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Title: Ceramic–metal composites for heat exchangers in concentrated solar power plants

Abstract

The efficiency of generating electricity from heat using concentrated solar power plants (which use mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight in order to drive heat engines, usually involving turbines) may be appreciably increased by operating with higher turbine inlet temperatures, but this would require improved heat exchanger materials. By operating turbines with inlet temperatures above 1,023 kelvin using closed-cycle high-pressure supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO 2) recompression cycles, instead of using conventional (such as subcritical steam Rankine) cycles with inlet temperatures below 823 kelvin, the relative heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency may be increased by more than 20 per cent. The resulting reduction in the cost of dispatchable electricity from concentrated solar power plants (coupled with thermal energy storage) would be an important step towards direct competition with fossil-fuel-based plants and a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the inlet temperatures of closed-cycle high-pressure sCO 2 turbine systems are limited by the thermomechanical performance of the compact, metal-alloy-based, printed-circuit-type heat exchangers used to transfer heat to sCO 2. We present a robust composite of ceramic (zirconium carbide, ZrC) and the refractory metal tungsten (W) for use in printed-circuit-type heat exchangers at temperatures above 1,023 kelvin. This composite has attractive high-temperature thermal, mechanicalmore » and chemical properties and can be processed in a cost-effective manner. We fabricated ZrC/W-based heat exchanger plates with tunable channel patterns by the shape-and-size-preserving chemical conversion of porous tungsten carbide plates. The dense ZrC/W-based composites exhibited failure strengths of over 350 megapascals at 1,073 kelvin, and thermal conductivity values two to three times greater than those of iron- or nickel-based alloys at this temperature. Corrosion resistance to sCO 2 at 1,023 kelvin and 20 megapascals was achieved by bonding a copper layer to the composite surface and adding 50 parts per million carbon monoxide to sCO 2. Finally, techno-economic analyses indicate that ZrC/W-based heat exchangers can strongly outperform nickel-superalloy-based printed-circuit heat exchangers at lower cost.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [2];  [3];  [2];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [4];  [3];  [4];  [2];  [5];  [1]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States). School of Materials Engineering
  2. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
  3. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Engineering Physics
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science and Technology Division
  5. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States). George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering; Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1481689
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; EE0007117
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature (London)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 562; Journal Issue: 7727; Journal ID: ISSN 0028-0836
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ceramics; energy infrastructure; materials for energy and catalysis; solar energy

Citation Formats

Caccia, M., Tabandeh-Khorshid, M., Itskos, G., Strayer, A. R., Caldwell, A. S., Pidaparti, S., Singnisai, S., Rohskopf, A. D., Schroeder, A. M., Jarrahbashi, D., Kang, T., Sahoo, S., Kadasala, N. R., Marquez-Rossy, A., Anderson, M. H., Lara-Curzio, E., Ranjan, D., Henry, A., and Sandhage, K. H.. Ceramic–metal composites for heat exchangers in concentrated solar power plants. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0593-1.
Caccia, M., Tabandeh-Khorshid, M., Itskos, G., Strayer, A. R., Caldwell, A. S., Pidaparti, S., Singnisai, S., Rohskopf, A. D., Schroeder, A. M., Jarrahbashi, D., Kang, T., Sahoo, S., Kadasala, N. R., Marquez-Rossy, A., Anderson, M. H., Lara-Curzio, E., Ranjan, D., Henry, A., & Sandhage, K. H.. Ceramic–metal composites for heat exchangers in concentrated solar power plants. United States. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0593-1.
Caccia, M., Tabandeh-Khorshid, M., Itskos, G., Strayer, A. R., Caldwell, A. S., Pidaparti, S., Singnisai, S., Rohskopf, A. D., Schroeder, A. M., Jarrahbashi, D., Kang, T., Sahoo, S., Kadasala, N. R., Marquez-Rossy, A., Anderson, M. H., Lara-Curzio, E., Ranjan, D., Henry, A., and Sandhage, K. H.. Wed . "Ceramic–metal composites for heat exchangers in concentrated solar power plants". United States. doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0593-1.
@article{osti_1481689,
title = {Ceramic–metal composites for heat exchangers in concentrated solar power plants},
author = {Caccia, M. and Tabandeh-Khorshid, M. and Itskos, G. and Strayer, A. R. and Caldwell, A. S. and Pidaparti, S. and Singnisai, S. and Rohskopf, A. D. and Schroeder, A. M. and Jarrahbashi, D. and Kang, T. and Sahoo, S. and Kadasala, N. R. and Marquez-Rossy, A. and Anderson, M. H. and Lara-Curzio, E. and Ranjan, D. and Henry, A. and Sandhage, K. H.},
abstractNote = {The efficiency of generating electricity from heat using concentrated solar power plants (which use mirrors or lenses to concentrate sunlight in order to drive heat engines, usually involving turbines) may be appreciably increased by operating with higher turbine inlet temperatures, but this would require improved heat exchanger materials. By operating turbines with inlet temperatures above 1,023 kelvin using closed-cycle high-pressure supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) recompression cycles, instead of using conventional (such as subcritical steam Rankine) cycles with inlet temperatures below 823 kelvin, the relative heat-to-electricity conversion efficiency may be increased by more than 20 per cent. The resulting reduction in the cost of dispatchable electricity from concentrated solar power plants (coupled with thermal energy storage) would be an important step towards direct competition with fossil-fuel-based plants and a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the inlet temperatures of closed-cycle high-pressure sCO2 turbine systems are limited by the thermomechanical performance of the compact, metal-alloy-based, printed-circuit-type heat exchangers used to transfer heat to sCO2. We present a robust composite of ceramic (zirconium carbide, ZrC) and the refractory metal tungsten (W) for use in printed-circuit-type heat exchangers at temperatures above 1,023 kelvin. This composite has attractive high-temperature thermal, mechanical and chemical properties and can be processed in a cost-effective manner. We fabricated ZrC/W-based heat exchanger plates with tunable channel patterns by the shape-and-size-preserving chemical conversion of porous tungsten carbide plates. The dense ZrC/W-based composites exhibited failure strengths of over 350 megapascals at 1,073 kelvin, and thermal conductivity values two to three times greater than those of iron- or nickel-based alloys at this temperature. Corrosion resistance to sCO2 at 1,023 kelvin and 20 megapascals was achieved by bonding a copper layer to the composite surface and adding 50 parts per million carbon monoxide to sCO2. Finally, techno-economic analyses indicate that ZrC/W-based heat exchangers can strongly outperform nickel-superalloy-based printed-circuit heat exchangers at lower cost.},
doi = {10.1038/s41586-018-0593-1},
journal = {Nature (London)},
issn = {0028-0836},
number = 7727,
volume = 562,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

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