Abstract

A new generation of concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies is under development to provide dispatchable renewable power generation and reduce the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) to 6 cents/kWh by leveraging heat transfer fluids (HTFs) capable of operation at higher temperatures and coupling with higher efficiency power conversion cycles. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has funded three pathways for Generation 3 CSP (Gen3CSP) technology development to leverage solid, liquid, and gaseous HTFs to transfer heat to a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) Brayton cycle. This paper presents the design and off-design capabilities of a 1 MWth sCO2 test system that can provide sCO2 coolant to the primary heat exchangers (PHX) coupling the high-temperature HTFs to the sCO2 working fluid of the power cycle. This system will demonstrate design, performance, lifetime, and operability at a scale relevant to commercial CSP. A dense-phase high-pressure canned motor pump is used to supply up to 5.3 kg/s of sCO2 flow to the primary heat exchanger at pressures up to 250 bar and temperatures up to 715 °C with ambient air as the ultimate heat sink. Key component requirements for this system are presented in this paper.

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