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Title: Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles: Design Considerations for Concentrating Solar Power

A comparison of three supercritical CO2 Brayton cycles: the simple cycle, recompression cycle and partial-cooling cycle indicates the partial-cooling cycle is favored for use in concentrating solar power (CSP) systems. Although it displays slightly lower cycle efficiency versus the recompression cycle, the partial-cooling cycle is estimated to have lower total recuperator size, as well as a lower maximum s-CO2 temperature in the high-temperature recuperator. Both of these effects reduce recuperator cost. Furthermore, the partial-cooling cycle provides a larger temperature differential across the turbine, which translates into a smaller, more cost-effective thermal energy storage system. The temperature drop across the turbine (and by extension, across a thermal storage system) for the partial-cooling cycle is estimated to be 23% to 35% larger compared to the recompression cycle of equal recuperator conductance between 5 and 15 MW/K. This reduces the size and cost of the thermal storage system. Simulations by NREL and Abengoa Solar indicate the partial-cooling cycle results in a lower LCOE compared with the recompression cycle, despite the former's slightly lower cycle efficiency. Advantages of the recompression cycle include higher thermal efficiency and potential for a smaller precooler. The overall impact favors the use of a partial-cooling cycle for CSP comparedmore » to the more commonly analyzed recompression cycle.« less
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Conference: Presented at the 4th International Symposium - Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles, 9-10 September 2014, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Research Org:
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION supercritical CO2; Brayton cycle; CSP; concentrating solar power