Solar receivers

The ISE group is focused on molten-salt external-receivers of solar power tower plants (SPT). In a SPT the solar direct irradiation is concentrated in the receiver by thousands of individually sun-tracking mirrors to reach high solar flux, up to 1 MW/m2. In the receiver the radiation energy is transferred by conduction and convection to the heat transfer fluid reaching high temperatures, which allow integrating the receiver into Rankine plants.

The main challenge associated with this process is the high temperature gradient at the receiver surface and transient thermal processes that may lead to local hot spots, and consequently, degradation or failure of the receiver. The scarcity of experimental data makes necessary to develop thermal models to understand the operation modes and the optimization of the receiver, as well as the degradation of the heat transfer fluid.

Currently, new tube receiver designs are being investigated, as well as different receiver configurations that enable variable velocity, high temperature receivers for supercritical plants and the determination of the optimal number of crossovers in the flowpath.

The group has developed bi-dimensional simplified thermal models for external receivers that assume axial and circumferential variations on the heat flux absorbed by the tubes and on the tube wall temperatures, solving the receiver performance in a simply and fast mode. Moreover, the design guidelines for this kind of receivers have been studied taking into account thermal, mechanical and hydrodynamic limits.

In addition, the ISE group performs FLUENT simulations to test the simplified thermal model, obtaining very similar results.      

Related publications

Journal Publications

Comparison of Simplified Heat Transfer Models and CFD Simulations for Molten Salt External Receiver.

Applied Thermal Engineering 73, 991-1003,2014.

M.R. Rodríguez-Sánchez, C. Marugan-Cruz, A. Acosta-Iborra, D. Santana.

Thermal design guidelines of solar power towers.

AppliedThermalEngineering 63, 428-438, 2014.

M.R. Rodríguez-Sánchez, A. Soria-Verdugo, J.A. Almendros-Ibáñez, A. Acosta-Iborra, D. Santana.

Conference Proceedings

New Designs of Molten-salt Tubular-receiver for Solar Power Tower Plants.

SolarPACES 2013,

EnergyProcedia 49, 504-513, 2014.

M.R. Rodríguez-Sánchez, A. Sanchez-Gonzalez, C. Marugán-Cruz, D. Santana.

Nuevo diseño de receptores para centrales termosolares tipo torre: receptor bayoneta.

Proceeding of CENIT 08, 2013.

M.R. Rodríguez-Sánchez, M. Venegas, C. Marugan-Cruz, D. Santana.

Thermal, mechanical and hydrodynamic analysis to optimize the design of molten salt central receivers of solar tower power plants. Proceedings of ICREPQ’13, 2013.