FE Consultants have been involved in the mechanical design of Solar Thermal systems since 2008. In that time, we have worked with numerous Universities and the CSIRO to deliver the mechanical design of receivers, piping, heat exchangers, and auxiliary equipment.
Solar thermal systems, and in particular the solar receivers, are subject to significant cyclic thermal behaviour. To improve system performance, scientists are continually increasing the design temperature of the components and increasing solar flux concentrations on receiver tubes.
Operating at temperatures in excess of 700°C the design typically consists of high nickel alloys operating in the creep range. The design of pressure equipment in this application requires knowledge and capability in modelling and assessing creep and the often-present creep fatigue interaction.
While this technology is still largely in the research space, recent developments in sodium and CO2 working fluids have the promise of lower levelized costs of electricity and commercial scalability.
FEC have great experience in the mechanical design of these systems and are available to assist with both research oriented and commercial applications. We work regularly with scientists who can reliably predict heat flux on components and compliment their designs with experience in fabrication, design, and maintenance of pressure equipment.
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