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Title: Numerical analysis of latent heat thermal energy storage using encapsulated phase change material for solar thermal power plant

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Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 95; Journal Issue: C; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2017-10-04 15:54:49; Journal ID: ISSN 0960-1481
Country of Publication:
United Kingdom

Citation Formats

Bhagat, Kunal, and Saha, Sandip K. Numerical analysis of latent heat thermal energy storage using encapsulated phase change material for solar thermal power plant. United Kingdom: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2016.04.018.
Bhagat, Kunal, & Saha, Sandip K. Numerical analysis of latent heat thermal energy storage using encapsulated phase change material for solar thermal power plant. United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2016.04.018.
Bhagat, Kunal, and Saha, Sandip K. 2016. "Numerical analysis of latent heat thermal energy storage using encapsulated phase change material for solar thermal power plant". United Kingdom. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2016.04.018.
title = {Numerical analysis of latent heat thermal energy storage using encapsulated phase change material for solar thermal power plant},
author = {Bhagat, Kunal and Saha, Sandip K.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1016/j.renene.2016.04.018},
journal = {Renewable Energy},
number = C,
volume = 95,
place = {United Kingdom},
year = 2016,
month = 9

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.renene.2016.04.018

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Cited by: 2works
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  • To reduce the energetic dependence of building, it has become necessary to explore and develop new materials promoting energy conservation. Because of their high storage capacity, phase change materials (PCMs) are efficient to store thermal energy. In this paper, a 3D model was studied for simulation of energy storing cycles to predict the performances of PCM loaded panels. Carbon was used as supporting material for the PCM. The simulation was based on the enthalpy method using Ansys Fluent software. The panel was exposed to a daily heat flow including the effects of convection and radiation. The results show that themore » temperature decreased of approximately 2.5°C with a time shift about 2 hours. The steady state was reached after four cycles. Thus, after four cycles the PCM showed its effects on the temperature conditioning.« less
  • Terrafore successfully demonstrated and optimized the manufacturing of capsules containing phase-changing inorganic salts. The phase change was used to store thermal energy collected from a concentrating solar-power plant as latent heat. This latent heat, in addition to sensible heat increased the energy density (energy stored per unit weight of salt) by over 50%, thus requiring 40% less salt and over 60% less capsule container. Therefore, the cost to store high-temperature thermal energy collected in a concentrating solar power plant will be reduced by almost 40% or more, as compared to conventional two-tank, sensible-only storage systems. The cost for thermal energymore » storage (TES) system is expected to achieve the Sun Shot goal of $15 per kWh(t). Costs associated with poor heat-transfer in phase change materials (PCM) were also eliminated. Although thermal energy storage that relies on the latent heat of fusion of PCM improves energy density by as much as 50%, upon energy discharge the salt freezes and builds on the heat transfer surfaces. Since these salts have low thermal conductivity, large heat-transfer areas, or larger conventional heat-exchangers are needed, which increases costs. By encapsulating PCM in small capsules we have increased the heat transfer area per unit volume of salt and brought the heat transfer fluid in direct contact with the capsules. These two improvements have increased the heat transfer coefficient and boosted heat transfer. The program was successful in overcoming the phenomenon of melt expansion in the capsules, which requires the creation of open volume in the capsules or shell to allow for expansion of the molten salt on melting and is heated above its melting point to 550°C. Under contract with the Department of Energy, Terrafore Inc. and Southwest Research Institute, developed innovative method(s) to economically create the open volume or void in the capsule. One method consists of using a sacrificial polymer coating as the middle layer between the salt prill and the shell material. The selected polymer decomposes at temperatures below the melting point of the salt and forms gases which escape through the pores in the capsule shell thus leaving a void in the capsule. We have demonstrated the process with a commonly used inorganic nitrate salt in a low-cost shell material that can