As supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) is emerging as a potential working fluid in power production Brayton cycles, fluid purity within the power cycle loops has become an issue impacting commercialization. Sandia National Laboratories has been evaluating the longevity of sCO2 recompression closed Brayton power cycles to quantify the advantages of sCO2 over other fluids as utilizing sCO2 yields comparatively greater efficiencies. Hydrocarbon plugging has been observed in the small printed circuit heat exchanger channels of our high temperature recuperator, increasing pressure drop across the heat exchanger. As pressure drop is a critical factor in the overall efficiency of sCO2 recompression closed Brayton cycles, in this paper we report on our investigation into heat exchanger efficiency reduction from hydrocarbon plugging induced pressure drop.

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