Thermodynamic Modelling of Concentrating Solar Powered Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle Integrated with Thermal Storage
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.
Click the video below to view the student's poster pitch.