Thermomechanical Stress and Creep-Fatigue Analysis of a High-Temperature Prototype Receiver for Heating Particles: Paper No. ES2023-107262

Matt Carter, David Korba, Janna Martinek, Zhiwen Ma, Like Li

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This work presents a three-dimensional (3D) thermomechanical model of a prototype-scale enclosed light trapping solar receiver for heating particles. Results of the thermoelastic model are used to estimate receiver lifetime under maximum flux conditions. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is first developed to predict the temperature fields in a multi-panel assembly under steady operating conditions. Solar flux distributions on the receiver are obtained from the software package SolTrace and applied to the 3D thermal model. The subsequent particle heating is captured through a simplified 1D energy balance. Panel reradiation is considered through a surface-to-surface radiation model and natural convection loss to the surrounding air is captured in a representative fluid domain surrounding the receiver. The resulting temperature fields from the CFD analysis are used as inputs for a thermoelastic mechanical model with representative boundary conditions. With the resultant temperature and stress fields, a creep-fatigue damage and lifetime analysis is performed using the linear damage accumulation (LDA) theory. The Manson-Coffin formula and Larson Miller correlation are used to calculate the fatigue and creep, respectively. A maximum damage (corresponding to a 30-year service life) is defined for design assessment. The model was first developed and verified in detail by comparing with published results in the literature (temperature and stress profiles and distributions, and creep/fatigue damage fractions) for tubular solar receivers with supercritical carbon dioxide as the working fluid. It was then implemented to model a planar-cavity receiver with various design parameters. Specifically, three different design geometries are considered, and the results show that a maximum temperature of approximately 1200 K could be reached for each design with the given incident solar flux, with the main difference being the distribution of these temperatures. Preliminary resulting stresses for the small-scale prototype without design optimization vary from 20 MPa to 250 MPa for each design, with the maximum stresses occurring on the front face and concave geometry on the side of the panel. In future work, the developed methodology shown here will be applied to analyze a full-scale (50-150 MWth) receiver.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-88278


  • concentrated solar power
  • creep-fatigue
  • high-temperature
  • solar receiver
  • thermal stress


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermomechanical Stress and Creep-Fatigue Analysis of a High-Temperature Prototype Receiver for Heating Particles: Paper No. ES2023-107262'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this