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Research Papers

Modeling of a Solar Receiver for Superheating Sulfuric Acid

[+] Author and Article Information
Justin L. Lapp

German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Cologne 51147, Germany
e-mail: Justin.Lapp@dlr.de

Alejandro Guerra-Niehoff

German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Cologne 51147, Germany
e-mail: Alejandro.Guerra@dlr.de

Hans-Peter Streber

German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Cologne 51147, Germany
e-mail: Hans-Peter.Streber@dlr.de

Dennis Thomey

German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Cologne 51147, Germany
e-mail: Dennis.Thomey@dlr.de

Martin Roeb

German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Cologne 51147, Germany
e-mail: Martin.Roeb@dlr.de

Christian Sattler

German Aerospace Center,
Linder Höhe,
Cologne 51147, Germany
e-mail: Christian.Sattler@dlr.de

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 August 27, 2015; final manuscript received April 8, 2016; published online June 14, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Wojciech Lipinski.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 138(4), 041013 (Jun 14, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: SOL-15-1278; doi: 10.1115/1.4033594 History: Received August 27, 2015; Revised April 08, 2016

A volumetric solar receiver for superheating evaporated sulfuric acid is developed as part of a 100 kW pilot plant for the hybrid sulfur (HyS) cycle. The receiver, which uses silicon carbide foam as a heat transfer medium, heats evaporated sulfuric acid using concentrated solar energy to temperatures of 1000 °C or greater, which are required for the downstream catalytic reaction to split sulfur trioxide into oxygen and sulfur dioxide. Multiple parallel approaches for modeling and analysis of the receiver are used to design the prototype. Focused numerical modeling and thermodynamic analysis are applied to answer individual design and performance questions. Numerical simulations focused on fluid flow are used to determine the best arrangement of inlets, while thermodynamic analysis is used to evaluate the optimal dimensions and operating parameters. Finally, a numerical fluid mechanics and heat transfer model is used to predict the temperature field within the receiver. Important lessons from the modeling efforts are given, and their impacts on the design of a prototype are discussed.

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Figures

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Fig. 2

Pilot-plant arrangement for the decomposition step of the HyS cycle

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Fig. 3

Preliminary receiver design rendering

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Fig. 4

Sample results from isothermal fluid flow modeling of the receiver, showing resulting (a) velocity streamlines, (b) relative (to average) axial fluid velocity entering absorber, and (c) relative axial velocity on a centerline slice through the absorber. Cases shown are for (1) single tangential gas inlet of 40 mm diameter and (2) single radial gas inlet of 80 mm diameter. Results are from Ref. [24].

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Fig. 5

Solved fluid and solid temperatures along absorber axial direction for 1 l min−1 acid mixture

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Fig. 6

Effect of varied solar flux on system temperatures. Boxgiven to show operating window based on fluid outlet temperatures.

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Fig. 7

Parametric study of receiver diameter, resulting in varied component temperatures

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Fig. 8

Variation in receiver component temperatures with varied values of δCSP, the fraction of incident radiation on the absorber

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Fig. 9

Analysis domain with key dimensions, given in centimeter. The inlet pipe enters the receiver radially.

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Fig. 10

Velocity vectors, shaded by temperature in Kelvin, showing flow through the receiver for the case of uniform solar absorption

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Fig. 11

Fluid temperature contours in Kelvin, for cases of (a) uniform absorber heat source, (b) nonuniform parabolic heat source, and (c) nonuniform linear heat source

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Fig. 12

Fluid temperature contours in Kelvin, for varying gas flow rates, corresponding to (a) 0.5, (b) 1.0, and (c) 1.5 l min−1 liquid flow rate. Note that temperature scales are not identical.

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Fig. 13

Average gas temperatures measured at the receiver outlet for varying liquid acid mixture flow rates and power absorbed by the silicon carbide absorber

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