Particle-based heat transfer fluids for concentrated solar power (CSP) tower applications offer a unique advantage over traditional fluids as they have the potential to reach very high operating temperatures. Our work studies the heat transfer behavior of dense granular flows through cylindrical tubes as a potential system configuration for CSP towers. Thus far, we have experimentally investigated the heat transfer to such flows. Our results corroborate the observations of other researchers; namely, that the discrete nature of the flow limits the heat transferred from the tube wall to the flow due to an increased thermal resistance in the wall-adjacent layer. The present study focuses on this near-wall phenomenon, examining how it varies with system configuration and flow rate. A correlation to predict the thermal resistance, in the form of an effective thermal conductivity, was developed based on the underlying physics controlling the heat transfer. The model developed focuses on heat transfer via conduction, considering the heat transfer to particles in contact with the wall, heat transfer to particles not in contact with the wall, and heat transfer through the void spaces. Discrete Element Method simulations were used to examine the flow parameters necessary to understand the heat transfer in the wall-adjacent layer, in particular the packing fraction in the wall-adjacent layer and the number of particle-wall contacts. Incorporation of the model into the single-resistance model developed by Sullivan & Sabersky [1] showed good agreement with their experimental results and those of Natarajan & Hunt [2].

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