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Thermodynamic performance analysis of different supercritical Brayton cycles using CO2-based binary mixtures in the molten salt solar power tower systems

Guo, Jia-Qi, Li, Ming-Jia, Xu, Jin-Liang, Yan, Jun-Jie, Wang, Kun
Energy 2019 v.173 pp. 785-798
additives, butanes, carbon dioxide, exergy, solar energy, temperature, xenon
The potential to improve the performance of molten salt solar power tower system (SPT) is explored through the proposal of CO2-based binary mixture cycle in the present study. The feasibility of using xenon and butane as the additives to the S-CO2 cycle are discussed from the perspective of thermodynamic analysis. The detail parametric study is performed to reveal the effects of crucial parameters on the performance of 4 system configurations. Furthermore, the systematic comparison is conducted for 4 cycle layouts adopting CO2/xenon, CO2 and CO2/butane separately to illustrate the mechanism of performance improvement of SPT system coupled to CO2-based binary mixture cycle. The optimal performance of the SPT system is also demonstrated. Finally, the best performance system layout and suitable additives are recommended. The results indicate the following issues. Adding xenon into S-CO2 cycle can obviously improve the overall thermal efficiency and exergy efficiency. While the effects of butane as an additive are converse. The inter-cooling CO2/xenon cycle is recommended as the most suitable layout coupled to the SPT system, and the exergy efficiency is 1.18%∼1.32% higher than that of the SPT system with S-CO2 inter-cooling cycle. Detail exergy loss fraction distribution illustrates that the receiver is the highest exergy loss part and followed by the heliostat field, and butane as an additive is beneficial to reduce the receiver exergy loss for its smaller temperature difference. The study can provide a novel way to improve the SPT system performance and give a clue to the addition of CO2-based binary mixture in power cycles particularly for the application of SPT system.