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Research Papers

Experimental and Numerical Analyses of a Pressurized Air Receiver for Solar-Driven Gas Turbines

[+] Author and Article Information
I. Hischier, P. Leumann

Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland

A. Steinfeld1

Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering,ETH Zürich, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland; Solar Technology Laboratory,  Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen, Switzerlandaldo.steinfeld@ethz.ch

1

Corresponding author.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(2), 021003 (Feb 27, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005446 History: Received December 14, 2010; Revised October 25, 2011; Published February 27, 2012; Online February 27, 2012

A high-temperature pressurized air-based receiver for power generation via solar-driven gas turbines is experimentally examined and numerically modeled. It consists of an annular reticulate porous ceramic (RPC) foam concentric with an inner cylindrical cavity-receiver exposed to concentrated solar radiation. Absorbed heat is transferred by combined conduction, radiation, and convection to the pressurized air flowing across the RPC. The governing steady-state mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations are formulated and solved numerically by coupled finite volume and Monte Carlo techniques. Validation is accomplished with experimental results using a 3 kW solar receiver prototype subjected to average solar radiative fluxes at the CPC outlet in the range 1870–4360 kW m−2 . Experimentation was carried out with air and helium as working fluids, heated from ambient temperature up to 1335 K at an absolute operating pressure of 5 bars. The validated model is then applied to optimize the receiver design for maximum solar energy conversion efficiency and to analyze the thermal performance of 100 kW and 1 MW scaled-up versions of the solar receiver.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the solar receiver configuration consisting of a inner cylindrical cavity and a concentric annular RPC foam, well insulated in a sealed pressurized vessel. A CPC is incorporated at the receiver’s aperture. Incoming concentrated solar radiation is efficiently absorbed by the cavity and transferred by conduction, radiation, and convection to the pressurized air flowing across the RPC.

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Figure 2

Schematic of the HFSS with the solar receiver and CPC placed at the focal plane

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Figure 3

Experimentally obtained thermal efficiency as a function of air outlet temperature for m·air=0.8-2.09 g/s, and qincident  = 1.32–1.68 kW for θ = 21 deg and qincident  = 2.44–3.08 kW for θ = 34 deg

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Figure 4

Experimentally obtained thermal efficiency as a function of helium outlet temperature for m·he=0.27 and 0.42 g/s, and qincident  = 1.32–1.68 kW for θ = 21 deg and qincident  = 2.44–3.08 kW for θ = 34 deg

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Figure 5

Simulated solid temperature profile along the inner side of the cylindrical cavity as a function of axial position x

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Figure 6

Calorimetrically measured (dots) and MC simulated (solid lines) qincident for 2 or 4 Xe arcs with rim angle θ = 34 deg and 21 deg, respectively, as a function of dc electrical power per arc

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Figure 7

Experimentally measured (dots) and numerically simulated (solid lines) fluid outlet temperatures as a function of mass flow rate with m·he=0.27-0.42 g/s and m·air=0.8-2.09 g/s. qincident was varied in the range 1.32–1.68 kW for θ = 21 deg (stars) and in the range 2.44–3.08 kW for θ = 34 deg (circles).

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Figure 8

Experimentally measured (dots) and numerically simulated (solid lines) solid temperature profile along the outside of the cylindrical cavity as a function of axial position x for qincident  = 1.68 kW and m·air=0.8 g/s

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Figure 9

Experimentally measured (dots) and numerically simulated (solid lines) pressure drop as a function of air mass flow rate for qincident  = 1.68 kW

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Figure 10

Thermal efficiency, pressure drop, and air outlet temperature as a function of the mass flow rate for a solar receiver with qincident  = 100 kW (left) and 1 MW (right). Dots indicate simulated values while lines represent third order polynomial fits.

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Figure 11

Radiative, convective, and conductive heat losses in percentage of solar power input, qincident  = 100 kW (left) and 1 MW (right). Dots indicate simulated values while lines represent third order polynomial fits.

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