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Suction-recirculation device for stabilizing particle flows within a solar powered solid particle receiver

United States Patent

February 7, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A suction-recirculation device for stabilizing the flow of a curtain of blackened heat absorption particles falling inside of a solar receiver with an open aperture. The curtain of particles absorbs the concentrated heat from a solar mirror array reflected up to the receiver on a solar power tower. External winds entering the receiver at an oblique angle can destabilize the particle curtain and eject particles. A fan and ductwork is located behind the back wall of the receiver and sucks air out through an array of small holes in the back wall. Any entrained particles are separated out by a conventional cyclone device. Then, the air is recirculated back to the top of the receiver by injecting the recycled air through an array of small holes in the receiver's ceiling and upper aperture front wall. Since internal air is recirculated, heat losses are minimized and high receiver efficiency is maintained. Suction-recirculation velocities in the range of 1-5 m/s are sufficient to stabilize the particle curtain against external wind speeds in excess of 10 m/s.
Kolb; Gregory J. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
12/ 368,327
February 10, 2009
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Department of Energy Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 with Sandia Corporation.