Evaluation of Alternative Designs for a High Temperature Particle-to-sCO2 Heat Exchanger Paper No. SOL-18-1045

Zhiwen Ma, Clifford Ho, Matthew Carlson, Kevin Albrecht, Sheldon Jeter, Clayton Nguyen

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52 Scopus Citations


This paper presents an evaluation of alternative particle heat-exchanger designs, including moving packed-bed and fluidized-bed designs, for high-temperature heating of a solar-driven supercritical CO 2 (sCO 2 ) Brayton power cycle. The design requirements for high pressure (20 MPa) and high temperature (700 C) operation associated with sCO 2 posed several challenges requiring high-strength materials for piping and/or diffusion bonding for plates. Designs from several vendors for a 100 kW-thermal particle-to-sCO 2 heat exchanger were evaluated as part of this project. Cost, heat-transfer coefficient, structural reliability, manufacturability, parasitics and heat losses, scalability, compatibility, erosion and corrosion, transient operation, and inspection ease were considered in the evaluation. An analytic hierarchy process was used to weight and compare the criteria for the different design options. The fluidized-bed design fared the best on heat transfer coefficient, structural reliability, scalability, and inspection ease, while the moving packed-bed designs fared the best on cost, parasitics and heat losses, manufacturability, compatibility, erosion and corrosion, and transient operation. A 100 kW t shell-and-plate design was ultimately selected for construction and integration with Sandia’s falling particle receiver system.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number021001
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Solar Energy Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5500-73259


  • heat exchange
  • supercritical CO2


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