Storage technology based on solid media heated in direct contact—so-called regenerators—is well suited to promote the market introduction of solar central receiver plants with air receivers. However, starting from existing technologies, several design issues need to be addressed. A test campaign was performed at the Solar Power Tower Jülich, an experimental central receiver plant, to experimentally verify the functionality and to quantify the performance of the plant’s storage subsystem. To this end, a gas burner used during commissioning of the plant, was reactivated and used to run a series of operation sequences. Computer simulations have been set up and applied to retrace the storage behavior to confirm the validity of the underlying models and to gain further insight into the relevant phenomena. The test results confirm the full functionality of the storage subsystem, the ability to perform cycling at high discharge heat rates and relatively low heat losses, supporting the view that the technology represents a promising basis for up-scaled implementations. Measurement data and simulation results are in good agreement, confirming the maturity of existing design tools.

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