This paper evaluates the on-sun performance of a 1 MW falling particle receiver. Two particle receiver designs were investigated: obstructed flow particle receiver versus free-falling particle receiver. The intent of the tests was to investigate the impact of particle mass flow rate, irradiance, and particle temperature on the particle temperature rise and thermal efficiency of the receiver for each design. Results indicate that the obstructed flow design increased the residence time of the particles in the concentrated flux, thereby increasing the particle temperature and thermal efficiency for a given mass flow rate. The obstructions, a staggered array of chevron-shaped mesh structures, also provided more stability to the falling particles, which were prone to instabilities caused by convective currents in the free-fall design. Challenges encountered during the tests included nonuniform mass flow rates, wind impacts, and oxidation/deterioration of the mesh structures. Alternative materials, designs, and methods are presented to overcome these challenges.

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