## We've Moved!

Visit SDSU’s new digital collections website at **https://digitalcollections.sdsu.edu**

## Description

Concentrating solar power systems are currently the predominant solar power technology for generating electricity at the utility scale. The central receiver system, which is a concentrating solar power system, uses a field of mirrors to concentrate solar radiation onto a receiver where a working fluid is heated to drive a turbine. Current central receiver systems operate on a Rankine cycle, which has a large demand for cooling water. This demand for water presents a challenge for the current central receiver systems as the ideal locations for solar power plants have arid climates. An alternative to the current receiver technology is the small particle receiver. The small particle receiver has the potential to produce working fluid temperatures suitable for use in a Brayton cycle which can be more efficient when pressurized to 0.5 MPa. Using a fused quartz window allows solar energy into the receiver while maintaining a pressurized small particle receiver. In this thesis, a detailed numerical investigation for a spectral, three dimensional, cylindrical glass window for a small particle receiver was performed. The window is 1.7 meters in diameter and 0.0254 meters thick. There are three Monte Carlo Ray Trace codes used within this research. The first MCRT code, MIRVAL, was developed by Sandia National Laboratory and modified by a fellow San Diego State University colleague Murat Mecit. This code produces the solar rays on the exterior surface of the window. The second MCRT code was developed by Steve Ruther and Pablo Del Campo. This code models the small particle receiver, which creates the infrared spectral direction flux on the interior surface of the window used in this work. The third MCRT, developed for this work, is used to model radiation heat transfer within the window itself and is coupled to an energy equation solver to produce a temperature distribution. The MCRT program provides a source term to the energy equation. This in turn, produces a new temperature field for the MCRT program; together the equations are solved iteratively. These iterations repeat until convergence is reached for a steady state temperature field. The energy equation was solved using a finite volume method. The window's thermal conductivity is modeled as a function of temperature. This thermal model is used to investigate the effects of different materials, receiver geometries, interior convection coefficients and exterior convection coefficients. To prevent devitrification and the ultimate failure of the window, the window needs to stay below the devitrification temperature of the material. In addition, the temperature gradients within the window need to be kept to a minimum to prevent thermal stresses. A San Diego State University colleague E-Fann Saung uses these temperature maps to insure that the mounting of the window does not produce thermal stresses which can cause cracking in the brittle fused quartz. The simulations in this thesis show that window temperatures are below the devitrification temperature of the window when there are cooling jets on both surfaces of the window. Natural convection on the exterior window surface was explored and it does not provide adequate cooling; therefore forced convection is required. Due to the low thermal conductivity of the window, the edge mounting thermal boundary condition has little effect on the maximum temperature of the window. The simulations also showed that the solar input flux absorbed less than 1% of the incoming radiation while the window absorbed closer to 20% of the infrared radiation emitted by the receiver. The main source of absorbed power in the window is located directly on the interior surface of the window where the infrared radiation is absorbed. The geometry of the receiver has a large impact on the amount of emitted power which reached the interior surface of the window, and using a conical shaped receiver dramatically reduced the receiver's infrared flux on the window. The importance of internal emission is explored within this research. Internal emission produces a more even emission field throughout the receiver than applying radiation surface emission only. Due to a majority of the infrared receiver re-radiation being absorbed right at the interior surface, the surface emission only approximation method produces lower maximum temperatures.