A High Flux Solar Thermal Receiver


Technology Description


The microchannel based solar receiver (MSR) uses a modular arrangement of microchannels in its design that enable the working fluid to be heated in a concentrating solar receiver. The MSR is made of nickel super alloy and designed with the microchannels operating in parallel, which allows a large amount of flux to be removed by the receiver operating at high temperature and pressure. A branching distribution is used to enable a larger number of short microchannels. Microscale pins are used to reduce the temperature difference between the receiver surface and the heat transfer fluid. The technology is designed to be “numbered” up where one standard module is used and capacity is increased by adding identical modules. This MSR design is the first application of the technology to central receiver power generation.


Features & Benefits


  • Operates at high temperatures and pressures
  • Can be used with supercritical CO2 or molten salt
  • Reduced receiver size allowing higher incident flux
  • Reduction of thermal losses by a factor of four




  • Solar central receivers
  • Solar thermal power plants
  • Dish concentrators


Background of Invention


Current state of the art in solar thermal receivers are limited by the heat flux absorbed by the central receiver and transferred to the heat transfer fluid. This invention consists of two design concepts for a microchannel based solar receiver that can dramatically improve heat flux. It is applicable to a wide variety of solar technologies as the receiver is an integral component in numerous solar devices. By utilizing microchannels, the receiver is capable of absorbing higher solar flux allowing in a reduction of size and cost of the receiver itself. As a result, the design can reduce thermal losses through the receiver by a factor of four. By reducing the cost and size of the receivers, a higher incident flux is possible. This enables the use of high temperature heat transfer fluids, which increases the overall efficiency of the solar device.




Provisional patent application submitted



Patent Information:
Tech ID:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
Monte Kevin Drost
Vinod Narayanan
Brian Fronk
Sourabh Apte
Thomas L'estrange
Erfan Rasouli
Kyle Zada
Eric Truong
Charles Rymal
Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Inst. (ATAMI)
Modular microchannel arrangement
Solar flux absorption
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