Feasibility study and development of a sustainable solar thermal power plant through utilization of mine wastelands

Wilson R. Nyemba, Prominent Munanga, Charles Mbohwa, Simon Chinguwa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Southern Africa has been grappling with power shortages over the last decade due to reduced generating capacities from the region's few hydroelectric power plants and depleted coal reserves for thermal power generation. This forced many companies to operate below capacity, although potential and resources abound. Research was carried out at one of Zimbabwe's platinum mining and mineral processing companies to utilize the vast surrounding wastelands with abundant exposure to sunshine throughout the year to augment supplies from the national grid. A spreadsheet model was developed to derive various parameters such as beam radiation, thermal to electric plant efficiency and optimum temperature to determine the heat output incident on collectors. The System Advisor Model (SAM) was then used to simulate the values to determine the arrangement of collectors on the proposed solar thermal tower power plant as well as cost the project. Simulation of the model showed that the designed solar thermal plant can generate 30 MW, a sustainable and feasible output to supplement supplies from the national grid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-360
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event15th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing, GCSM 2017 - Haifa, Israel
Duration: 25 Sept 201727 Sept 2017


  • Collectors
  • power plant
  • simulation
  • solar thermal
  • system advisor model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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