Evaluation of alternative eutectic salt as heat transfer fluid for solar power tower coupling a supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle from the viewpoint of system-level analysis

Kun Wang, Ming Jia Li, Zhen Dong Zhang, Chun Hua Min, Peiwen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Heat transfer fluids play a crucial role in solar thermal power plants. Several novel salt formulas with higher temperature limit, such as MgCl2-KCl, have been proposed to serve as heat transfer fluids in a solar power tower system with S-CO2 cycles. Although the thermophysical properties of these novel salt formulas have been obtained in previous studies, it is necessary to evaluate their performances from the viewpoint of system-level analysis. This paper develops an integrated model for the solar power tower plants with a recompression S-CO2 Brayton cycle, and the performances of the MgCl2-KCl salt are evaluated based on the thermodynamic analyses and multi-objective optimizations about the system. The results indicate that: (1) Attributed to the higher heat source temperature, the system with MgCl2-KCl can achieve a slightly higher system efficiency and a significantly larger specific work than the conventional solar salt; (2) Reheating is not recommended for solar power tower plant with supercritical CO2 Brayton cycles when high-temperature MgCl2-KCl serves as heat transfer fluid; (3) The MgCl2-KCl solar power tower system without reheating enlarges the temperature difference between hot salt and cold salt and thus needs less molten salt for the thermal storage than the solar salt system; (4) The novel MgCl2-KCl salt has no advantages under the conditions with the operating temperature lower than 565 °C, which yields lower system efficiency and smaller specific work than the conventional solar salt due to the higher pump consumption associated with its higher viscosity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123472
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume279
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2021

Keywords

  • Eutectic salt
  • Molten salt
  • Solar power tower
  • Supercritical CO Brayton cycle
  • Thermodynamic optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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