The Solar Thermal Simulator is developed by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) as a part of the project titled “Development of a Megawatt-scale Solar Thermal Power Testing, Simulation and Research Facility”, sponsored by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. Essentially, the solar thermal simulator solves energy and mass balance equations for user defined plant configurations. The main features of the simulator are graphical user interface for data input and output, manual as well as database entry of climatic and equipment parameters, overall plant optimisation through multiple simulations, user defined time step and time horizon for the simulation, etc. The simulator produces results, such as, output of all equipments for each time step, annual power generation, capital cost and cost of energy. The results can be displayed in tabular form and/or graph form as well as the same can be exported to MS Excel file. Parametric study can be done by changing the system parameters, such as, control variable, location, stream parameters and equipment model parameters.
The main features of the simulator include graphical user interface for data input and output, simulation of user defined Process Flow Diagram (PFD), library of climatic and equipment parameters or facility for manual entries, provision for overall optimisation through multiple simulations, user defined time step and time horizon for the simulation, etc. The interface of the simulator is self-describing hence very user friendly and easy to use. The results can be displayed in tabular form or graph form and also can be exported as MS Excel file. The different equipment used in solar thermal power plant such as solar collector, heat exchanger, pump, storage vessel, turbine, auxiliary boiler, etc., are incorporated into the simulator library.