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Innovative Volumetric Solar Receiver Micro-Design Based on Numerical Predictions

[+] Author Affiliations
Raffaele Capuano

German Aerospace Center, Juelich, Germany

Thomas Fend, Bernhard Hoffschmidt, Robert Pitz-Paal

German Aerospace Center, Cologne, Germany

Paper No. IMECE2015-50597, pp. V08BT10A005; 10 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 8B: Heat Transfer and Thermal Engineering
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 13–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5750-2
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Due to the continuous global increase in energy demand, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) represents an excellent alternative, or add-on to existing systems for the production of energy on a large scale.

In some of these systems, the Solar Power Tower plants (SPT), the conversion of solar radiation into heat occurs in certain components defined as solar receivers, placed in correspondence of the focus of the reflected sunlight.

In a particular type of solar receivers, defined as volumetric, the use of porous materials is foreseen. These receivers are characterized by a porous structure called absorber. The latter, hit by the reflected solar radiation, transfers the heat to the evolving fluid, generally air subject to natural convection.

The proper design of these elements is essential in order to achieve high efficiencies, making such structures extremely beneficial for the overall performances of the energy production process.

In the following study, a parametric analysis and an optimized characterization of the structure have been performed with the use of self-developed numerical models.

The knowledge and results gained through this study have been used to define an optimization path in order to improve the absorber microstructure, starting from the current in-house state-of-the-art technology until obtaining a new advanced geometry.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Design , Solar energy



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