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Frontiers in Energy >> 2022, Volume 16, Issue 6 doi: 10.1007/s11708-020-0670-7

Numerical study of conduction and radiation heat losses from vacuum annulus in parabolic trough receivers

Key Laboratory of Solar Thermal Energy and Photovoltaic System, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China; Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; Beijing Engineering Research Center of Solar Thermal Power, Beijing 100190, China

Accepted: 2020-06-12 Available online: 2020-06-12

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Parabolic trough receiver is a key component to convert solar energy into thermal energy in the parabolic trough solar system. The heat loss of the receiver has an important influence on the thermal efficiency and the operating cost of the power station. In this paper, conduction and radiation heat losses are analyzed respectively to identify the heat loss mechanism of the receiver. A 2-D heat transfer model is established by using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method for rarefied gas flow and heat transfer within the annulus of the receiver to predict the conduction heat loss caused by residual gases. The numerical results conform to the experimental results, and show the temperature of the glass envelope and heat loss for various conditions in detail. The effects of annulus pressure, gas species, temperature of heat transfer fluid, and annulus size on the conduction and radiation heat losses are systematically analyzed. Besides, the main factors that cause heat loss are analyzed, providing a theoretical basis for guiding the improvement of receiver, as well as the operation and maintenance strategy to reduce heat loss.

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