Embodiments described herein relate to a method of producing energy from concentrated solar flux. The method includes dropping granular solid particles through a solar flux receiver configured to transfer energy from concentrated solar flux incident on the solar flux receiver to the granular solid particles as heat. The method also includes fluidizing the granular solid particles from the solar flux receiver to produce a gas-solid fluid. The gas-solid fluid is passed through a heat exchanger to transfer heat from the solid particles in the gas-solid fluid to a working fluid. The granular solid particles are extracted from the gas-solid fluid such that the granular solid particles can be dropped through the solar flux receiver again.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the manager and operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.