Research Papers

Experimental Study of a Sand–Air Heat Exchanger for Use With a High-Temperature Solar Gas Turbine System

[+] Author and Article Information
Hany Al-Ansary, Sheldon Jeter

Abdelrahman El-Leathy, Zeyad Al-Suhaibani

 Mechanical Engineering Department, King Saud University, P.O. Box 800, Riyadh 11421, Saudi Arabia

Dennis Sadowski, Abdulaziz Alrished, Matthew Golob

 GWW School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0405

J. Sol. Energy Eng 134(4), 041017 (Oct 19, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007585 History: Received March 18, 2012; Revised August 07, 2012; Published October 19, 2012; Online October 19, 2012

An experimental study of the heat transfer characteristics of the bulk flow of sand in a sand–air heat exchanger is conducted. The study is conducted in the context of the development of a high-temperature solar gas turbine (HTSGT) system. This system is being developed by King Saud University and the Georgia Institute of Technology with the aim of demonstrating the feasibility of using sand as the heat transfer and energy storage medium in central receiver systems. Experiments are conducted on silica sand and olivine sand, both of which are attractive options due to their wide availability. The apparatus includes a tube bank consisting of eight electrically heated tubes arranged in three rows in a staggered formation. Heat transfer coefficient results are reported for bare and finned tubes for sand feed velocities of 1–3 mm/s. They were found in the range of 80–160 W/m2 K.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Section of the tower concept

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Figure 2

Experimental apparatus (a) test section, (b) bare tubes experiment, and (c) finned tubes experiment

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Figure 3

Thermocouple positions for the bare tube experiment. (a) Locations on the tube surface. (b) The upper and lower middle tubes were selected.

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Figure 4

Steady-state hbase of Olivine sand at 3.0 mm/s with (a) bare tubes and (b) finned tubes

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Figure 5

Dimensions (in inches) for the finned tubes used in the experiments, fin pitch is 1/8 in

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Figure 6

Effect of vibration on the surface temperature and heat transfer coefficient

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Figure 7

Fin efficiency for annular tubes correlation used in Refs. [17] and [18]

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Figure 8

Thermocouple calibration using water bath




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