This paper presents an evaluation of alternative particle heat-exchanger designs, including moving packed-bed and fluidized-bed designs, for high-temperature heating of a solar-driven supercritical CO2 (sCO2) Brayton power cycle. The design requirements for high pressure (≥20 MPa) and high temperature (≥700 °C) operation associated with sCO2 posed several challenges requiring high-strength materials for piping and/or diffusion bonding for plates. Designs from several vendors for a 100 kW-thermal particle-to-sCO2 heat exchanger were evaluated as part of this project. Cost, heat-transfer coefficient, structural reliability, manufacturability, parasitics and heat losses, scalability, compatibility, erosion and corrosion, transient operation, and inspection ease were considered in the evaluation. An analytic hierarchy process was used to weight and compare the criteria for the different design options. The fluidized-bed design fared the best on heat transfer coefficient, structural reliability, scalability, and inspection ease, while the moving packed-bed designs fared the best on cost, parasitics and heat losses, manufacturability, compatibility, erosion and corrosion, and transient operation. A 100 kWt shell-and-plate design was ultimately selected for construction and integration with Sandia's falling particle receiver system.

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