Document Type: Research Article


Department of Mechanical Engineering, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran


Energy, exergy and exergoeconomic (3E) evaluation are performed to assess the performance of a NH3/H2O cycle integrated with parabolic trough solar collectors (PTSC). To provide continuous electricity produced by generator when solar beam radiation is insufficient a stabilizer temperature subsystem is utilized. The major thermodynamic parameters and climate conditions variations are selected to investigate, for their effects on the energy efficiency, exergy efficiency and unit cost of electricity of the overall system. The results reveal that the solar collectors exhibit the worst exergy and exergoeconomic performance, so that when system is only fuelled by solar energy, elevation of solar beam irradiation around 40% reduces the efficiencies and electricity production cost within 23% and 0.4%, respectively. It is found that the increment of ammonia basic concentration, turbine inlet pressure, evaporator inlet temperature and evaporator pinch temperature lead to elevation of energy and exergy efficiencies and decrement of electricity production cost. Then, the single and multi-objective optimizations are performed to maximize the energy and exergy efficiencies and minimize the electricity production cost based on genetic algorithm (GA). Results indicate that the electricity production cost obtained through economic optimization is less than around 2% and 2.2% compared to the optimization based on the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Multi objective optimization causes reduction of electricity production cost around 14% and enhancement the energy and exergy efficiencies 8.5% and 6.7%, respectively too.


1.     Kalina, A.I., "Generation of energy by means of a working fluid, and regeneration of a working fluid",  United States, 1982.

2.     Lolos, P.A. and E.D. Rogdakis, "A Kalina power cycle driven by renewable energy sources", Energy, Vol. 34, No. 4, (2009), 457-464.

3.     Sun, F., Ikegami, Y. and Jia, B., "A study on Kalina solar system with an auxiliary superheater", Renewable Energy, Vol. 41, (2012), 210-219.

4.     Shankar Ganesh, N. and T. Srinivas., "Design and modeling of low temperature solar thermal power station", Applied Energy, Vol. 91, No. 1, (2012), 180-186.

5.     Wang, J., Yan, Z., Zhou, E. and Dai, Y., "Parametric analysis and optimization of a Kalina cycle driven by solar energy", Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 50, No. 1,  (2013), 408-415.

6.     Peng, S., Hong, H. and Jin, H., "Triple cycle for solar thermal power system adapted to periods with varying insolation", Energy, Vol. 60, (2013), 129-138.

7.     Modi, A. and Haglind, F., "Performance analysis of a Kalina cycle for a central receiver solar thermal power plant with direct steam generation", Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 65, (2014), 201-208.

8.     Sun, F., Zhou, W., Ikegami, Y., Nakagami, K. and Su, X., "Energy–exergy analysis and optimization of the solar-boosted Kalina cycle system 11 (KCS-11)", Renewable Energy, Vol. 66, (2014), 268-279.

9.     Borgert Jr, J.A. and Velásquez, J.A., "Analysis of aqua-ammonia power cycles for cogeneration application", in 17th International Congress of Mechanical Engineering, (2003).

10.   Borgert, J.A. and Velasquez, J.A., "Exergoeconomic optimisation of a Kalina cycle for power generation", International Journal of Exergy, Vol. 1, (2004), 18-28.

11.   Valdimarsson, P. and Eliasson, L., "Factors influencing the economics of the Kalina power cycle and situations of superior performance", in International Geothermal Conference, Reykjavik, (2003), 32-40.

12.   Mirolli, M.D., "The Kalina cycle for cement kiln waste heat recovery power plants", in Cement Industry Technical Conference, (2005), 330-336.

13.   Arslan, O., "Exergoeconomic evaluation of electricity generation by the medium temperature geothermal resources, using a Kalina cycle: Simav case study", International Journal of Thermal Sciences, Vol. 49, No. 9, (2010), 1866-1873.

14.   Arslan, O., "Power generation from medium temperature geothermal resources: ANN-based optimization of Kalina cycle system-34", Energy, Vol. 36, No. 5, (2011), 2528-2534.

15.   Zare, V., Mahmoudi, S.M.S., Yari, M. and Amidpour, M., "Thermoeconomic analysis and optimization of an ammonia–water power/cooling cogeneration cycle",  Energy, Vol. 47, No. 1, (2012), 271-283.

16.   Rodríguez, C.E.C., Palacio, J.C.E., Venturini, O.J., Lora, E.E.S.,  Cobas, V.M., Santos, D.M.D., Dotto, F.R.L. and Gialluca, V., "Exergetic and economic comparison of ORC and Kalina cycle for low temperature enhanced geothermal system in Brazil", Applied Thermal Engineering, Vol. 52, No. 1, (2013), 109-119.

