Research Papers

Development of a Solar Receiver Based on Compact Heat Exchanger Technology for Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Power Cycles

[+] Author and Article Information
Saeb M. Besarati

Clean Energy Research Center,
4202 E. Fowler Avenue,
ENB 118,
Tampa, FL 33620
e-mail: sbesarati@mail.usf.edu

D. Yogi Goswami

Clean Energy Research Center,
4202 E. Fowler Avenue,
ENB 118,
Tampa, FL 33620
e-mail: goswami@usf.edu

Elias K. Stefanakos

Clean Energy Research Center,
4202 E. Fowler Avenue,
ENB 118,
Tampa, FL 33620
e-mail: estefana@usf.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: INCLUDING WIND ENERGY AND BUILDING ENERGY CONSERVATION. Manuscript received March 27, 2014; final manuscript received February 11, 2015; published online March 12, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Markus Eck.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(3), 031018 (Jun 01, 2015) (8 pages) Paper No: SOL-14-1103; doi: 10.1115/1.4029861 History: Received March 27, 2014; Revised February 11, 2015; Online March 12, 2015

Supercritical carbon dioxide (s-CO2) can be used both as a heat transfer and working fluid in solar power tower plants. The main concern in the design of a direct s-CO2 receiver is the high operating pressures, i.e., close to 20 MPa. At such high pressures, conventional receivers do not exhibit the necessary mechanical strength or thermal performance. In this paper, a receiver based on compact heat exchanger technology is developed. The receiver consists of a group of plates with square-shaped channels which are diffusion bonded together to tolerate the high operating pressure. A computational model is developed and validated against data in the literature. Inconel 625 is used as the base material because of its superior resistance against corrosion in the presence of s-CO2. The receiver heats s-CO2 with mass flow rate of 1 kg/s from 530 °C to 700 °C under a solar flux density of 500 kW/m2. The influence of different parameters on the performance of the receiver is evaluated by a parametric analysis. Subsequently, a multi-objective optimization is performed to determine the optimal geometry of the heat exchanger considering the tradeoff between objective functions, such as unit thermal resistance and pressure drop. The design variables are hydraulic diameter, number of layers, and distance between the channels. The mechanical strength of the system is the constraint to the problem, which is evaluated using an ASME code for the pressure vessels. Finally, the temperature profiles inside the channels and the surface of the receiver are presented. It is shown that the fluid reaches the desired temperature while the maximum temperature of the surface remains well below the material limit.

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Fig. 1

(a) Geometric configuration and (b) thermal resistance network model [14]

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Fig. 2

Flowchart for calculating the bulk fluid and surface temperatures

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Fig. 3

Comparison of top surface temperature with Ning Lei [15]

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Fig. 4

Recompression s-CO2 Brayton cycle [3]

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Fig. 5

Variations of unit thermal resistance with hydraulic diameter

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Fig. 12

Temperature profile of flow in the channels of the optimized CHE

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Fig. 13

Temperature profile of the surface receiving the heat flux

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Fig. 6

Variation of pressure drop with hydraulic diameter

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Fig. 7

Variations of unit thermal resistance with number of layers

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Fig. 8

Variation of pressure drop with number of layers

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Fig. 9

Variation of unit thermal resistance with the distance between the channels

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Fig. 10

Variation of pressure drop with the distance between the channels

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Fig. 11

Pareto front of the pressure drop and the unit thermal resistance



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