A detailed three dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis on gas-particle flow and heat transfer inside a solid particle solar receiver, which utilizes free-falling particles for direct absorption of concentrated solar radiation, is presented. The two-way coupled Euler-Lagrange method is implemented and includes the exchange of heat and momentum between the gas phase and solid particles. A two band discrete ordinate method is included to investigate radiation heat transfer within the particle cloud and between the cloud and the internal surfaces of the receiver. The direct illumination energy source that results from incident solar radiation was predicted by a solar load model using a solar ray tracing algorithm. Two kinds of solid particle receivers, each having a different exit condition for the solid particles, are modeled to evaluate the thermal performance of the receiver. Parametric studies, where the particle size and mass flow rate are varied, are made to determine the optimal operating conditions. The results also include detailed information for the particle and gas velocity, temperature, particle solid volume fraction, and cavity efficiency.

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