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Second Thermal and Fluids Engineering  Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748
ISBN: 978-1-56700-430-4

THERMAL EFFICIENCY AND PRESSURE DROP ANALYSIS OF A LIQUID SODIUM RECEIVER

Tim Conroy
Stokes Laboratories, University of Limerick, Ireland

Ronan Grimes
Stokes Laboratories, Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Maurice N. Collins
Stokes Laboratories, University of Limerick, Ireland

James Fisher
Vast Solar, Level 10, 17-19 Bridge St, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia

Abstract

One of the key components in a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant is the receiver. The role of the receiver is to convert incident solar energy into workable thermal energy in a heat transfer media. The performance of the receiver greatly affects the performance of the plant as a whole, therefore utilising a highly efficient receiver component is essential. The current analysis presents a theoretical model used to investigate the thermal and hydraulic characteristics of a liquid sodium billboard receiver. The model is used to determine the most appropriate receiver design for a particular heliostat field by varying both heat transfer area and tube diameter. Results show that decreasing heat transfer area enhances thermal efficiency, without having a significant effect on the overall pressure drop across the receiver system. Decreasing tube diameter also leads to an increase in thermal efficiency, as the wall to fluid heat transfer coefficient scales as 1/Di. However, decreasing the diameter of the tube also results in a greater pressure drop in the receiver tubing, meaning parasitic load in the system is increased due to an increase in necessary pump work. An optimal tube diameter therefore exists for the billboard receiver configuration, where a balance is struck between thermal efficiency and pressure drop. The analysis demonstrates the importance of analysing both thermal and hydraulic requirements in designing liquid tubular receivers.

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