Experimental Characterization of a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Microchannel Solar Thermal Receiver Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9306t2040

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  • Characterization of a microchannel solar thermal receiver for supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO₂) is presented. The receiver design is based on conjugate computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer simulations as well as thermo-mechanical stress analysis. Two lab scale receivers with a 2x2 cm² absorber area are fabricated and experimentally characterized - a parallel microchannel design and a microscale pin fin array design. Static pressure experiments are used to demonstrate receiver integrity at the design pressure of 125 bar at 750°C surface temperature. A concentrated solar simulator was designed and assembled to characterize the thermal performance of the lab scale receiver test articles. Results indicate that, for a fixed exit fluid temperature of 650°C, increase in incident heat flux results in an increase in receiver and thermal efficiency. At a fixed heat flux, efficiency decreases with an increase in receiver surface temperature. The ability to absorb flux of up to 100 W/cm² at thermal efficiency in excess of 90 percent and exit fluid temperature of 650°C using the microchannel receiver is demonstrated. Pressure drop for the pin array at the maximum flow rate for heat transfer experiments is less than 0.64 percent of typical line pressure of 200 bar. Following the successful test of the 2 x 2 cm lab-scale receiver, a larger 8x8 cm² integrated receiver was designed and fabricated. The integrated receiver is shown to withstand 200 bar of static pressure at 600°C. Furthermore, infrared imaging is used to glean the flow distribution from the headers into the microscale region of the receiver. While the integrated receiver could not be tested in the solar simulator due to limitations of the facility, receiver scale-up from 2 x 2 cm to 8 x 8 cm with more effective material usage is demonstrated.
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