City Research Online

Axial turbine flow path design for concentrated solar power plants operating with CO2 blends

Salah, S., Crespi, F., White, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-7744-1993 , Munoz, A., Paggini, A., Ruggiero, M., Sanchez, D. & Sayma, A. I. ORCID: 0000-0003-2315-0004 (2023). Axial turbine flow path design for concentrated solar power plants operating with CO2 blends. Applied Thermal Engineering, 230(Part A), article number 120612. doi: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2023.120612


The utilisation of certain blends based on supercritical CO (sCO), namely CO/TiCl, CO/C and CO/SO, have been found to be promising for enhancing the performance of power cycles for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) applications; allowing for up to a 6% enhancement in cycle efficiency with respect to a simple recuperated CO cycle, depending upon the nature of the used blend and the cycle configuration of choice. This paper presents an investigation of the impact of adopting these sCO-based blends on the flow path design for a multi-stage axial turbine whilst accounting for aerodynamic, mechanical and rotordynamic considerations. This includes assessing the sensitivity of the turbine design to selected working fluid and imposed optimal cycle conditions. Ultimately, this study aims to provide the first indication that a high-efficiency turbine can be achieved for a large-scale axial turbine operating with these non-conventional working fluids and producing power in excess of 120 MW. To achieve this aim, mean-line aerodynamic design is integrated with mechanical and rotordynamic constraints, specified based on industrial experience, to ensure technically feasible solutions with maximum aerodynamic efficiency. Different turbine flow path designs have been produced for three sCO blends under different cycle boundary conditions. Specifically, flow paths have been obtained for optimal cycle configurations at five different molar fractions and two different turbine inlet pressure and temperature levels of 250 & 350 bar and 550 & 700 °C respectively. A total-to-total turbine efficiency in excess of 92% was achieved, which is considered promising for the future of CO plants. The highest efficiencies are achieved for designs with a large number of stages, corresponding to reduced hub diameters due to the need for a fixed synchronous rotational speed. The large number of stages is contrary to existing sCO turbine designs, but it is found that an increase from 4 to 14 stages can increase the efficiency by around 5%. Ultimately, based on the preliminary cost analysis results, the designs with a large number of stages showed to be financially feasible compared to the designs with a small number of stages.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: Axial turbine, CO2 cycles, Mean-line design, CO2-blends, Flow path design
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S1359431123006415-main.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview
[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S1359431123006415-main.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login