Thermodynamics analysis of the supercritical CO2 binary mixtures for Brayton power cycles, P. Tafur-Escanta, I. López-Paniagua, J. Muñoz-Antón, Energy, 270, 126838, 2023, Online version,


Supercritical CO2 Brayton-based cycles are a promising technology for concentrated solar power plants. Their high efficiency can be improved by using CO2 mixtures as working fluid instead of pure CO2. This work studies 3 cycle topologies: simple recompression (RCC), recompression with main compressor intercooling (RCMCI) and partial cooling recompression (PCRC), across a range of regenerator conductance (UA), compressor and turbine inlet temperatures. Each topology is simulated with different working fluids: CO2, CO2–NH3, CO2–SO2, CO2–COS and CO2–H2S. The influence of the working fluid, operating conditions and cycle irreversibility on the overall efficiency has been analyzed in depth, finding two interesting, opposing trends. The mixtures with higher critical pressure improve the heat absorption and rejection temperatures of the cycles, but also increase irreversibility. The combination of topology and mixture that achieves the best compromise between both trends will have the higher efficiency. In general, using RCMCI instead of PCRC or RCC can improve efficiency by up to 4% depending on the working fluid and operating conditions. Using a mixture instead of pure CO2 by up to near 3%.