17.   Singh, O.K. and Kaushik, S.C., "Thermoeconomic evaluation and optimization of a Brayton–Rankine–Kalina combined triple power cycle", Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 71, (2013), 32-42.

18.   Zare, V., Mahmoudi, S.M.S. and Yari, M., "An exergoeconomic investigation of waste heat recovery from the Gas Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor (GT-MHR) employing an ammonia–water power/cooling cycle", Energy, Vol. 61, No. 1,(2013), 397-409.

19.   Kordlar, M.A., Mahmoudi, S.M.S. and Rosen, M.A., "Energy and Exergy Analyses of a New Combined Cycle for Producing Power and Pure Water Using Geothermal Energy", in 3rd world sustainability Conference, (2013), 1-23.

20.   Singh, O.K. and Kaushik, S.C., "Exergoeconomic analysis of a Kalina cycle coupled coal–fired steam power plant", International Journal of Exergy, Vol. 14, (2014), 38-59.

21.   Kalogirou, S.A., "A detailed thermal model of a parabolic trough collector receiver", Energy, Vol. 48, No. 1, (2012), 298-306.

22.   Engineering equation solver for microsoft windows Available from:

23.   Baghernejad, A. and Yaghoubi, M., "Exergy analysis of an integrated solar combined cycle system", Renewable Energy, Vol. 35, No. 10, (2010), 2157-2164.

24.   Sonntag, R.E., Borgnakke, C., "Fundamentals of thermodynamics", (1998): Wiley New York.

25.   Kalogirou, S.A., "Solar energy engineering: processes and systems", (2013): Academic Press.

26.   Larraín, T., Escobar, R. and Vergara, J., "Performance model to assist solar thermal power plant siting in northern Chile based on backup fuel consumption", Renewable Energy, Vol. 35, No. 8, (2010), 1632-1643.

27.   Bejan, A., Tsatsaronis, G. and Moran, M., "Thermal design and optimization", (1996), Wiley.

28.   Misra, R.D., Sahoo, P.K. and Gupta, A., "Thermoeconomic evaluation and optimization of an aqua-ammonia vapour-absorption refrigeration system", International Journal of Refrigeration, Vol. 29, No. 1, (2006), 47-59.

29.   Kotas, T.J., "Exergy method of thermal and chemical plant analysis", Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol. 64, (1986), 212-229.

30.   Ahmadi, P., Dincer, I. and Rosen, M.A., "Energy and exergy analyses of hydrogen production via solar-boosted ocean thermal energy conversion and PEM electrolysis", International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 38, No. 4, (2013), 1795-1805.

31.   Petela, R., "Exergy of undiluted thermal radiation", Solar Energy, Vol. 74, No. 6, (2003), 469-488.

32.   Tempesti, D. and Fiaschi, D., "Thermo-economic assessment of a micro CHP system fuelled by geothermal and solar energy", Energy, Vol. 58, (2013), 45-51.

33.   Smith, R.M., "Chemical process: design and integration", (2005), John Wiley & Sons.

34.   Zhou, C., Doroodchi, E. and Moghtaderi, B., "An in-depth assessment of hybrid solar–geothermal power generation",  Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 74, (2013), 88-101.

35.   Dorj, P., "Thermoeconomic analysis of a new geothermal utilization CHP plant in Tsetserleg", Mongolia. (2005): United Nations University.

36.   Gebreslassie, B.H., Guillén-Gosálbez, G., Jiménez, L. and  Boer, D.,  "Design of environmentally conscious absorption cooling systems via multi-objective optimization and life cycle assessment", Applied Energy, Vol. 86, No. 9, (2009), 1712-1722.

37.   Klein, S. and Alvardo, F., "EES-Engineering equation solver: user’s manual for microsoft windows operating systems", version 8.609, F-Chart Software, Madison, WI, USA, 2009.

38.   Maschio, C., Vidal, A.C. and Schiozer, D.J., "A framework to integrate history matching and geostatistical modeling using genetic algorithm and direct search methods", Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 63, (2008), 34-42.

39.   Baghernejad, A. and Yaghoubi, M., "Exergoeconomic analysis and optimization of an Integrated Solar Combined Cycle System (ISCCS) using genetic algorithm", Energy Conversion and Management, Vol. 52, No. 5, (2011), 2193-2203.

40.   Charbonneau, P., Release notes for PIKAIA 1.2. Boulder, Colorado, (2002).

41.   Sayyaadi, H., Saffari, A. and Mahmoodian, A., "Various approaches in optimization of multi effects distillation desalination systems using a hybrid meta-heuristic optimization tool", Desalination, Vol. 245, (2010), 138-148.