Cavity receivers have been an integral part of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants for many years. However, falling solid particle receivers (SPR) which employ a cavity design are only in the beginning stages of on-sun testing and evaluation. A prototype SPR has been developed which will be fully integrated into a complete system to demonstrate the effectiveness of this technology in the CSP sector. The receiver is a rectangular cavity with an aperture on the north side, open bottom (for particle collection), and a slot in the top (particle curtain injection). The solid particles fall from the top of the cavity through the solar flux and are collected after leaving the receiver. There are inherent design challenges with this type of receiver including particle curtain opacity, high wall fluxes, high wall temperatures, and high heat losses. CFD calculations using ANSYS FLUENT were performed to evaluate the effectiveness of the current receiver design. The particle curtain mass flow rate needed to be carefully regulated such that the curtain opacity is high (to intercept as much solar radiation as possible), but also low enough to increase the average particle temperature by 200°C. Wall temperatures were shown to be less than 1200°C when the particle curtain mass flow rate is 2.7 kg/s/m which is critical for the receiver insulation. The size of the cavity was shown to decrease the incident flux on the cavity walls and also reduced the wall temperatures. A thermal efficiency of 92% was achieved, but was obtained with a higher particle mass flow rate resulting in a lower average particle temperature rise. A final prototype receiver design has been completed utilizing the computational evaluation and past CSP project experiences.

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