Solar Concentrator for Industrial Thermal Application-Indian Scenario

V.R. Sardeshpande and I.R. Pillai (India)


Solar concentrators, industrial thermal application, and medium temperature


One of the target applications of solar energy is reduction in fossil fuel utilization for thermal heating. Medium temperature thermal applications are typically in the range of 80 – 250 °C, which can be met by using solar concentrators. In India with favourable incoming solar radiation, the use of solar concentrators for thermal applications can be a viable option and should be addressed along with power generation. This paper presents the characteristics and economics of the two solar concentrators in the Indian market, Scheffler and ARUN. The economics in the form of payback period is used to estimate the penetration potential of the two concentrators in the medium temperature industrial market. The factors considered for the economic evaluation are the solar system characteristics, sunshine hours, and conventional fuel replaced. The fraction of potential users for the target temperature of 150 °C is estimated as 19% for Scheffler concentrators and 4% for ARUN. With the present Indian government policies of capital subsidy and accelerated depreciation this fraction becomes 57% in case of Scheffler and 24% in case of ARUN. This reflects the need for government support for penetration of solar concentrators or development of a new low cost solar concentrator.

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