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Proposal of a Novel Gravity-Fed, Particle-Filled Solar Receiver

Solar Thermal Electricity power plants utilizing solid particles as heat transfer and storage media have been proposed by several research groups, with studies citing benefits of increased thermal efficiency and lower cost. Several types of solid particle receivers have been proposed, with leading designs consisting of particles falling or suspended in air. A new solid particle receiver is proposed here, consisting of a receiver fully packed with particles flowing downward with gravity. Particle flow rate is regulated with an outlet valve. This Particle-Filled receiver concept is compared to other receiver designs, and initial cold and hot experiments are conducted. Mass flux values of up to 379 kg m-2 s -1 are demonstrated, and heat transfer coefficients between 136 and 251 W m-2 K-1 are found.