In this study, an energy and economic analysis of a novel hybrid system based on a biomass/solar system equipped with a multi-effect desalination unit is carried out. Part of the steam was directed into a heat exchanger to supply the required energy for the multi-effect desalination unit. The capacity of the system was 100 MWe. The proposed system is compared with a photovoltaic power plant, a solar dish/Stirling power plant, a biomass power plant, and a linear Fresnel Reflector solar power plant. The results demonstrate that a solar thermal collector can be considered a promising solution to prevail the problem of the increasing boiler temperature. It reduces the amount of fuel consumption throughout the year, resulting in reducing the levelized cost of energy. Increasing the solar irradiance augments the energy efficiency gains of a hybrid system. The comparison of the power plants showed that the proposed hybrid system had the minimum levelized cost of energy by 7.865 cents of dollar/kWh but has only slightly higher capital investment cost. Additionally, of the solar power plants studied, a photovoltaic system is more efficient for the study region, Natal-RN Brazil, by a levelized cost of energy of 10.45 cents of dollar/kWh.

Energy, vol. 234

A. Khosravi, A. Santasalo-Aarnio, S. Syri

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