The synhelion absorbing gas solar receiver for 1'500 °C process heat: CFD modeling

Zavattoni, Simone and Montorfano, Davide and Good, Philipp and Ambrosetti, Gianluca and Barbato, Maurizio (2020) The synhelion absorbing gas solar receiver for 1'500 °C process heat: CFD modeling. In: AIP Conference Proceedings 2303 SolarPACES 2019 Internatonal conference, 01-04.10.2019, Daegu, South Korea.

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The present study focuses on the development of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) numerical model suitable to replicate the thermo-fluid dynamics behavior of an innovative solar receiver developed by Synhelion SA. This new generation solar receiver concept, based on the direct absorption of thermal radiation by a gaseous heat transfer fluid (HTF), phenomena similar to the one responsible of the greenhouse effect, is designed to operate at temperatures higher than 1’000 K. In the proposed CFD model, developed exploiting Fluent code from ANSYS, the radiative heat transfer was described through the discrete ordinates radiation method with spectral variation of the participating medium (water vapor) radiative properties accounted for by the weighted-sum-of-gray-gases model. After being satisfactorily validated, the CFD model was exploited to run several CFD simulations campaigns to evaluate the effect of important parameters, such as operating pressure and HTF mass flow rate, on the absorbing gas receiver performance. Despite the very high operating temperatures considered, promising receiver thermal efficiency values (0.9 and 0.73 at 1’100 K and 2’000 K HTF outflow temperature respectively) were obtained indicating the robustness and effectiveness of this innovative absorbing gas receiver design.

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