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A new heat transfer fluid for concentrating solar systems: Particle flow in tubes

Abstract : This paper demonstrates a new concept of heat transfer fluid (HTF) for CSP applications, developed in the frame of both a National and a European project (CSP2 FP7 project). It involves a dense suspension of small solid particles. This innovation is currently. The dense suspension of particles receiver (DSPR) consists in creating the upward circulation of a dense suspension of particles (solid fraction in the range 30%-40%) in vertical absorbing tubes submitted to concentrated solar energy. So the suspension acts as a heat transfer fluid with a heat capacity similar to a liquid HTF but only limited in temperature by the working temperature limit of the receiver tubes. Suspension temperatures up to 750°C are expected for metallic tubes, thus opening new opportunities for high efficiency thermodynamic cycles such as supercritical steam and carbon dioxide. First experimental results were obtained during on-sun testing with CNRS solar facility of a single tube DSPR for an outlet temperature lower than 300°C. In this lab-scale experimental setup, the solar absorber is a single opaque metallic tube, containing upward solid circulation, located inside a cylindrical cavity dug in a receiver made of refractory, and submitted to the concentrated solar radiation through a 0.10m x 0.50m slot. The absorber is a 42.4 mm o.d. stainless steel tube. SiC was used because of its thermal properties, availability and rather low cost. The 63.9 μm particle mean diameter permits a good fluidization with almost no bubbles, for very low air velocities. Solar flux densities in the range 200-250 kW/m2 were tested resulting in solid temperature increase ranging between 50 and 150°C. The mean wall-to-suspension heat transfer coefficient (h) was calculated from experimental data. It is very sensitive to the solid fraction of the solid suspension, which was varied from 27% to 36%. These latter values are one order of magnitude larger than the solid fraction in circulating fluidized beds operating at much higher air velocity. Heat transfer coefficients ranging from 140 to 500 W/m2.K have been obtained; i.e. 400 W/m2.K mean value for standard operating conditions at low temperature.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 27, 2014 - 11:36:36 AM
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Long-term archiving on: : Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 11:15:38 AM

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Gilles Flamant, Daniel Gauthier, Hadrien Benoit, Jean-Louis Sans, Benjamin Boissière, et al.. A new heat transfer fluid for concentrating solar systems: Particle flow in tubes. Energy Procedia, Elsevier, 2014, vol. 49, pp. 617-626. ⟨10.1016/j.egypro.2014.03.06⟩. ⟨hal-01015843⟩

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