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A Steady State Thermodynamic Model of Concentrating Solar Power with Thermochemical Energy Storage

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Fluids such as steam, oils, and molten salts are commonly used to store and transfer heat in a concentrating solar power (CSP) system. Metal oxide materials have received increasing attention

Fluids such as steam, oils, and molten salts are commonly used to store and transfer heat in a concentrating solar power (CSP) system. Metal oxide materials have received increasing attention for their reversible reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction that permits receiving, storing, and releasing energy through sensible and chemical potential. This study investigates the performance of a 111.7 MWe CSP system coupled with a thermochemical energy storage system (TCES) that uses a redox active metal oxide acting as the heat transfer fluid. A one-dimensional thermodynamic model is introduced for the novel CSP system design, with detailed designs of the underlying nine components developed from first principles and empirical data of the heat transfer media. The model is used to (a) size components, (b) examine intraday operational behaviors of the system against varying solar insolation, (c) calculate annual productivity and performance characteristics over a simulated year, and (d) evaluate factors that affect system performance using sensitivity analysis. Time series simulations use hourly direct normal irradiance (DNI) data for Barstow, California, USA. The nominal system design uses a solar multiple of 1.8 with a storage capacity of six hours for off-sun power generation. The mass of particles to achieve six hours of storage weighs 5,140 metric tonnes. Capacity factor increases by 3.55% for an increase in storage capacity to eight hours which requires an increase in storage volume by 33% or 737 m3, or plant design can be improved by decreasing solar multiple to 1.6 to increase the ratio of annual capacity factor to solar multiple. The solar reduction receiver is the focal point for the concentrated solar energy for inducing an endothermic reaction in the particles under low partial pressure of oxygen, and the reoxidation reactor induces the opposite exothermic reaction by mixing the particles with air to power an air Brayton engine. Stream flow data indicate the solar receiver experiences the largest thermal loss of any component, excluding the solar field. Design and sensitivity analysis of thermal insulation layers for the solar receiver show that additional RSLE-57 insulation material achieves the greatest increase in energetic efficiency of the five materials investigated.

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  • 2017