Direct steam generation (DSG) in parabolic trough collector (PTC) is an efficient and feasible option for solar thermal power generation as well as for industrial process heat supply. The two-phase flow inside the absorber tube complicates the thermo-hydraulic modeling of the DSG process. In the present work, a thermo-hydraulic model is developed for the DSG process in the receiver of a solar PTC. The two-phase flow in the evaporating section is analyzed using two empirical correlations of heat transfer and pressure drop, and a flow map integrated heat transfer and pressure drop model. The results of the thermo-hydraulic simulation using different two-phase heat transfer and pressure drop correlations were compared with experimental data from the direct solar steam (DISS) test facility at Plataforma Solar de Almeria (PSA), Spain. The test facility has collectors with aperture width of 5.76 m, focal length of 1.71 m, and absorber tube with inner and outer diameters of 50 mm and 70 mm, respectively. The simulation results using the aforementioned two-phase models were found to be satisfactory and consistent within the experimental uncertainty. The flow map based heat transfer model predicted the mean fluid temperature with root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.45% and 1.40%, for the cases considered in the present study. Whereas the flow pattern map based pressure drop model predicts the variation of pressure along the length of the collector with RMSE of 0.5% and 0.14%. Moreover, the flow pattern map based model predicts the different flow regimes paving a better understanding of the two-phase flow and helps in identifying the critical sections along the collector length.

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