Structural Design Considerations for Tubular Power Tower Receivers Operating at 650 Degrees C

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47 Scopus Citations


Research of advanced power cycles has shown supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles may have thermal efficiency benefits relative to steam cycles at temperatures around 500-700°C. To realize these benefits for CSP, it is necessary to increase the maximum outlet temperature of current tower designs. Research at NREL is investigating a concept that uses high-pressure supercritical carbon dioxide as the heat transfer fluid to achieve a 650°C receiver outlet temperature. At these operating conditions, creep becomes an important factor in the design of a tubular receiver and contemporary design assumptions for both solar and traditional boiler applications must be revisited and revised. This paper discusses lessons learned for high-pressure, high-temperature tubular receiver design. An analysis of a simplified receiver tube is discussed, and the results show the limiting stress mechanisms in the tube and the impact on the maximum allowable flux as design parameters vary. Results of this preliminary analysis indicate an underlying trade-off between tube thickness and the maximum allowable flux on the tube. Future work will expand the scope of design variables considered and attempt to optimize the design based on cost and performance metrics.


ConferenceASME 2014 8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability, ES 2014 Collocated with the ASME 2014 12th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5500-61848 for preprint

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-63515


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