Solar-thermal power generation
The most basic thermodynamic aspects of the operation of a power plant driven by a solar collector are illustrated by considering the collector model shown in Figure 9.1 (Bejan et al., 1981). The collector has a cross-sectional areaAc that receives solar radiation at the rate Q* from the sun. The net solar heat transfer Q* is proportional to the collector cross-section Ac, the proportionality factor being q* [W/m2], which varies with geographical position on the earth, the orientation of the collector, meteorological conditions, and the time of day. In the present analysis it is assumed that q* is a constant and that the system is in steady state. This constraint is relaxed in Section 9.7.