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Partic. vol. 43 pp. 149-156 (April 2019)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2018.01.009

Particles in a circulation loop for solar energy capture and storage

Q. Kanga, G. Flamantb, R. Dewila, J. Baeyensc,d, H.L. Zhangd, Y.M. Dengd,*

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    • Particle selection was conducted for use in a circulation loop as solid/gas suspension HTFs. • Health and environmental hazards of the candidate powders were examined. • A cost comparison and tentative ranking of different candidate powders was presented. • Olivine had the most favourable characteristics, followed by cristobalite and sintered bauxite.


This study defines and assesses the selection criteria for suitable particulate materials to be used in an upflow bubbling fluidized bed (UBFB) or dense up-flow powder circulation system for solar energy capture and storage. The main criteria identified are based on the thermophysical and thermomechanical properties, attrition behavior, and the considerations of health and environmental hazards of the candidate powders. Finally, a cost comparison and tentative ranking of the different candidate powders is presented in addition to a weighted scoring. Significant scoring differences can be observed between the various materials. Olivine possesses the most favorable characteristics and appears to be the particulate material of choice for solid/gas suspension heat transfer fluids.

Graphical abstract


Concentrated solar power; Particle-in-tube receiver; Particle properties; Selection criteria