Testing ultra-high temperature heat resistant materials for CSP particle receivers

Research areas


Unlike conventional concentrating solar power (CSP) receivers that employ fluid flowing through tubes, particle receiver systems uses solid particles (ceramic or sand) that are heated directly as they fall through a beam of concentrated sunlight.  Because the solar energy is directly absorbed by the particles, the flux limitations associated with tubular receivers are mitigated, enabling higher concentration ratios.

A challenge for particle receiver concepts is to control the particle curtain such that it is optically dense and as uniformly dispersed as possible for the entire aperture of the receiver.  Various concepts have been investigated for controlling particle flow, but a common feature in any system that obstructs the flow is that the material used must be able to withstand very high solar-flux and high temperatures.   The down-draft caused by the particles dropping and the particles themselves can be both used to help cool any obstruction, if the design permits. 

The objective of this project is to identify materials that might be suitable for use within the high flux region of a particle receiver, and then carry out heat-transfer simulations (CFD) and/or carry out experimental testing in the ANU's high flux solar simulator.  Recommendations would be made for possible design configurations for such flow obstructions to keep material temperature within feasible bounds, and to minimise heat losses.


concentrating solar thermal, particle receiver,

Updated:  1 June 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing