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Solar Receiver Design and Verification for Small Scale Polygeneration Unit
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Heat and Power Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3789-8654
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Against a backdrop of our world’s changing climate solar thermal power generation shows great potential to move global energy production away from fossil fuels to non-polluting sources. The Department of Energy Technology at the Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm is contributing to the development and research of solar thermal power by building a solar driven small scale polygeneration unit based on an externally fired micro gas turbine.

This project focused on the design, analysis and verification of a high temperature solar receiver for integration into this planned solar polygeneration unit. Mean irradiance levels at the focal spot of the solar receiver of 5.5 MW/m² and peak levels of 14 MW/m² were identified as major design challenges. A preliminary heat transfer analysis found volumetric receivers to be the only applicable receiver type capable of withstanding these expected high irradiance levels.

With volumetric receivers selected as the receiver type, a basic volumetric receiver model was evaluated using a multi-objective optimization tool based on advanced evolutionist algorithms and a numerical heat transfer model. The results were a set of Pareto-optimal solutions showing a tradeoff between a pressure drop in the receiver and material temperature especially at the window of the receiver.

A parameter study was conducted based on the previous analysis to improve specific aspects of the initial design using a value of benefit analysis to evaluate the different designs. Of all the investigated receiver parameters, the absorber properties and shape had the biggest positive influence on material temperature and thermal stresses without significantly increasing the pressure drop. External cooling of the receiver window with ambient air was found to beneficial influence the window temperature without greatly decreasing the thermal efficiency. For non-uniform high irradiance levels ceramic absorber materials were found to be most suitable. Furthermore, mechanically decoupling the window and the absorber from their surrounding parts was found to be very important; enabling them to expand more or less independently with changing temperature minimizing thermal stresses.

It can be concluded, when properly designed, volumetric solar receivers for small scale solar polygeneration units are feasible as designs with material temperature, thermal stresses and pressure drop below acceptable limit were found within this work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 180 p.
National Category
Energy Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-51981OAI: diva2:575914
2011-11-08, AlbaNova FB52, Roslagstullsbacken 21, SE - 106 91 Stockholm, 10:45 (English)
Available from: 2013-02-27 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2013-02-27Bibliographically approved

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