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Thermo-structural analysis of a honeycomb-type volumetric absorber for concentrated solar power applications

Masoud Behzad (Industrial Engineering School, Faculty of Engineering, Universidad de Valparaíso, Brasil, Valparaíso, Chile)
Benjamin Herrmann (Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, USA and Institut für Strömungsmechanik, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany)
Williams R. Calderón-Muñoz (Department of Mechanical Engineering, FCFM, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile and Energy Center, FCFM, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
José M. Cardemil (Department of Mechanical and Metallurgical Engineering, Escuela de Ingeniería, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile)
Rodrigo Barraza (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Santiago, Chile)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 3 June 2021

Issue publication date: 5 January 2022




Volumetric air receivers experience high thermal stress as a consequence of the intense radiation flux they are exposed to when used for heat and/or power generation. This study aims to propose a proper design that is required for the absorber and its holder to ensure efficient heat transfer between the fluid and solid phases and to avoid system failure due to thermal stress.


The design and modeling processes are applied to both the absorber and its holder. A multi-channel explicit geometry design and a discrete model is applied to the absorber to investigate the conjugate heat transfer and thermo-mechanical stress levels present in the steady-state condition. The discrete model is used to calibrate the initial state of the continuum model that is then used to investigate the transient operating states representing cloud-passing events.


The steady-state results constitute promising findings for operating the system at the desired airflow temperature of 700°C. In addition, we identified regions with high temperatures and high-stress values. Furthermore, the transient state model is capable of capturing the heat transfer and fluid dynamics phenomena, allowing the boundaries to be checked under normal operating conditions.


Thermal stress analysis of the absorber and the steady/transient-state thermal analysis of the absorber/holder were conducted. Steady-state heat transfer in the explicit model was used to calibrate the initial steady-state of the continuum model.



This work has been supported by Enerbosch SpA and by CORFO Chile under the grant CORFO Contratos Tecnológicos 18COTE-89602. The authors also appreciate the financial support from project ANID/FONDECYT/1191705 and the project ANID/FONDAP/15110019 “Solar Energy Research Center”- SERC-Chile.


Behzad, M., Herrmann, B., Calderón-Muñoz, W.R., Cardemil, J.M. and Barraza, R. (2022), "Thermo-structural analysis of a honeycomb-type volumetric absorber for concentrated solar power applications", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 598-615.



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