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Research Papers

Economic Chances and Technical Risks of the Internal Direct Absorption Receiver

[+] Author and Article Information
Csaba Singer

Institute of Solar Research,
German Aerospace Centre (DLR),
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40,
Stuttgart 70569, Germany
e-mail: csaba.singer@dlr.de

Reiner Buck

Institute of Solar Research,
German Aerospace Centre (DLR),
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40,
Stuttgart 70569, Germany
e-mail: reiner.buck@dlr.de

Robert Pitz-Paal

Institute of Solar Research,
German Aerospace Centre (DLR),
Pfaffenwaldring 38-40,
Stuttgart 70569, Germany
e-mail: robert.pitz-paal@dlr.de

Hans Müller-Steinhagen

TU Dresden,
Helmholtzstraße 10,
Dresden 01069, Germany
e-mail: rektor@tu-dresden.de

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 23, 2013; final manuscript received May 15, 2013; published online September 19, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Wojciech Lipinski.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 136(2), 021013 (Sep 19, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: SOL-13-1028; doi: 10.1115/1.4024933 History: Received January 23, 2013; Revised May 15, 2013

Increased receiver temperatures of solar tower power plants are proposed to decrease the plants levelized electricity costs (LEC) due to the utilization of supercritical steam power plants and thus higher overall plant efficiency. Related to elevated receiver temperatures preliminary concept studies show a distinct LEC reduction potential of the internal direct absorption receiver (IDAR), if it is compared to liquid in tube (LIT) or beam-down (BD) receiver types. The IDAR is characterized by a downward oriented aperture of a cylindrical cavity, whose internal lateral area is illuminated from the concentrator field and cooled by a liquid molten salt film. The objective is the further efficiency enhancement, as well as the identification and assessment of the technical critical aspects. For this a detailed fluid mechanic and thermodynamic receiver model of the novel receiver concept is developed to be able to analyze the IDAR's operating performance at full size receiver geometries. The model is used to analyze the open parameters concerning the feasibility, functionality and performance of the concept. Hence, different system management strategies are examined and assessed, which lead to the proposal of a cost optimized lead-concept. This concept involves a rotating receiver system with inclined absorber walls. The spatial arrangements of the absorber walls minimize thermal losses of the receiver and enhance film stability. The centrifugal forces acting on the liquid salt film are essential to realize the required system criteria, which are related to the maximal molten salt temperature, film stability and droplet ejection. Compared to the state of the art at a 200 MWel power level the IDAR concept can lead to a LEC reduction of up to 8%. The cost assumptions made for the assessment are quantified with sensitivity analysis.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic layout of the IDAR receiver model

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Fig. 2

Assumed influence on HTM acceleration in the case of a rotating side wall absorber

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Fig. 3

Dependency of the power level on tower height and aperture area in the case of IDAR systems

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Fig. 4

LIT heliostat field (261 MWth, 1.98 km2, η = 59.2%)

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Fig. 5

IDAR heliostat field (250 MWth, 1.46 km2, η = 56.6%)

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Fig. 6

Absorber wall inclination dependency on radiative losses

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Fig. 7

Absorber wall area over absorber wall inclination

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Fig. 8

Intersection lines for the illustration of the simulation results (medium slope, HR/DAp = 1, x-axis versus south)

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Fig. 9

Temperature distribution of the absorber wall and the liquid film over the perimeter of selected intersection lines (no rotation, DP, Solar Salt, α = β = 20 deg)

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Fig. 10

HTM temperature distribution over the perimeter at the IDAR's outlet and varied angular velocities at DP (Solar Salt, α = β = 20 deg)

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Fig. 11

Thermal receiver efficiency comparison over the levelized irradiation (levelized irradiation = 1 → DP) for assumed receiver outlet temperatures of 570 °C

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Fig. 12

Thermal receiver efficiency comparison over the levelized irradiation (levelized irradiation = 1 → DP) for assumed receiver outlet temperatures of 620 °C

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Fig. 13

Quantitative comparison of the loss mechanisms related to the irradiation into the receiver at DP

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Fig. 14

Levelized irradiation dependent mass flow of the varied receiver and HTM options to assure the requested receiver outlet temperature

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Fig. 15

Annual revenues relative to the reference concept

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Fig. 16

Relative comparison of the difference between the LEC of the high temperature LIT concept variations and the LEC of the lead-concept variations based on the LEC of the reference concept

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Fig. 17

Sensitivity analyses of the made cost assumptions for the lead-concept (IDAR/620 °C). Note, that the constant curves for the LIT concepts (indicated with arrows) apply for their basis cost estimation (100%) and serve for orientation.

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