Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (S-CO2) is emerging as a potential working fluid in power-production Brayton cycles. As a result, concerns have been raised regarding fluid purity within the power cycle loops. Additionally, investigations into the longevity of the S-CO2 power cycle materials are being conducted to quantify the advantages of using S-CO2 versus other fluids, since S-CO2 promises substantially higher efficiencies. One potential issue with S-CO2 systems is intergranular corrosion [1]. At this time, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is establishing a materials baseline through the analysis of 1) “as received” stainless steel piping, and 2) piping exposed to S-CO2 under typical operating conditions with SNL’s Brayton systems. Results from ongoing investigations are presented.

A second issue that SNL has discovered involves substantial erosion in the turbine blade and inlet nozzle. It is believed that this is caused by small particulates that originate from different materials around the loop that are entrained by the S-CO2 to the nozzle, where they impact the inlet nozzle vanes, causing erosion. We believe that, in some way, this is linked to the purity of the S-CO2, the corrosion contaminants, and the metal particulates that are present in the loop and its components.

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