A preliminary design of solar thermal generating system using alkali metal thermal to electric converter (AMTEC) is proposed and discussed in this paper. High conversion efficiency, compactness, lightweight, and maintenance free are its characteristics. A vapor-condense-type AMTEC cell incorporated in a solar receiver of about 10 kWe in size was designed. The thermal energy flow for the designed receiver has been calculated and examined. The analysis has been conducted under two operating conditions, maximum efficiency mode and maximum output power mode. On the maximum efficiency mode, the calculated conversion efficiency is 27% for the AMTEC system and 19% for the overall receiver system with the output power is 10.3 kWe at 1000 K. On the maximum output power mode, the conversion efficiency is 20% for the AMTEC system and 17% for the overall receiver system with the output power is 19.1 kW e at 1000 K. The preliminary calculated result has shown that the solar-AMTEC generating system has performance advantage in the solar power generating systems.
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