Performance analysis of a novel air-based cavity receiver

Matarrese, Paolo and Gaetano, Antonio and Airaghi, Stefano and Montorfano, Davide and Barbato, Maurizio and Ambrosetti, Gianluca and Pedretti, Andrea (2014) Performance analysis of a novel air-based cavity receiver. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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In this paper a new design of a novel CSP cavity receiver for parabolic trough collector is analyzed by means of an analytical Matlab model. The receiver, designed by the Swiss company Airlight Energy Manufacturing SA, is 212 m long consisting essentially of a feed pipe, a run-back pipe and 4608 helically coiled heat exchangers designed to capture the incident solar energy concentrated by a parabolic trough. The heat transfer fluid is air heated to temperatures above 600 °C. The analytical Matlab model based on a pneumatic - electric circuit analogy was developed to assess the receiver performance in terms of mass flow rate distribution, pressure drop, air outlet temperature and thermal efficiency. A solution was proposed to approximately ensure the same mass flow rate for each cavity. Different skew angles for the incoming solar radiation were considered and the receiver geometry was optimized minimizing the pressure drop and the thermal losses through the runback pipe. The main requirement was to achieve, at the outlet section of the receiver, an air temperature of 650 °C; therefore, the total inlet mass flow rate was tuned accordingly. The helically coiled heat exchanger and the receiver insulation sub-models were validated against accurate computational fluid dynamics simulations.

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