Thermodynamic potential of a high-concentration hybrid photovoltaic/thermal plant for co-production of steam and electricity


A thermodynamic model was developed to assess the energetic performance of a dual receiver concentrated photovoltaic/thermal plant for the co-production of steam, electricity and hot water/air. The system utilizes a dual receiver including a steam generator based on a solar receiver and a concentrated PV/thermal receiver. The system is regulated so that a fraction (φ) of the thermal energy absorbed by the solar field is partitioned for the steam generator, while the rest is dedicated to the CPV/T unit. The results showed that the thermal performance of the system strongly depends on the φ value such that the system can simultaneously produce electricity and steam, while warm air and water can also be produced by cooling the CPV/T unit. Also, the thermal performance of the coolant is a key element to the system, which highlights the potential of nano-suspensions as a coolant in the system. Likewise, the assessment of the process plant was performed at field area of 2500–10,000 m2, the solar concentration ratio of 50–200 and the CPV/T coolant’s outlet temperature of 323–353 K. It was found that the highest values of thermal losses can be ~ 2% of the total thermal input of the plant. Also, a trade-off trend was identified between the φ value, steam and electricity production. It was also found that at a solar concentration ratio of 2000, the system is competitive to produce steam to be fed into a multi-flash desalination system. The energetic performance of the system revealed that at φ = 0.75, about 48% of the energy is partitioned for the hot water and hot air production for the agricultural application, while 24% is used for the electricity and 26% is used for the steam production.

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The authors appreciate the Deanship of Scientific Research at Majmaah University under project number (No. RGP-2019-17).

Author information




MMS and MA took part in conceptualization; MMS, IT and TAA used the methodology; MMS and MA handled the software; MMS and MG wrote and prepared the original draft; IT, TAA, MG and MA wrote, reviewed and edited the manuscript; and MA supervised the study.

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Correspondence to Marjan Goodarzi.

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Sarafraz, M.M., Goodarzi, M., Tlili, I. et al. Thermodynamic potential of a high-concentration hybrid photovoltaic/thermal plant for co-production of steam and electricity. J Therm Anal Calorim (2020).

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  • Concentrated photovoltaic
  • Nano-suspension, hybrid thermal systems, electricity production
  • Solar steam production
  • Dual hybrid receiver