Bladed receivers with active airflow control
Concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) systems,
specifically central tower systems such as the Crescent Dunes system
currently nearing completion in southwest USA, make use of a receiver
comprised of banks of tubes through which a heat transfer fluid
is circulated. The receiver is where the concentrated radiation
is converted to thermal energy; that energy can then be stored and later
used to produce electricity.
In this project, novel configurations of tube banks for central-tower
receivers will be investigated, including bladed concepts and incorporating
the use of active airflow techniques. The receiver concepts will be tested
in state-of-the-art experimental facilities including
wind- and water-tunnels and using particle-image velocimetry techniques
at the University of Adelaide, and on-sun at CSIRO in Newcastle.
An integrated analysis process incorporating optical ray tracing
and computational fluid dynamics will be used alongside experimental
work to optimise the new design.
Preliminary analysis suggests that successful implementation
of the proposed novel receiver concept could result in the levelised
cost of electricity from CSP systems reducing by up to 0.01–0.02
AUD/kWh. Together with needed improvements to other parts of the system,
it is hoped that CSP can thereby achieve a target of 0.1 AUD/kWh
for solar-thermal electricity, including storage, by the year 2020.