Mechanical Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2022


The Falling Particle Receiver (FPR) built by Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) at the National Solar Thermal Testing Facilities (NSTTF) is one of the latest concentrated energy harvesting systems for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). The FPR system at the NSTTF uses solid particles as both the heat transfer fluid and storage media. This FPR operates by having a gravity-driven particles curtain being irradiated through an open cavity by CSP, provided by a heliostat field. However, during operation plumes of particles being expelled out of the receiver cavity can be observed, resulting in heat losses as well as particle inventory losses. The work here presented describes the integration of Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) techniques to sets of thermograms obtained from a high-speed IR camera for the development of a non-intrusive methodology aimed to estimate the advective losses of the mentioned FPR. To achieve this goal, both laboratory scale and field scale tests were conducted to validate the developed methodology.


Concentrated Solar Power, PIVlab, Particle Image Velocimetry, Central receiver, Falling Particle Receiver

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 K. Ho

Document Type