Summary of the Sandia Supercritical CO2 Development Program

by Steven A. Wright1, Tom M. Conboy1, Edward J. Parma1, Tom G. Lewis1, Gary A. Rochau1, & Ahti J. Suo-Anttila2
Sandia National Laboratories
2Computational Engineering Analysis LLC

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Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia or SNL) is investigating advanced Brayton cycles that use supercritical working fluids for application to a variety of heat sources, including geothermal, solar, fossil, and nuclear power. This work is centered on the supercritical CO2 (S-CO2) power conversion cycle which has the potential for high efficiency in the temperature range of interest for these heat sources and is very compact, likely reducing capital costs.

The Sandia supercritical program has focused its effort into four areas including: 1) continued hardware development, testing, and upgrading of the two S-CO2 loops and their components, 2) research and testing of advanced strategies with a focus towards further improving cycle efficiency and extending the applicability of S-CO2 systems, 3) S-CO2 model developments to support systems, components, and operations, and lastly 4) commercial development strategies to build a 10 MWe S-CO2 power conversion system.

A brief summary of each of these four areas of research is provided in this report, but more detailed descriptions can be found in companion papers and presentations within this conference.