Novel particle release patterns have been proposed as a means to increase the thermal efficiency of high-temperature falling particle receivers. Innovative release patterns offer the ability to utilize light-trapping and volumetric heating effects as a means to increase particle temperatures over a conventional straight-line particle release pattern. The particle release patterns explored in this work include wave-like patterns and a series of parallel curtains normal to the incident irradiation that have shown favorable results in previous numerical studies at lower particle temperatures. A numerical model has recently been developed of an existing falling particle receiver at the National Solar Thermal Test Facility at Sandia National Laboratories to evaluate these patterns at elevated temperatures necessary to evaluate radiative and convective losses. This model has demonstrated that thermal efficiency gains of 2.5–4.6% could be realized using these patterns compared to the conventional planar release depending on the particle mass flow rate. Increasing the number of parallel curtains, increasing the spacing between curtains, and shifting the particle mass flow rate deeper in the receiver cavity was also found to increase the thermal efficiency. These effects became less significant as the particle mass flow rate increased.

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