Research Papers

Binary and Ternary Nitrate Solar Heat Transfer Fluids

[+] Author and Article Information
Kevin Coscia

Research Engineer Dynalene, Inc.,
5250 West Coplay Road,
Whitehall, PA 18052 
e-mail: kevinc@dynalene.com

Tucker Elliott

Graduate Student
Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics,
Lehigh University,
Bethlehem, PA 18015 
e-mail: tre210@lehigh.edu

Satish Mohapatra

President & CEO
Dynalene, Inc.,
5250 West Coplay Rd., Whitehall, PA 18052 
e-mail: satishm@dynalene.com

Alparslan Oztekin

e-mail: alo2@lehigh.edu

Sudhakar Neti

e-mail: sn01@lehigh.edu
Department of Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics,
Lehigh University,
Bethlehem, PA 18015

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received April 3, 2012; final manuscript received November 6, 2012; published online January 7, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Markus Eck.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(2), 021011 (Jan 07, 2013) (6 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1088; doi: 10.1115/1.4023026 History: Received April 03, 2012; Revised November 06, 2012

Current heat transfer fluids for concentrated solar power applications are limited by their high temperature stability. Other fluids that are capable of operating at high temperatures have very high melting points. The present work is aimed at characterizing potential solar heat transfer fluid candidates that are likely to be thermally stable (up to 500 °C) with a lower melting point (∼100 °C). Binary and ternary mixtures of nitrates have the potential for being such heat transfer fluids. To characterize such eutectic media, both experimental measurements and analytical methods resulting in phase diagrams and other properties of the fluids are essential. Solidus and liquidus data have been determined using a differential scanning calorimeter over the range the compositions for each salt system and mathematical models have been derived using Gibbs Energy minimization. The Gibbs models presented in this paper sufficiently fit the experimental results as well as providing accurate predictions of the eutectic compositions and temperatures for each system. The methods developed here are expected to have broader implications in the identification of optimizing new heat transfer fluids for a wide range of applications, including solar thermal power systems.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1.

The phase diagram for the NaNO3-KNO3 system for both heating and cooling runs as a function of KNO3 molar composition

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The phase diagram for the LiNO3-NaNO3 system for both heating and cooling runs as a function of NaNO3 molar composition

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

The phase diagram for the LiNO3-KNO3 system for both heating and cooling runs as a function of KNO3 molar composition

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

The phase diagram for the LiNO3-NaNO3-KNO3 system for heating runs. The experimental results are compared with those as predicted from the mathematical model.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The 3D phase diagram for the LiNO3-NaNO3-KNO3 system as predicted from the mathematical model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

The 2D contour map of the LiNO3-NaNO3-KNO3 system predicted from the mathematical modeling



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