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Lead-Bismuth Eutectic as a High Temperature Heat-Transport Fluid for Thermal Solar Power

[+] Author Affiliations
D. Frazer, C. Cionea, M. Popovic, Y. Aussat, A. J. Gubser, P. Hosemann

University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Paper No. ES2014-6528, pp. V001T02A032; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 1: Combined Energy Cycles, CHP, CCHP, and Smart Grids; Concentrating Solar Power, Solar Thermochemistry and Thermal Energy Storage; Geothermal, Ocean, and Emerging Energy Technologies; Hydrogen Energy Technologies; Low/Zero Emission Power Plants and Carbon Sequestration; Photovoltaics; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, June 30–July 2, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4586-8
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


In order to increase the thermal efficiency and produce process heat for hydrogen production, the operating temperature of the heat-transfer fluid in thermal solar plants needs to increase, but to increase the operating temperature, new heat-transport liquids need to be evaluated. Liquid metals have been proposed as heat-transport fluids because of the large temperature ranges over which they remain liquid. One of the most studied liquid metals for non-solar applications has been lead-bismuth eutectic alloy (LBE), for the nuclear industry. The main challenge with using LBE as a coolant is that the major constituents of structural steels have high solubility in LBE. In this work, the challenges of using LBE as a high temperature heat-transport fluid are discussed, as well as initial results of high-temperature static corrosion tests of structural steels to evaluate their potential use in a thermal solar power plant.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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