Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2022


Falling particle receivers (FPRs) such as the one at Sandia National Labs, represent the state-of-the-art Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology for energy harvesting. The FPR operates by creating a gravity-driven particle curtain in a receiver that is irradiated by concentrated sunlight from a field of concentrators. The particles are used directly as the heat transfer and storage media for the concentrated energy absorbed. However, during operation, particles can egress through the open aperture of the receiver cavity, resulting in particle-inventory and heat losses from the system. The particle plumes egressing from the cavity present a unique challenge to metrology due to their transient and stochastic nature, and the extremely high temperatures and concentrated sunlight near the receiver. This work describes the development of a novel non-intrusive methodology to achieve an indirect particle-temperature measurement and particle-egress rate estimation. Both laboratory-scale and field-scale tests were performed to validate the method and algorithms.


Concentrating Solar Power, Falling Particle Receiver, Imaging Methodology, Particle Egress

Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Peter Vorobieff

Second Committee Member

Dr. Gowtham Mohan

Third Committee Member

Dr. Clifford Ho

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Jane Lehr

Document Type