Analysis of a Fluidized-Bed Particle/Supercritical-CO2 Heat Exchanger in a Concentrating Solar Power System

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus Citations


Concentrating solar power (CSP) development has focused on increasing the energy conversion efficiency and lowering the capital cost. To improve performance, CSP research is moving to high-temperature and high-efficiency designs. One technology approach is to use inexpensive, high-temperature heat transfer fluids and storage, integrated with a high-efficiency power cycle such as the supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) Brayton power cycle. The sCO2 Brayton power cycle has strong potential to achieve performance targets of 50% thermal-to-electric efficiency and dry cooling at an ambient temperature of up to 40 °C and to reduce the cost of power generation. Solid particles have been proposed as a possible high-temperature heat transfer or storage medium that is inexpensive and stable at high temperatures above 1000 °C. The particle/sCO2 heat exchanger (HX) provides a connection between the particles and sCO2 fluid in emerging sCO2 power cycles. This article presents heat transfer modeling to analyze the particle/sCO2 HX design and assess design tradeoffs including the HX cost. The heat transfer process was modeled based on a particle/sCO2 counterflow configuration, and empirical heat transfer correlations for the fluidized bed and sCO2 were used to calculate heat transfer area and estimate the HX cost. A computational fluid dynamics simulation was applied to characterize particle distribution and fluidization. This article shows a path to achieve the cost and performance objectives for a particle/sCO2 HX design by using fluidized-bed technology.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberArticle No. SOL-19-1452
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by ASME

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-74713


  • concentrating solar power
  • fluidized bed
  • heat exchanger
  • solid particles
  • supercritical CO2 power cycle
  • thermal energy storage


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of a Fluidized-Bed Particle/Supercritical-CO2 Heat Exchanger in a Concentrating Solar Power System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this