diodes and two 10 k ohms resistors. A CN9103 NPN transistor has been used for tracker circuit as it is capable of handling up to 500mA of current.
Fig. 4 PIC16F84A pin configuration

Fig. 5 Output (wattage) and pressure volume curve of the used Stirling Engine

Fig. 7 H-Bridge motor control

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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04 C. Operational Unit It has several individual parts operating on the basis of the instructions provided by the control unit. Motor 1 is working for the elevation operation where supply voltage is 24V DC and maximum elevation range is 900. Motor 2 is working for the azimuth angle operation where supply voltage is 24V DC and maximum Azimuth angle rang is 3600. Light detection or calibration tube allows the easy and comfortable finding of the direction or position with the maximum light. It consists of two light dependent resistors (LDR). The PIC detects and obtains data from the two LDRs and then compares their resistance. The program is designed in such a way that the control unit places the dish in a position where both the LDRs resistance is equal. Multipurpose mechanical connector has to be positioned in between the items and the rotor head. The total system needs 20 Watt of power. D. Software For The Controlling The Heliostat Device And Total Control Circuit\


The detail circuit diagram of the whole solar tracking system is as shown in Fig. 9.

Fig. 9 Solar tracker control circuit

Analog inputs for the operation of the circuit (example): a. Turn azimuth motor on 134.560: AZ = 134.56 b. Elevation position change by 500: EL = 50 c. Using the instruction word Focus automatic starts on focusing run. The flow chart of Fig. 8 is used in WinPIC 800 software to run the solar tracker control circuit of Fig. 9 where the azimuth angle and elevation position is given by the user. VI. GRID CONNECTIVITY As solar dish stirling system has inherently high overall system efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity, so the next target is to improve this system for supplying electricity to the grid. To supply significant amount of power to grid, it is necessary to design a system of interconnected Stirling engines. To connect this system to the power grid, the factors that need to be considered are power factor correction, over voltage protection, low voltage ride-through and associated voltage recovery process [6].

Fig. 8 Detailed software design flowchart

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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04 A. Power Factor Correction Solar dish stirling system needs to provide a power factor correction capability and allow a range of 0.95 lagging to 0.95 leading for safety and reliability. The correction can either be continuously variable or switched in discrete steps that are not allowed to change voltage levels by more than one percent per step. The reactive power that is needed for the solar power plant can be obtained by using generator or by using capacitors. B. Generator The Generator can normally produce reactive power but it has high initial cost. Synchronous generator or DC generator can be used but it needs some redesigning. As a result, induction generator is used. If synchronous condenser with voltage regulator is used then it can absorb reactive power (under excited) at low load and generate reactive power (over excited condition) at high load automatically and thus improve power factor. Based on the Power Factor Correction (PFC) requirement, Table 1 shows the calculated reactive power data required for a single 25KW induction generator with the variation of load from 1 KW to 25 KW.
TABLE I Reactive Power Calculation for a 25KW Induction Generator