withstand over 10,000 high-temperature thermal cycles, or a thirty-year or greater life in a solar plant. The shell used to encapsulate the salt was demonstrated to be compatible with molten salt heat transfer fluid typically used in CSP plants to temperatures up to 600 °C. The above findings have led to the concept of a cascaded arrangement. Salts with different melting points can be encapsulated using the same recipe and contained in a packed bed by cascading the salt melting at higher melting point at the top over the salt melting at lower melting point towards the bottom of the tank. This cascaded energy storage is required to effectively transfer the sensible heat collected in heat transfer fluids between the operating temperatures and utilize the latent heat of fusion in the salts inside the capsule. Mathematical models indicate that over 90% of the salts will undergo phase change by using three salts in equal proportion. The salts are selected such that the salt at the top of the tank melts at about 15°C below the high operating-temperature, and the salt at the bottom of the tank melts 15°C above the low operating-temperature. The salt in the middle of tank melts in-between the operating temperature of the heat transfer fluid. A cascaded arrangement leads to the capture of 90% of the latent-heat of fusion of salts and their sensible heats. Thus the energy density is increased by over 50% from a sensible-only, two-tank thermal energy storage. Furthermore, the Terrafore cascaded storage method requires only one tank as opposed to the two-tanks used in sensible heat storage. Since heat is transferred from the heat transfer fluid by direct contact with capsules, external heat-exchangers are not required for charging storage. Thus, the cost of the thermal storage system is reduced due to smaller containers and less salt. The optimum salt proportions, their melting temperature and the number of salts in the cascade are determined by raw materials costs and the mathematical model. We estimate the processing cost of the encapsulation to be low, where the major cost of the capsule will be the cost of the phase-change salt(s). Our economic analyses show that the cost of EPCM-TES is about $17.98 per kWh(t), which is about 40% lower than the $28.36 per kWh(t) for a two-tank sensible heat TES for a large scale CSP-TES design. Finally, additional improvements in the heat-transfer fluids, currently in development elsewhere will further improve the energy density to achieve the SunShot goal of $15 per kWh(t).« less
  • With an auxiliary large capacity thermal storage using phase change material (PCM), Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is a promising technology for high efficiency solar energy utilization. In a thermal storage system, a dual-media thermal storage tank is typically adopted in industry for the purpose of reducing the use of the heat transfer fluid (HTF) which is usually expensive. While the sensible heat storage system (SHSS) has been well studied, a dual-media latent heat storage system (LHSS) still needs more attention and study. The volume sizing of the thermal storage tank, considering daily cyclic operations, is of particular significance. In thismore » paper, a general volume sizing strategy for LHSS is proposed, based on an enthalpy-based 1D transient model. One example was presented to demonstrate how to apply this strategy to obtain an actual storage tank volume. With this volume, a LHSS can supply heat to a thermal power plant with the HTF at temperatures above a cutoff point during a desired 6 hours of operation. This general volume sizing strategy is believed to be of particular interest for the solar thermal power industry.« less
  • The continuous increase in the level of greenhouse gas emissions and the rise in fuel prices are the main driving forces behind the efforts for more effectively utilize various sources of renewable energy. In many parts of the world, direct solar radiation is considered to be one of the most prospective sources of energy. In this study, the thermal performance of a phase change thermal storage unit is analyzed and discussed. The storage unit is a component of ten pieced solar air collectors heating system being developed for space heating of a greenhouse and charging of PCM. CaCl{sub 2}6H{sub 2}Omore » was used as PCM in thermal energy storage with a melting temperature of 29 C. Hot air delivered by ten pieced solar air collector is passed through the PCM to charge the storage unit. The stored heat is utilized to heat ambient air before being admitted to a greenhouse. This study is based on experimental results of the PCM employed to analyze the transient thermal behavior of the storage unit during the charge and discharge periods. The proposed size of collectors integrated PCM provided about 18-23% of total daily thermal energy requirements of the greenhouse for 3-4 h, in comparison with the conventional heating device. (author)« less