Performance analysis of a solar chimney power plant for rural areas in Nigeria

Highlights

SCPP is proposed as a sustainable electricity generation alternative in Nigeria.

Performance of SCPP is simulated using hourly weather data of seven selected regions.

LCOE results emphasize the viability of SCPP compared to common diesel generators.

Annual carbon mitigation ranges from 162 to 190 tons in the selected regions.

Sustainability assessment shows great socio-economic and environmental benefits.

Abstract

Diverse renewable energy technologies are urgently needed, especially for developing countries. This paper aims to create awareness of solar chimney power plants (SCPP) as a viable and sustainable alternative in rural communities with limited or no access to the grid. The study considers site-specific hourly meteorological data in assessing the feasibility of SCPP in seven selected regions in Nigeria. A theoretical model was established for power output, levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) and avoided carbon emission predictions. Additionally, the effects of seasonality on solar radiation, ambient temperature, and power output were examined. The results show that SCPP with a collector diameter of 600 m and a chimney height of 150 m would produce an average power of 154–181 kW on a typical day under Nigeria conditions. Considering a lifetime of 40 years, LCOE varies from 0.216 to 0.254 €/kWh compared to 0.563 €/kWh for the widely-utilized diesel generators, and the annual carbon emissions mitigated varies from 162 to 191 tons. Moreover, the analysis suggests that the proposed SCPP would improve the social, economic and environmental development in the regions. Overall, the study shows that SCPP could be utilized to enhance energy access in the rural areas of Nigeria.

Keywords

  • Solar chimney power plant;
  • Seasonality effect;
  • Rural areas;
  • Sustainable impact;
  • Cost of electricity;
  • Nigeria

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