Mohammad Abutayeh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Arkansas State University

Friday, August 18, 10:30 am
Sidney & Marian Green Classroom (3550 MEK)

Abstract: Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Generation technology involves AC current generation using generators attached to turbines supplied with solar–generated steam. Several sun–tracking mirrors focus sunbeams onto a small aperture producing vast heat that is used to generate steam to drive the turbines of conventional Rankine cycle power plants. The most economical and commercially available CSP technology is the parabolic trough collector (PTC) scheme. PTC systems include numerous parabolic trough mirrors tracking the sun on a single axis. A heat transfer fluid (HTF) flows in the focal line of the troughs collecting solar heat that is transferred to high pressure water generating high pressure steam. The solar generated steam is then used to propel a steam turbine connected to a generator producing electricity.

A general overview of solar power technologies as well as their design considerations and performance modeling will be given. Enhancing CSP performance via proper flow balancing and nano-particle doping of its HTF will also be discussed. Furthermore, accounting for transient operations, such as HTF warm-up and cool-down plus cloud cover, in building CSP performance models will be described. Incorporating thermal energy storage (TES) operating logic in CSP performance models will also be described along with its application to optimize the dispatch strategy. Finally, an overview of a new technology to help streamline the electric power generation of CSP plants will be presented.

Bio: Mohammad Abutayeh is originally from Kafr Sur, Palestine: a small West Bank village nearly 30 miles north of Jerusalem. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in 1997 with Cum Laude distinction. He continued on obtaining his MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in 1999 where he wrote a thesis on phosphate extraction from mined rock. He then worked in several engineering areas designing control systems, optimizing unit operations, customizing process equipment, employing renewable energy, administering US patent laws, and others. He received a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida in 2010 where his PhD research was in relation to solar desalination. In addition, he is a Florida–registered chemical engineering Professional Engineer as of 2010. He is currently a mechanical engineering faculty at Arkansas State University where he teaches thermal fluids courses and conducts research in the renewable energy field.