Research Papers

Optical and Thermal Analysis of a Pressurized-Air Receiver Cluster for a 50 MWe Solar Power Tower

[+] Author and Article Information
I. Hischier

Department of Chemical
and Biological Engineering,
University of Colorado,
Boulder, CO 80303

P. Poživil

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

A. Steinfeld

Department of Mechanical
and Process Engineering,
ETH Zürich,
Zürich 8092, Switzerland
e-mail: aldo.steinfeld@ethz.ch

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 May 28, 2014; final manuscript received July 19, 2015; published online September 2, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Markus Eck.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(6), 061002 (Sep 02, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: SOL-14-1160; doi: 10.1115/1.4031210 History: Received May 28, 2014; Revised July 19, 2015

The optical design and thermal performance of a solar power tower system using an array of high-temperature pressurized air-based solar receivers is analyzed for Brayton, recuperated, and combined Brayton–Rankine cycles. A 50 MWe power tower system comprising a cluster of 500 solar receiver modules, each attached to a hexagon-shaped secondary concentrator and arranged side-by-side in a honeycomb-type structure following a spherical fly-eye optical configuration, can yield a peak solar-to-electricity efficiency of 37%.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Romero, M. , Buck, R. , and Pacheco, J. E. , 2002, “ An Update on Solar Central Receiver Systems, Projects, and Technologies,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 124(2), pp. 98–108. [CrossRef]
Schwarzbözl, P. , Buck, R. , Sugarmen, C. , Ring, A. , Marcos Crespo, M. J. , Altwegg, P. , and Enrile, J. , 2006, “ Solar Gas Turbine Systems: Design, Cost and Perspectives,” Sol. Energy, 80(10), pp. 1231–1240. [CrossRef]
Romero, M. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2012, “ Concentrating Solar Thermal Power and Thermochemical Fuels,” Energy Environ. Sci., 5(11), pp. 9234–9245. [CrossRef]
Kribus, A. , Zaibel, R. , Carey, D. , Segal, A. , and Karni, J. , 1998, “ A Solar-Driven Combined Cycle Power Plant,” Sol. Energy, 62(2), pp. 121–129. [CrossRef]
Buck, R. , Brauning, T. , Denk, T. , Pfander, M. , Schwarzbozl, P. , and Tellez, F. , 2002, “ Solar-Hybrid Gas Turbine-Based Power Tower Systems (REFOS),” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 124(1), pp. 2–9. [CrossRef]
McDonald, C. F. , 1986, “ A Hybrid Solar Closed-Cycle Gas Turbine Combined Heat and Power Plant Concept to Meet the Continuous Total Energy Needs of a Small Community,” J. Heat Recovery Syst., 6(5), pp. 399–419. [CrossRef]
Hischier, I. , Hess, D. , Lipiński, W. , Modest, M. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2009, “ Heat Transfer Analysis of a Novel Pressurized Air Receiver for Concentrated Solar Power Via Combined Cycles,” ASME J. Therm. Sci. Eng. Appl., 1(4), p. 041002. [CrossRef]
Hischier, I. , Leumann, P. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2012, “ Experimental and Numerical Analyses of a Pressurized Air Receiver for Solar-Driven Gas Turbines,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 134(2), p. 021003. [CrossRef]
Hischier, I. , Poživil, P. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2011, “ A Modular Ceramic Cavity-Receiver for High-Temperature High-Concentration Solar Applications,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 134(1), p. 011004. [CrossRef]
Segal, A. , and Epstein, M. , 1999, “ Comparative Performances of ‘Tower-Top’ and ‘Tower-Reflector’ Central Solar Receivers,” Sol. Energy, 65(4), pp. 207–226. [CrossRef]
Schmitz, M. , Schwarzbözl, P. , Buck, R. , and Pitz-Paal, R. , 2006, “ Assessment of the Potential Improvement Due to Multiple Apertures in Central Receiver Systems With Secondary Concentrators,” Sol. Energy, 80(1), pp. 111–120. [CrossRef]
F-Chart Software, “ EES—Engineering Equation Solver.”
Buck, R. , Abele, M. , Kunberger, J. , Denk, T. , Heller, P. , and Lüpfert, E. , 1999, “ Receiver for Solar-Hybrid Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle Systems,” J. Phys. IV, 09(PR3), pp. 537–544.
Winston, R. , Miñano, J. C. , Benítez, P. , Shatz, M. , and Bortz, J. C. , 2005, Nonimaging Optics, Elsevier Academic Press, New York.
Levy, I. , and Epstein, M. , 1999, “ Design and Operation of a High-Power Secondary Concentrator,” J. Phys. IV, 9(PR3), pp. 575–580.
Design Institute for Physical Properties, Sponsored by AIChE, 2009, “ DIPPR Project 801—Full Version,” Design Institute for Physical Property Research/AIChE, http://app.knovel.com/hotlink/toc/id:kpDIPPRPF7/dippr-project-801-full/dippr-project-801-full
Segal, A. , and Epstein, M. , 2003, “ Optimized Working Temperatures of a Solar Central Receiver,” Sol. Energy, 75(6), pp. 503–510. [CrossRef]
Rabl, A. , 1976, “ Comparison of Solar Concentrators,” Sol. Energy, 18(2), pp. 93–111. [CrossRef]
Pitz-Paal, R. , Botero, N. B. , and Steinfeld, A. , 2011, “ Heliostat Field Layout Optimization for High-Temperature Solar Thermochemical Processing,” Sol. Energy, 85(2), pp. 334–343. [CrossRef]
Johnston, G. , 1995, “ On the Analysis of Surface Error Distributions on Concentrated Solar Collectors,” ASME J. Sol. Energy Eng., 117(4), pp. 294–296. [CrossRef]
Schwarzbözl, P. , Pitz-Paal, R. , and Schmitz, M. , 2009, “ Visual HFLCAL—A Software Tool for Layout and Optimisation of Heliostat Fields,” SolarPACES 2009, Berlin, Sept. 15–18.
Heller, P. , Pfänder, M. , Denk, T. , Tellez, F. , Valverde, A. , Fernandez, J. , and Ring, A. , 2006, “ Test and Evaluation of a Solar Powered Gas Turbine System,” Sol. Energy, 80(10), pp. 1225–1230. [CrossRef]
Kribus, A. , Doron, P. , Rubin, R. , Karni, J. , Reuven, R. , Duchan, S. , and Taragan, E. , 1999, “ A Multistage Solar Receiver: The Route to High Temperature,” Sol. Energy, 67(1–3), pp. 3–11. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of the three power configurations considered: BC—open Brayton cycle, RC—recuperated Brayton cycle with intercooler, and CC—combined Brayton–Rankine cycle

