Uncertainty around the design and control of the supercritical CO2 power cycle must be reduced before this technology can be implemented for large-scale grid support. To better understand the day-to-day performance of an sCO2 cycle, off-design performance calculations must be included for all power block components, and performance assumptions must be removed. This study has expanded the modeled scope to include the air-side performance for the dry cooler and has incorporated discretized heat transfer calculations for both streams through the pre-cooler to better predict off-design performance. This study considered a recompression Brayton cycle in a concentrating solar power application. The cycle model utilized fixed sCO2 turbomachinery maps for the main compressor, recompressor, and expander operating to supply approximately 10 MW gross at the design point. Fixed vendor-supplied fan curves were used to calculate the air-side performance of the dry cooler. The primary heater was modeled considering both the sCO2 and heat transfer fluid streams. Off-design performance was predicted for an ambient temperature range of 0–55°C, a HTF temperature range of 705–735°C, and a HTF mass flow range of 50–105% of the design point value. To understand the importance of modeling the air-side performance, the cycle off-design performance was also calculated using a constant CO2 outlet temperature assumption and a constant approach temperature assumption for the dry cooler. Results show that using these assumptions can significantly alter the power output and cycle efficiency predictions.

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