Advanced power cycles—such as the supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) cycle—have the potential to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of concentrated solar thermal power (CST) plants by significantly boosting their overall solar-to-electric efficiency. To successfully integrate these cycles into CST plants, the industry may need to transition away from liquid working fluids (e.g., synthetic oils and molten salts) to solid and/or gaseous heat transfer media, which are more stable at high temperatures. To address this challenge, this study investigates a novel rotating receiver–storage unit that could enable high-temperature CST plants. A validated numerical model is presented for the charging and discharging processes of the proposed design. It was found that with cast steel as the storage medium in the proposed design, it is possible to achieve >70% receiver efficiency for operation temperatures of 850–1000 K. The overall plant model shows this design is best for relatively small CST systems as modularized units of 10 m diameter (reaching an energy density around 80 kWh/m3), which can be used to drive a 5 MWe sCO2 CST plant. These findings suggest that such a design would have up to 9 h of storage and could be effectively employed as an efficient peaking plant.
Saldivia, D., & Taylor, R. A. (2023). A Novel Dual Receiver–Storage Design for Concentrating Solar Thermal Plants Using Beam-Down Optics. Energies, 16(10), 4157. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16104157
Published in the May Issue of Energies