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

Ty Neises, Michael Wagner, Allison Gray

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


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 degrees 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 supercriticalcarbon dioxide as the heat transfer fluid to achieve a 650 degrees 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 tubularreceiver 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 designvariables considered and attempt to optimize the design based on cost and performance metrics.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2014
Event8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability - Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: 30 Jun 20142 Jul 2014


Conference8th International Conference on Energy Sustainability
CityBoston, Massachusetts

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5500-61848


  • creep fatigue
  • CSP
  • power towers
  • receiver lifetime
  • supercritical carbon dioxide


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