Heat Pipe Solar Receiver Development Activities at Sandia National Laboratories

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Over the past decade, Sandia National Laboratories has been involved in the development of receivers to transfer energy from the focus of a parabolic dish concentrator to the heater tubes of a Stirling engine. Through the isothermal evaporation and condensation of sodium. a heat-pipe receiver can efficiently transfer energy to an engine's working fluid and compensate for irregularities in the flux distribution that is delivered by the concentrator. The operation of the heat pipe is completely passive because the liquid sodium is distributed over the solar-heated surface by capillary pumping provided by a wick structure. Tests have shown that using ... continued below

Physical Description

12 p.

Creation Information

Adkins, D.R.; Andraka, C.E.; Moreno, J.B.; Moss, T.A.; Rawlinson, K.S. & Showalter, S.K. January 8, 1999.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 18 times . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Over the past decade, Sandia National Laboratories has been involved in the development of receivers to transfer energy from the focus of a parabolic dish concentrator to the heater tubes of a Stirling engine. Through the isothermal evaporation and condensation of sodium. a heat-pipe receiver can efficiently transfer energy to an engine's working fluid and compensate for irregularities in the flux distribution that is delivered by the concentrator. The operation of the heat pipe is completely passive because the liquid sodium is distributed over the solar-heated surface by capillary pumping provided by a wick structure. Tests have shown that using a heat pipe can boost the system performance by twenty percent when compared to directly illuminating the engine heater tubes. Designing heat pipe solar receivers has presented several challenges. The relatively large area ({approximately}0.2 m{sup 2}) of the receiver surface makes it difficult to design a wick that can continuously provide liquid sodium to all regions of the heated surface. Selecting a wick structure with smaller pores will improve capillary pumping capabilities of the wick, but the small pores will restrict the flow of liquid and generate high pressure drops. Selecting a wick that is comprised of very tine filaments can increase the permeability of the wick and thereby reduce flow losses, however, the fine wick structure is more susceptible to corrosion and mechanical damage. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the issues encountered in the design of heat pipe solar receivers and solutions to problems that have arisen. Topics include: flow characterization in the receiver, the design of wick systems. the minimization of corrosion and dissolution of metals in sodium systems. and the prevention of mechanical failure in high porosity wick structures.

Physical Description

12 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00003248

Medium: P; Size: 12 pages

Source

  • Renewable and Advanced Energy Systems for the 21st Century Conference, Maui, HI (US), 04/11/1999--04/15/1999

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  • Report No.: SAND99-0056C
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 3248
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc678091

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • January 8, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 8:13 p.m.

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Adkins, D.R.; Andraka, C.E.; Moreno, J.B.; Moss, T.A.; Rawlinson, K.S. & Showalter, S.K. Heat Pipe Solar Receiver Development Activities at Sandia National Laboratories, article, January 8, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc678091/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.