The development and application of design and optimization methods for energy intensive mechanical systems for challenging environments as applied to a concentrated solar power particle lift system
Repole, Kenzo K.
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This dissertation investigated improved methods and tools for the design and optimization of energy intensive mechanical systems with specific application to high temperature particle transport for use in a particle heating receiver based concentrated solar power system. This form of concentrated solar power uses solid particles to capture the solar energy and then use it for power generation or store it as thermal energy for later use. The particle lift system is a critical component which must transport the particles from the lower temperature storage bin back to the particle heating receiver. This research is the integration and development of design and analysis tools for such energy-intensive mechanical systems and their demonstration in the conceptual design followed by the design development and optimization. The conceptual design employs an innovative multi-stage structured design process. For optimization, a unique performance and cost model based on first principles and standard cost engineering is used to generate efficiency and cost estimates. The design development, modeling, and optimization methods developed herein, while demonstrated for a particular system, are generally applicable to any energy intensive materials handling system, especially one developed for operation in a challenging environment such as the high temperature particle-laden environment in this application. This research furthers the development of design and analysis tools and the methods available for developing such energy intensive systems and the development of basic design methods. It helps ensure that potentially effective conceptual design approaches are not overlooked and that the most promising concepts are selected and developed and implemented with a minimum investment in the design and engineering effort.