San Diego State University - Minds That Move the World

Solar Energy

SDSU Masters Theses: Adam Crocker

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Adam Crocker

Adam Crocker
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
San Diego State University
Specialization in Thermal Sciences
2009 - 2012
B.S.-Mechanical Engineering, UC San Diego (2007)

The main focus of my work is modeling fluid flow and heat transfer within a volumetric solar receiver. The first major task to this end was coupling the Monte Carlo Ray Trace (MCRT) code developed by Steve Ruther with the FLUENT CFD software. The MCRT code models the radiation heat transfer in the receiver while FLUENT models convection and the flow itself. Coupling the two models allows for simulation of complex flow characteristics and geometries in the receiver.

I have also made modifications to the MCRT code to include concentric tube geometries and spatial variation of particle size and input flux conditions. The particle size improvements enabled me to integrate the carbon particle oxidation model developed by Trent Martin into the existing coupled model. This gives us a more complete picture of the performance of the receiver by simulating particle oxidation as a result of elevated temperatures.