Direct-Contact Condensers for Solar Pond Power Plants

    Research output: NRELTechnical Report


    Direct-contact condensers for an organic Rankine cycle solar pond power plant are compared with conventional shell-and-tube condensers. Three types of direct contact systems are evaluated: drop type, bubble type, and packed columns. Methods used in the design of the direct contact systems are reviewed. Complete 5 MWe plants, including the solar pond, are e designed for each system, and theircapitalized costs compared. Direct contact condensers were found to be considerably less expensive than shell-and-tube condensers. However, the auxiliary equipment needed to prevent the buildup of noncondensables and to control working fluid losses negated much of the cost savings. Also, the direct contact systems were less efficient. Thus no significant advantages were found for the directcontact condenser systems.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages10
    StatePublished - 1984

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/TP-252-2337


    • direct-contact condenser
    • Rankine cycle
    • solar ponds


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