New development in heat exchangers for solar thermal and industry applications

The present proposal tris to study, both numerical and experimentally, new developments and applications of tubular heat exchangers in different industrial sectors. The project is focused on two main research lines:

1) The use of internal heat exchangers in solar thermal power plants with solid particles as an energy storage system and

2) New designs of inserted passive elements for tubular heat exchangers with interest in the food industry made through additive manufacturing.

For CSP plants applications, we will experimentally study the erosion suffered by an internal heat exchanger in a fluidized bed at high temperatures (above 1000 ºC), like those expected in a solar thermal power plant with direct concentration on particles. Numerical models will also be developed to predict the erosion of the exchangers and to estimate the useful life of the exchanger under different operating conditions. In the food industry, the insertion of passive elements in heat exchangers is common to promote the transition to turbulent regime, avoiding laminar or transition regimes, given the high viscosity of food fluids. In this line, it is intended to control the geometry of these passive elements through an additive manufacturing process, which allows knowing the geometry in detail and optimizing it through experimental tests and numerical simulation.

This project has received the support of the European Union and the Consejería de Educación, Cultura y Deportes Dirección General de Universidades, Investigación e Innovación.