Integrated thermal energy storage (TES) is necessary for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants to be implemented as a cost-competitive and reliable power production option. This work presents and discusses existing utility scale CSP plants with integrated TES. The current standard TES system configuration, indirect two-tank, is presented, and the single-tank thermocline is proposed as a cost-reducing alternative. The traditional thermocline concept involves storing energy in a “packed-bed” of solid aggregate; however, concerns exist that settlement of aggregate over repeated thermal cycles may lead to thermal ratcheting and rupture of the tank’s walls. To address this issue, a structured thermocline is proposed, in which the aggregate bed is replaced with plates of concrete. Finite-difference-based numeric models are introduced and used to study the performance of packed-bed and structured thermoclines. A complete cost analysis of a 2,165 MWht TES system, considering both thermocline configurations, is provided. System Advisory Model (SAM) is used to perform life-cycle cost and performance analysis of a central receiver CSP plant incorporating three unique TES configurations: none, packed-bed thermocline, and structured thermocline. Conclusions are drawn as to which TES configuration is the most viable.
- Heat Transfer Division
A Comparative Cost and Performance Analysis of Structured and Packed-Bed Thermocline Thermal Energy Storage Systems
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Strasser, MN, & Selvam, RP. "A Comparative Cost and Performance Analysis of Structured and Packed-Bed Thermocline Thermal Energy Storage Systems." Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the ASME 2013 7th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2013 11th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology. Volume 1: Heat Transfer in Energy Systems; Thermophysical Properties; Theory and Fundamental Research in Heat Transfer. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. July 14–19, 2013. V001T01A027. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/HT2013-17169
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