San Diego State University - Minds That Move the World

Solar Energy

International Study Interns: Tamara Annabelle Schapitz

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Tamara Annabelle Schapitz
Undergraduate in Processing and Environmental Engineering
Heilbronn University, Germany

Thanks to a research scholarship I have the opportunity to work here in the solar research laboratory of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at SDSU. During my two months of internship I will mostly work on the Carbon Particle Generator (CPG) and the on-line analysis of the carbon particles.

Therefore, very small carbon particles (< 1000nm) are generated out of methane or acetylene in a heated ceramic tube, that will later be added to the working gas in the receiver of solar power plants to increase the heat transfer efficiency. The on-line analysis of mean diameter and size distribution is done with the Diesel Particle Scatterometer (DPS), a connected computer program and an extinction tube. That test bay has already been set up by other students (Carina Krastel among others) and made several experimental tests with before. Several tasks (e.g. substituting lasers) have to be done on the DPS and the extinction tube to improve the yielded data and make it reproducible. Also tests of burning the carbon particles - which will later happen in the receiver to increase the achieved temperatures - may be carried out.

The whole work is part of a project under the sponsorship of with the aim of designing a prototype Small Particle Heat Exchange Receiver at SDSU. I am mainly working together with Paul Schroeder who has already been working on that project for some time before.