So, adjustable part for a reactive power of a 100 MW plant will be 66 MVAR. MVAR 66 =(4000 KVAR x 9.5) MVAR 104 (2) For intermediate voltage levels, mechanically switched capacitors (MSC) can be used for power factor improvement as they are economically viable and can improve power factors in discrete steps. For using MSC, the lifespan of the mechanical switch and frequency of switching (as solar power plant provides varying output power throughout the day) has to be considered. Sometimes MSC devices produce switching inrush current and associated over voltage on capacitors which could shorten the life of capacitors. MSC has a slow response time which cannot give over voltage protection and regulation during transient or system recovery periods. To solve these problems Thyristor switched capacitors could be used. It can provide fast and smooth response without limits on number and frequency of switching. C. Self Excitation Over Voltage Rating When the induction machines are unexpectedly isolated from the grid with more capacitive current available than its no-load exciting current, the self excitation could occur. In this system capacitive current is generated from PFC capacitors, capacitance from connecting transmission lines and collection system cables. When the equivalent circuit has enough capacitance in parallel with the generator inductance creating undesired over voltages, the resonance condition is met. Over voltage greater than 10 times the rated voltage can occur as a result of self excitation conditions. If this fault is not cleared immediately then saturation of the transformer could happen which will create destructive ferroresonanse, insulator flashover or lightning arrestor failure/ explosion. By using high valued capacitance of induction generator, self excitation is unavoidable in this system. To solve this problem, fault has to be detected as early as possible and generator has to be switched off from the grid. As a result of isolating the generator from the grid, the rotor speed of the generator could become very high. To solve this, a gas management valve could be used to short circuit the high and low pressure side of the stirling engine, which will reduce the mechanical output and hence the generator power to almost zero in a very short time. D. Low Voltage Ride Through (LVRT) Capability The FERC order states that a plant shall be able to remain online during voltage disturbances up to the time periods and associated voltage levels set forth in the standard if the transmission providers system impact study shows that the LVRT capability is required to ensure safety and reliability. The generator plant must have LVRT capability down to 15% of the rated line voltage for up to 0.625 seconds. To meet this requirement, the over speed must be prevented at the low output voltage for the generators. The previously discussed short circuit valve could be used to solve this problem. The


Rated PF

1.000 2.900 5.800 10.600 15.900 22.400 25.000

0.380 0.429 0.448 0.646 0.739 0.804 0.815

Lagging KVAR without PFC 2.430 6.090 11.570 12.530 14.500 16.570 17.780

KVAR required for 0.95 leading 2.750 7.040 13.480 16.010 19.730 23.930 25.990

KVAR required for 0.95 lagging 2.430 5.140 9.660 9.050 9.270 9.210 9.560

Now as it is used for grid connection, a small unit of Stirling engine system is considered that can generate at least 25 kW. From analysis it is seen that the output power ranging from 1 kW to 25 kW requires providing reactive power ranging from 2.43 kVAR to 25.99 kVAR per dish. So for providing 25.99 kVAR for a 100MW (4000 dishes) power plant requires a reactive power of 104 MVAR. Thus the capacitors have to provide a large amount of reactive power. But before using capacitors, the capacitance of the line and the reactive power loss at the transformers of two different voltage levels have to reach compensation level of 0.70 lagging to 0.95 lagging. A 0.95 kVAR fixed capacitor can be connected in parallel with a 25 kW induction generator which will provide adequate reactive power at all power levels.

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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04 procedures described above can be used to connect the solar dish stirling system with the grid.


2. Thus the average production cost of 1kw-hr of electricity is 5.5TK [7]. Considering 8 hour of sunshine in a day throughout the year, a comparison is done finding the payback period VII. COMAPRISON BETWEEN STIRLING ENGINE AND time for both the systems. The average cost of production for EXISTING SOLAR HOME SYSTEMS DESCO for producing 1 KW power in a 8 hour working day The proposed design and the existing solar home system is Tk 16060 if per unit cost is TK 5.5. Therefore payback are compared on the basis of NRE (Non-Recurring period for the existing solar home system is 31.13 years and Engineering) cost, payback period, per unit cost and efficiency. that of Stirling engine system is only 7 years. By considering efficiency of 10.53% for existing solar Price of the solar home system components comprises its NRE cost. Different distributors sell all these equipments in a home system [7] and 25.75% for stirling engine system [2], a package along with the charge of installation. Field studies proportionate data have been generated for comparative have revealed the price of the 1 KW solar home system in performance analysis between the solar home system and the solar dish stirling engine system. The generated data is plotted Bangladesh as Tk 5 Lakhs [7]. Stirling engine system is much cost efficient. This system as shown in Fig. 10. becomes more efficient when the produced power is higher [8]. The following table shows the NRE cost of the proposed (1 KW) system [9].
TABLE II Cost of Solar Dish Stirling Engine System

