Korea Institute of Energy Research

Double flow channel open-type solar heat absorber

Posted by Korea Institute of Energy ResearchResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Korea, Republic of

Summary of the technology

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) have developed an innovative double flow channel open-type solar heat absorber. This technology particularly relates to a solar heat absorber which is formed into rectangular or circular-shaped cross sections to increase a contact area with collected sunlight, and which includes a main body formed using a three-layered tube to form a dual passage so that heat loss is prevented.

Description of the technology

Researchers at the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) have developed an innovative double flow channel open-type solar heat absorber. This technology particularly relates to a solar heat absorber which is formed into rectangular or circular-shaped cross sections to increase a contact area with collected sunlight, and which includes a main body formed using a three-layered tube to form a dual passage so that heat loss is prevented.

This advanced technology is particularly valuable in response to the increasing attention being placed on alternative next-generation clean energy sources. As fossil fuel are being exhausted, many power generation apparatuses using natural power have been developed. This technology represents the next step in the progression of solar energy generation. Internationally there has been a steadily increasing volume of attention paid to renewable energy generation, triggering a subsequent increase in research regarding alternative energy generation. This advantageous technology is specifically related to the generation of solar energy using tower-type solar heat power generation systems.

Tower-type solar heat power generation systems include several heliostats, for tracking, reflecting and collecting sunlight, which allows the focusing of solar energy in one place. These systems also comprise a receiver, for absorbing the energy of the collected solar heat, to transfer the energy to a heat transfer medium. In the tower-type solar heat power generation system, the heat transfer medium passing through the receiver is heated by solar heat energy collected using the heliostats. Common tower-type heat power generation systems suffer several inherent limitations, which inhibit their capacity and wide applicability as an alternative to fossil fuel-based energy generation. Notable, since the absorber unit, of the tower-type solar heat power generation system, has a rear portion which is exposed to the outside, or directly connected to a support, it has a relatively lower temperature than the front portion of the tower. Thus, the apparatus suffers heat loss as the high-temperature air passing through the receiver module experiences heat re-exchange through a wall surface of the rear portion of the absorber.

There is a need for alternative technologies capable of minimising the issues related to the current structure and design of tower-type solar heat power generation systems. At KIER researches have designed an exciting technology capable of minimising the heat loss due to the heat re-exchange at the rear portion of the absorber and provide a dual-passage open-type solar heat absorber. This technology enables an increased length of the inner passage and a heat-exchange area by alternatively installing porous plates and baffles in the inner passage of the dual passage

Double flow channel open-type solar heat absorber having porous plate arrangement method:

To improve the common arrangement of solar energy generation systems this new technology has been designed. Wherebya dual-passage open-type absorber, having a porous plate array which allows a heat-exchange medium to absorb solar heat in a tower-type solar heat generation system, is used. This design functions wherein the heat exchange medium is heated by a sunlight reflected by a heliostat, and steam is generated by the heated heat-exchange medium to generate electricity.

This innovative technology functions using a side wall formed with a three-layered tube having an inner tube, an intermediate tube and an outer tube - which have a rectangular or circular shape and overlap each other. A plurality of through-holes is formed in a side surface of a rear end of the inner tube, side surfaces of the inner, intermediate and outer tubes are spaced apart from each other to form outer and inner passages, which communicate with each other through a front end of the inner tube. A front finish-plate, in a form of a strip-plate, is provided at a front end of the side wall and coupled to ends of the inner and outer tubes to close the end of the three-layered tube. Rear finish-plate, for closing an entire rear end of the side wall, is used in tandem with an inner finish-plate for closing an inside of the inner tube (which is spaced intermittently from the rear finish-plate to front finish-plate). The inner finish-plate is spaced at predetermined distances, such that a space is formed between the inner finish plate and the rear finish plate and a plurality of through-holes are formed in a side surface of the inner tube.

This design enables the reduction of heat loss during solar energy generation using tower-type solar generation systems. Thus, increasing energy generation yield as more solar energy can be generated in less time, compared to common tower-type solar energy generation systems.

This advanced technologyemploys a unique double flow channel open-type solar heat absorber arrangement to streamline the common solar energy generation system. Through its implementation the arrangement minimises heat loss. Thus, improving the economic viability of solar energy generation systems, as an alternative to common fossil fuel based energy generation systems.

Intellectual property status

Granted Patent

Patent number : 9556855

Where : United States

Current development status

Commercially available technologies

Desired business relationship

Technology selling

Patent licensing

Joint ventures

Technology development

New technology applications

Adaptation of technology to other markets

Technology Owner

Korea Institute of Energy Research

Research Institute

Related keywords

  • Energy Technology
  • Energy production, transmission and conversion
  • Renewable Sources of Energy
  • Solar / Thermal Energy Technology
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Environment
  • Environmental Engineering / Technology
  • Energy Market
  • Energy Conservation Related
  • Metering and monitoring
  • Consumer related

About Korea Institute of Energy Research

Research Institute from Korea, Republic of

Since the founding in 1977, the KIER has had focused on energy technology R&D which is closely related with our living standards and national security while overcoming the challenges we have faced as a resource poor country.

KIER's R&D areas include improving efficiency and securing environment-friendly way in use of limited conventional energy resources such as oil, coal as well as natural gas and exploring new energy sources such as solar, wind and water as well as its commercialization.

The KIER also strives towards technology transfer which can be reflected in successful commercialization of our remarkable R&D outcomes by means of industrialization of excellent intellectual property rights, enlarging its R&D activity in bottleneck technology based on small and medium sized enterprises, and communicating actively with markets through "1 researcher to 1 enterprise" technique guidance.

enlarging its R&D activity in bottleneck technology based on small and medium sized enterprises, and communicating actively with markets through "1 researcher to 1 enterprise" technique guidance.

Energy has had a significant influence not only on living standards in a society, but also upon national competitiveness and security. Therefore, the KIER will do its best in developing energy technology for future generations.

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