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Modular receiver arrangement using secondary concentrators with hexagonal entrance. Image extracted from Ref. [13].

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Schematic of the solar receiver. Indicated are the dimensions and operational parameters.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Thermal efficiency and pressure drop across the RPC as a function of the cavity length for various air mass flow rates. Dots indicate simulated values, and lines represent second order polynomial fits.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Thermal efficiency, air outlet temperature, and pressure drop across the RPC as a function of air mass flow rate for Tinlet = 450 and 750 K. Dots indicate simulated values, and lines represent fifth order polynomial fits.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Evaluation of Eqs. (8), (9), and (10) obtained by linear regression analysis. Dots indicate simulated data points.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

(a) Cycle efficiencies as a function of pressure at Toutlet = 1273 K. (b) Product of thermal and cycle efficiencies as a function of Toutlet at p = 20 bar. The BC, RC, and CC configurations are considered. Dots indicate simulated values, lines represent third order polynomial fits.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Schematic of solar tower optical layout and drawing of a fly compound eye (top right) representing the 3D arrangement of the fly-eye receiver cluster on top of the solar tower.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

ηintercept, Dspot, and Dacceptance as a function of L for pillbox and for Gaussian solar flux distributions with σsolar = 3.3 mrad (representing the beam quality from an average heliostat). Parameters: Rcluster = 8.3 m, θi = 15.9 deg, θsolar = 4.65 mrad, and H = 200 m.



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In