In order to achieve a 100% renewable electricity production objective, the Concentrated solar power plant (SPP) with storage play a key role. In recent years its implementation has spread exponentially because it is the renewable energy that presents greater manageability, achieving independence of electricity production from solar resources. The SPT consist of a series of mirrors that reflect solar radiation to a receiver located at the top of a tower. The receiver intercepts the reflected solar radiation and transmits the energy to the fluid work. The hot fluid is stored in tanks for later use in production of electricity. In SPP the receiver is the most critical system and the one that needs the most consideration, because it is the nucleus of the link between the solar field and the power production cycle. The biggest challenge associated with the design of the receiver lies in finding a compromise between efficiency and safety, life time and cost.
This proposal includes a multidisciplinary project to be carried out by young people researchers from the Departments of Thermal and Fluid Engineering and Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis with the aim of consolidating a line of research interdisciplinary. The main objective of this project is to avoid the early rupture of the receiver, due to the combined action of high thermal gradients, stresses and corrosion produced by high incident radiation fluxes. The most effective way to reduce stress and improve operational safety without reducing plant efficiency is to reduce thermal gradients in the circumferential direction. For this purpose, the RETOrenovable-CM-UC3M project proposes to study the feasibility of new receiver designs made up of tubes of different geometries and asymmetrical properties (Functionally Graded Materials). Optimization of these designs requires a combination of analysis of the heat transfer and the elasticity and strength of materials. New methods of heat flow estimation will also be developed and considerations on fatigue and creep.