Design and optimization of solar water heating system for a five star hotel in Varanasi

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1 Design and optimization of solar water heating system for a five star hotel in Varanasi Mahesh Vipradas & Amit Kumar Tata Energy Research Institute, Darbari Seth Block, Habitat Place, Lodhi Road, New Delhi Fax: / , Abstract A solar water heating system has been designed for a five star hotel using f-chart method, based on some assumed collector parameters. These assumptions are applicable for the range of flat plate collectors available in India. After estimating the fraction f of total heating load (for heating the makeup water) supplied by the solar thermal system annually, payback periods were worked out for different collector areas. The optimization of the solar system size is carried out by calculating the levelized cost of heating of makeup water. It was observed that apart from technical factors, one of the factors affecting payback period was the discount rate. Thus, the optimization has been carried out for three different discount rates so as to arrive at an acceptable system size. Upon comparing these results with those computed with presently used method, it has been observed that f-chart method of system sizing offers a scope of substantial cost reduction. 1. Introduction The complete designing of solar water heating system includes system design, system optimization and integration with existing heating system. Different methods have been developed for designing the solar systems, ranging from detailed simulation, simple designing methods like f-chart, to rule of thumb. At present in India, system designs are mainly based on thumb rules. Also, they are designed for the winter conditions. The detailed simulation methods require accurate information about ambient conditions and are complex for small manufacturers. In the present work f- chart method is used for designing of solar water heating system (1). This method is chosen for its simplicity and ability to estimate the fraction of total heating load supplied by solar heating system. For optimum sizing, CRF method is used to estimate the levelized cost of heating makeup water. Here, a typical situation, requiring integration of solar system with boiler and closed loop pressurized distribution of hot water, is considered. Thus, complete designing, optimization and integration approach is developed for the utilization of solar water heating system in large hotels as well as for similar industrial applications. 2. Solar water heating system The existing system in the hotel, meeting hot water demand, includes diesel-based boiler and hot water storage tanks with closed loop pressurized distribution system. The total water-heating load can be divided into (i) makeup water heating from ambient temperature to 60 o C and (ii) heat loss due to continuous circulation of hot water in the distribution circuit. The actual amount of hot water consumed is equal to the amount of makeup water added in the system. The average makeup water

2 requirement is about 40,000 liters per day. The solar water heating system is designed to meet this load of makeup water heating. The efficiency of the existing boiler, with high-speed diesel as fuel, is 64%. The collector parameters considered for system designing (applicable for the range of flat plate collectors available in India) are: F R U L = 4.2 W/m 2 A C = 2 m 2 F R (τα)= 0.7 The collector orientation is assumed to be south facing with a tilt angle of 40 o. The radiation values and ambient conditions for Varanasi are used for designing (2) 2.1 System designing The solar water heating system is designed to heat liters of water/day, the makeup water-heating load. The f-chart method is used for estimating performance of the solar water heating system. This method estimates the fraction of load supplied by the solar water heating system as a function of collector parameters, load, as well as the radiation (3) as given below: f = 1.02 Y X 0.25 Y X Y 3 X = A C F R U L (T ref Ta) t s / L Y= A C F R (τ α) H T N / L The yearly average value of f - the fraction of makeup water heating load supplied by solar water heating system- is estimated from the monthly load L and monthly fraction f estimated from abovementioned equations. Annual value of f is estimated for various absorber areas ranging from 600 m 2 to 800 m 2. These values of fraction of makeup water heating load supplied by solar water heating system are further used to optimize the system size. 2.2 System size optimization The parameter used for optimizing the system size is the cost of heating makeup water from ambient temperature to 60 o C. Capital Recovery Factor (CRF) method is used to estimate the levelized cost of makeup water heating. Out of the total makeup waterheating load L, the fraction 1-f is supplied by boiler. The cost of this boiler fuel is included in the estimation, in addition to the operating cost of the solar water heating system. Thus, Annual cost = annualized capital cost + boiler fuel cost + O&M cost + running cost From this annual cost of heating makeup water, the levelized cost is estimated. The O&M cost is taken as 2% of capital cost, while running cost is the cost of pumping in solar water heating system. The accelerated depreciation in the first year is also considered.the optimization was carried out at different discount rates, varying from

3 12% to 18%. The values of optimum collector areas at different discount rates, with the levelized costs, are given below: Table 1 Discount rate 12% 14% 16% 18% Optimized area (m 2 ) Capital cost (Rs in lakh) Annualized cost (Rs in lakh) Boiler fuel cost (Rs in lakh) O&M + operating cost (Rs in lakh) f Levelized cost of makeup water heating (paise/lit) 2.3 System Integration The existing system for water heating includes boiler, hot water storage tanks and a pressurized closed loop distribution system, as shown in figure 1. The pressure on the distribution side is maintained by operating the booster pump continuously. Also, when the temperature in the storage tanks depose below 55 o C, the boiler is fired to maintain the temperature and makeup water is added whenever the water level in the tank drops below a certain level. Thus the pressure and temperature in the distribution network is always maintained. Solar water heating system thus can only be used to provide the pre-heated makeup water. Any other arrangement of introducing hot water into the pressurized closed loop distribution system will require complicated controlling mechanism for maintaining pressure and temperature in the hot water distribution circuit.

4 f 3. Inferences and discussion The variation in the value of f with absorber area is shown in figure 2. At higher absorber area the relative increment in f decreases with increase in the area. It was also observed that the simple payback period varies linearly with absorber area, between 2.8 to 3.2 years. System optimization using these parameters is not possible. Thus, for optimization of system size, levelized cost of heating makeup water is used. It was found that apart from the collector parameters, the optimum size strongly depends upon the discount rate considered. Variation in the levelized cost with absorber area from 300 m 2 to 800 m 2 and at discount rates varying from 12 % to 18% is shown in figure levelized cost paise / lit Absorber area sq. m Fig. 2. Fig 3 The maximum optimum system size is found to be 314 m 2 of absorber area at 12% discount rate. The optimum system size reduces as the discount rate is increased. In this fashion, based on the applicable discount rate, the optimum size of the solar water heating system can be obtained. The system size estimation done by the conventional methods, the absorber area works out to be m 2. These systems are designed on the basis of ambient conditions in the winter months. The monthly variation in makeup water heating load and output at different absorber areas is shown in figure 4. It is evident that the system with 700 m 2 absorber area is over designed except for four monsoon months and two extreme winter months. The monthly outputs for 628 m 2 and 516 m 2 absorber area are also shown for comparison Absorber area sq. m 12% 14% 16% 18% MJ JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Month 314 collectors Load 258 collectors 360 collectors

5 4. Conclusions The system designed with f-chart method and optimized at minimum discount rate of 12%, requires 15% less absorber area than that obtained from present designing methods. In the f-chart method, the acceptable discount rate and the matching of load profile with the solar water heating system output forms the basis of system size selection. Nomenclature A C - Absorber area (m 2 ) F R - Collector heat removal factor f - Fraction of load supplied by solar heating system H T - Monthly average daily radiation incident on absorber ( J/m 2 ) L - Makeup water heating load (J) N - days in month Ta - monthly average ambient temperature T ref - empirically derived reference temperature (100 o C) t s - number of seconds in month U L - Collector overall heat loss coefficient (W/m 2 o C) τα - transmittane absorptance product References 1. S. A. Klein, W. A. Beckman and J. A. Duffie, A Design Procedure For Solar Heating Systems, Solar energy 18, ,(1976) 2. Anna Mani and Rangarajan, Solar Radiation Over India, 3. J. A. Duffie and W.A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes ( II Ed.), Wiely Intersciences, New York

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