Mai Z. Alzghoul, Mohamed R. Gomaa



Effect of Different Heat Transfer Fluids on the Performance of Solar Tower CSP

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Solar tower concentrating solar power (CSP) system focusing the solar radiation in the tubular receiver in which the radiation is absorbed and then transferred by convection and conduction into a heat transfer fluid. In this study, a range of the heat transfer fluids are compared with each other by using exergy and energy analysis, and by varying the tube wall thickness, the tube diameter, and the tube-bank flow configuration. The exergy efficiency is optimized with pumping work in the applied model, uniform flux is assumed, effects of the thermal stresses are neglected. For each fluid appropriate pressure and temperature conditions are chosen, depending on the applicable thermal energy storage (TES) and the power block (PB) configurations. The heat transfer fluids that are examined are liquid sodium, molten salt (60% NaNO3, 40% KNO3), supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2), water/steam and Air. Results showed that the liquid sodium at an elevated temperature range of (540–740 ◦C) is performed the best, with exergy efficiency of 61% of solar-to-fluid. At the low range of temperature (290–565 ◦C), the liquid sodium remains superior to the molten salt, although allowing some exergy destruction in the sodium-to-salt heat exchanger. Water/steam performs relatively well in a receiver, Water/steam is a challenging heat transfer fluid for the integrated system due to the difficulty of integrating it with the storage of large-scale. Using the sCO2 as the heat transfer fluid is infeasible because of the excessively-high pressure stress on tubes. Air also appears unsuitable for the tubular receivers, due to its poor internal heat transfer which result in the high losses because the external surfaces are much hotter.


Solar tower, concentrating solar power (CSP), Heat transfer fluid, Exergy analysis and Receiver design


Cite this paper

Mai Z. Alzghoul, Mohamed R. Gomaa. (2023) Effect of Different Heat Transfer Fluids on the Performance of Solar Tower CSP. International Journal of Applied Physics, 8, 1-14


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