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A Decision Aiding Framework for Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Technologies Assessment in Developing Countries

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A Decision Aiding Framework for Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Technologies Assessment in Developing Countries

Kassem, Abdulrahman Ibrahim (2017) A Decision Aiding Framework for Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Technologies Assessment in Developing Countries. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The diversification of electricity generation is necessary for sustainable development. The planning for renewable energy sources (RESs) integration is an essential goal set by many developing countries. Enormous investments are allocated accordingly to renewable energy projects, including solar power utilities. Concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) technologies are advancing and are expected to play a significant role in energy portfolios in the future. CSP planning is a complex process owing to the involvement of various contradicting factors and players. This thesis proposes a structured aiding framework to assess utility-scale CSP alternatives to support national grids in developing countries. It is common in many fast growing developing countries that the power plants are owned by the state, which enlarges the scope of electric power projects beyond the technical and economic drivers to include environmental, social, and political aspects, which accordingly increases the planning process complexity.
The developed methodology consists of three main phases. The first phase is concerned with formulating a value tree for CSP technologies evaluation. This phase is intended to explicitly capture a generic evaluation criteria through a rigorous process of expert deliberation and consensus-seeking. Expert elicitation is conducted through the Delphi method, with a total of 140 experts participating from multidisciplinary solar thermal power fields from 32 countries. Based on participants’ judgments, as expressed during two rounds of Delphi questionnaires, parameters with importance and consensus degrees > 50% are incorporated to construct the final value tree. The recommendations of this phase set a foundation for stakeholders’ assessment of regional CSP utilities planning in developing countries.
The second phase considers analyzing, defining, and simulating alternative scenarios. Large-scale CSP deployment is in its infancy with a lack of sufficient data in many developing countries and various available technology combinations. Accordingly, this phase intends to focus the planning process toward practical alternatives given the regional requirements. A techno-economic analysis is conducted that considers the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) for each technology. As RESs are location dependent, Saudi Arabia defines the scope of this phase. The analysis outcomes are incorporated with the Saudi energy sector requirements and local weather conditions to define alternative scenarios. Six power plant scenarios are defined for performance and financial evaluation. A simulation is subsequently carried out through the System Advisor Model. The alternative scenarios are assessed by defining weather, technical, and financial parameters. Satellite observations and field measured data are integrated to synthesize a typical meteorological year weather profile. The outputs of this phase provide accurate results that represent a solid ground for the assessment of alternative CSP scenarios with consideration of all relevant parameters.
The third phase considers a comprehensive assessment of the scenario-based CSP alternatives. A multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) model is developed in a fuzzy environment to tackle uncertainty, ambiguity, and imprecision. The evaluation is conducted based on extensive analysis of the performances of each alternative scenario in accordance with 4 main criteria and 29 sub-criteria. Quantitative and qualitative data as well as input from 44 local stakeholders are incorporated. The obtained results constitute an accurate basis to derive recommendations for CSP integration to national grids and relate them to stakeholders’ priorities.

Divisions:Concordia University > Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science > Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Kassem, Abdulrahman Ibrahim
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Information and Systems Engineering
Date:28 November 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Schiffauerova, Andrea and Al-Haddad, Kamal
ID Code:983283
Deposited By: ABDULRAHMAN KASSEM
Deposited On:05 Jun 2018 15:05
Last Modified:05 Jun 2018 15:05
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