EERE's New Projects

High-Temperature Falling-Particle Receiver

Awardee Details

Sandia National Laboratories
New Mexico


DOE Amount 

Sandia National Laboratories with partners Georgia Tech, Bucknell University, King Saud University, and DLR, are developing a falling-particle receiver and heat-exchanger system to increase efficiency and lower costs.

This project seeks to advance falling-particle receivers by passing particles through a receiver with recirculation that allows more heat to be transferred to the particles. The concept enables higher temperatures and greater efficiencies at a lower cost as compared to today's receivers. 

The use of solid particles as the heat-transfer and storage media—rather than conventional fluids such as liquid molten salts or air—is unique. The falling-particle receiver appears well suited for power tower systems ranging from 10–100 megawatts. Such flexibility, combined with lower costs of thermal energy storage, could enable higher penetrations of CSP systems and help meet SunShot Initiative goals.


The research team is pursuing technical innovations that include advances in:

  • Receiver design, with consideration of particle recirculation, air recirculation, and novel designs for increased particle heating
  • Particle materials to increase the solar absorptance and durability
  • Balance of plant for falling-particle receiver systems including thermal storage, heat exchange, and particle conveyance.