Components Concentrators Receiver Hybrid Engine Generator Cooling System Electrical Balance of Plant General Facilities Engineering Fee Total System Cost

Price (Tk) 35000 6300 22750 7000 2800 2100 19250 8750 10430 114380
Fig. 10 Comparison between solar dish stirling engine system and existing pv/solar home system

Solar home system sold in Bangladesh has an average life expectancy of 30 years [7]. This system produces 1kw-h of electrical energy for 8 hour (Average Sunshine Hour) a day [10]. Thus the average electrical energy produced through its entire life time is 87600 KW-hr. The maintenance cost is very low and normally carried by the seller. So this cost can be excluded. Thus the per unit cost of Solar Home System is approximately 5.70 Tk per KW-hr. The expected life of a Stirling engine system is 60000 hour. With 8 hour of average sunshine this is equal to 20.5 years. The average electrical energy produced through the entire life time of a Stirling engine system is 59860 KW-hr All the maintenance that a Stirling engine system requires is the cleaning of the concentrators with water. This can be done free from occasional rainfall, so the maintenance cost can be ignored. As the total system cost is Tk 114380, therefore per unit cost for the Stirling engine system is Tk 2.0 per KW-hr. DESCO charges its consumers Tk 3.5 for consumption of 1kh-hr of electricity. But the government pays a subsidy of Tk

Fig. 10 shows the variation of output energy with the variation of input energy. It is clearly seen that a solar dish stirling has superior performance compared to a solar home system. The above discussion makes it clear that a Stirling engine system is much cost efficient. Per unit cost of the Stirling engine system is almost half of the solar home system. The payback period of a solar home system stretches up to 2/3 of its total life time. On the other hand, a Stirling engine system has a payback period almost 1/3 of its entire life time. Lastly, the efficiency curve shows the superiority of Stirling engine system with a maximum efficiency of 25.75%. These proofs are sufficient to show that for a country like Bangladesh with poor economical situation, Stirling engine system is much attractive compared to solar home system. VIII. MARKET POTENTIALITY IN BANGLADESH Bangladesh is facing acute electricity crisis for several reasons. Some of them are due to lack of natural gas, old machinery at the power plant, distribution system with high system loss. The total demand is 5200MW where the

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International Journal of Electrical & Computer Sciences IJECS-IJENS Vol: 11 No: 04 maximum generation is 4000MW [12]. This results in a development of interest towards the alternative energy. Average wind speed in Bangladesh is less than 4m/s [13] (Minimum required for utility level generation is 6m/s) [14], so wind energy is out of the question. Natural head for hydroelectricity is also not sufficient. The only solution is solar energy. But solar home system is beyond the reach of commoners as showed in the previous section. Only a small portion of the population can afford this expensive solar home system. In this situation the proposed system gives an economical solution. Through this system middle class citizens of our country can be attracted. A whole village can be covered by a single dish due to their low consumption with respect to the urban citizens. If this system is manufactured in large scale, it costs 1/3 NRE compared to solar home system. IX. FUTURE IMPLEMENTATIONS Auto-rotating solar dish-stirling engine provides the developing country a hope for an uninterrupted energy supply. The concentrator used in the system under discussion is a compound parabolic reflector. This can achieve 60-300C which is very much convenient in this region. Moreover, if a two-axis auto-rotating is installed, then about 1500C can be maintained [15]. Furthermore, this system can be used in combination with the existing natural gas, steam or fossil fuel power plant. Parabolic solar collector can be used to focus sunlight onto a receiver pipe through which synthetic oil can be preheated. The collector can also be used to generate steam. The stirling engine can also be used in areas where the wasted gases are given off as the engine requires heat to run. This system working in combination with the conventional system provides promising returns [15]. This solar system can be used in the day time as well as at night. This can be possible by storing heat in an insulated storage container which contains molten salt. So even at nighttime, this system is not completely useless. Utilization of the system seems complicated and expensive but the implementation cost is applied only once. As the system relies on renewable everlasting energy that is the sun, it proves that it is cost effective [15]. IV. CONCLUSION The application of the auto-rotating solar dish-stirling system shows a promising future for the generation of electricity. The system is very advantageous on the basis of energy resources, excellent performance in the generation of electricity, life-cycle cost and almost negligible impact on the environment. The only drawback of this system is the initial cost but potential investor is awaiting for a full demonstration of the system reliability. This system is proposed to promote our living standard and revolutionized the current system. This system is not a necessity, but a novelty. ACKNOWLEDGMENT This research work is supported by Abdul Hasib Siddiqui, Drupad Debnath, Lecturer, Department of Electrical &


Electronic Engineering, American International University Bangladesh. This publication would not be possible without the guidance and undivided attention from Dr. Abdur Rahim Mollah, Professor, Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, American International University Bangladesh. REFERENCES
[1] Gaun A. and Schmautzer E., Biomass-Fuelled Stirling Micro Combined Heat and Power Plants, International Conference on Clean Electrical Power, 2007, pp. 429-432. Technische Dokumentation SOLO STIRLING 161 Planungsunterlagen, Hydraulik; Version 1.9 fr PlanerSOLO STIRLING GmbH; July 2003 W. R. Martini (1983). Stirling Engine Design Pannel (2nd edition) URL: .pdf. pp. 25-29 Mark L. Shelton (1994). The Next Great Thing: The Sun, the Stirling Engine, and the Drive to Change the World Published by W W Norton & Co., ISBN: 0393036197. pp. 179-185. James Senft (1996). An Introduction to Low Temperature Differential Stirling Engines; Moriya Press; ISBN: 0965245519. pp. 56-59. ixin Zhang; Osborn, B. Solar Dish-Stirling Power Plants and Related Grid Interconnection Issues Power Engineering Society General Meeting, 2007. IEEE Publication Year: 2007 , pp. 1 5. Information Collected from Rahim Afrooz Sales Center Uttara. Bancha Kongtragool, Somchai Wongwises (2006). Performance of low-temperature differential Stirling engines, Fluid Mechanics, Thermal Engineering and Multiphase Flow Research Lab. (FUTURE), Department of Mechanical Engineering, King Mongkuts University of Technology Thonburi, Bangmod, Bangkok 10140, Thailand, pp-555557, fig-4-7. Mazharul Islam (2002). Assessment of Renewable Energy Resources Of Bangladesh Electronic Book, ch-2,pp-13,table2.2. MAIER Christoph, GIL Arnaud, AGUILERA Rafael, SHUANG Li, YU Xue (2007). STIRLING ENGINE, UNIVERSITY OF GVLE, pp-26,fig-26. toSay&article=1729 Mohammad Golam Kibria Khan, Talha Rahman and M.M. Alam (2004).WIND ENERGY IN BANGLADESH: PROSPECTS AND UTILIZATION INITIATIVES, 3rd International Conference on Electrical & Computer Engineering, ICECE 2004, 28-30 December 2004, Dhaka, Bangladesh, pp-475, table-2. Soteris A. Kalogirou, Solar Energy Engineering Processes and Systems, Elsevier Inc, ch-3,10, pp-122,525,523.




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Khalid Yousuf Khan received his B.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in December 2010 from American International UniversityBangladesh (AIUB). He has been working as a lecturer in the program of EEE under the department of computer science and technology in Atish Dipakar Univeristy of Science & Technology since March 2011. His research interests are Renewable Energy, Fuzzy Logic Controllers, Switchgear and Protective Relay etc. Ivan Md. Nahian-Al-Subri received his B.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in August 2010 from American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB). He has been working as a lecturer in the faculty of Engineering, AIUB since September 2010. His research interests are Alternative Energy, Power Transmission & Distribution and etc. Ansari Saeed Ahmed received his B.Sc. degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in August 2010 from American International UniversityBangladesh (AIUB). His research interests are Renewable Energy, Power Transmission & Distribution and etc.

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