Thermodynamic Modelling of Concentrating Solar Powered Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle Integrated with Thermal Storage

Lauren Rogers

Authors:  Lauren Rogers, Dr. James Trainham, Dr. Jonathan Scheffe

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Scheffe

College:  Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


High temperature concentrating solar energy systems integrated with thermal storage have the potential to offer clean and round the clock power generation. For solar concentrators with temperature outputs above 700℃, supercritical CO2 (SCO2) Brayton cycles are attractive because of they are a compact, efficient, and potentially cost-effective power generation solution . In this project, various configurations of sCO2 power cycles are theoretically modelled using Python, where thermodynamic data for CO2 was acquired using an equation of state that prior was been only available in expensive commercial software packages. We aimed to use this tool for the optimization of potential cycle configurations that are paired with a solar concentrator and thermal brick storage, using a molten metal heat transfer loop. Introducing thermal storage into the cycle provides the capability for a constant power output despite varied solar inputs, making this solution competitive against other solutions currently powering the grid.

Poster Pitch

Click the video below to view the student's poster pitch.


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7 Responses
  1. Valerie Prytkova

    The most incredible Engineering girl out there. Beautiful, smart, and well-spoken!! Your research is ALMOST as cool as you!
    Also, I love the idea of a video voice-over. Great work! 🙂

  2. Macartney Ewing

    Hey Lauren! Awesome work and fantastic system schematic! I am in Dr. Scheffe’s solar energy class right now, so this was especially interesting to me. Great video, too!

  3. Macartney Ewing

    Hey Lauren, great work! Your poster is very clear and concise, and the schematic is very well done. I am in Dr. Scheffe’s solar energy utilization class now, so this was especially interesting to me. Great job with the video, too!

  4. Bryn Tolchinsky

    Lauren, you are incredible! This is a very exciting research project and I cannot wait to see what you will do in terms of your future employment and career with this extensive knowledge!