Design and optimization of tube-type receiver panels for molten salt application

David C. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A method for optimization of a tube-type solar receiver panel to achieve minimum receiver cost is presented. The method is based on a straightforward algorithm for sizing a solar receiver based on independent design variables. A family of designs can readily be derived from this algorithm by varying the design variables. A cost formula is then applied to the designs, allowing a search for the most economic design. The cost formula includes a term proportional to the receiver size, and another proportional to the receiver pressure drop. A relative minimum cost receiver is sought by varying the number and size of the tubes that make up the receiver panels. 'Conventional' tube-type molten salt receivers, designed using this approach, have employed a configuration of multiple passes of fairly large diameter tubes with high velocity salt flow and relatively high pressure drops. A larger but lower pressure drop receiver is favored, however, if the cost of pressure drop is higher than previously considered. By exploring a wider range of design parameters in the optimization, a significantly different design emerges. This design employs small diameter thin walled tubes. The design has the potential to be significantly smaller and have a lower pressure drop. The use of small diameter, thin walled tubes creates some practical problems that have not been fully addressed, but the resulting design represents a significant improvement worthy of further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSol Eng 92
PublisherPubl by ASME
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0791807622
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes
Event1992 ASME-JSES-KSES International Solar Energy Conference Part 1 (of 2) - Maui, HI, USA
Duration: Apr 5 1992Apr 9 1992

Publication series

NameSol Eng 92


Conference1992 ASME-JSES-KSES International Solar Energy Conference Part 1 (of 2)
CityMaui, HI, USA


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