EERE's New Projects

High-Flux Microchannel Solar Receiver

Program Area 
Photovoltaic

Awardee Details

Awardee 
Oregon State University
State 
Oregon

Funding

DOE Amount 
$800,000

Oregon State University and its partnersĀ are working to develop an advanced heat exchanger for use in CSP receivers. The heat exchanger has the potential to significantly increase heat transfer and reduce the size of the receiver.

The research team seeks to reduce the size, weight, and thermal loss from high-temperature solar receivers by applying microchannel heat-transfer technology to solar-receiver design. The extremely high heat-transfer rates afforded by microchannels are expected to enable the development of a receiver that can absorb high solar flux, while using a variety of liquid and gaseous working fluids.

The novel use of microchannels for enhanced heat transfer in solar receivers has the potential to significantly reduce device size and increase performance. The research team also intends to develop novel adaptive flow-control devices capable of redistributing flow as solar flux varies with time.

Objectives 
  • Develop a microchannel solar-receiver design for liquid-cooled microchannel receivers and test the concept in the laboratory
  • Develop a microchannel solar-receiver design for gas cooling, test the concept in the laboratory, and demonstrate the design on a solar dish at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory