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Title: Regenerative Carbonate-Based Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Concentrating Solar Power

Abstract

Southern Research has developed a thermochemical energy storage (TCES) technology that utilizes the endothermic-exothermic reversible carbonation of calcium oxide (lime) to store thermal energy at high-temperatures, such as those achieved by next generation concentrating solar power (CSP) facilities. The major challenges addressed in the development of this system include refining a high capacity, yet durable sorbent material and designing a low thermal resistance low-cost heat exchanger reactor system to move heat between the sorbent and a heat transfer fluid under conditions relevant for CSP operation (e.g., energy density, reaction kinetics, heat flow). The proprietary stabilized sorbent was developed by Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI). A factorial matrix of sorbent compositions covering the design space was tested using accelerated high throughput screening in a thermo-gravimetric analyzer. Several promising formulations were selected for more thorough evaluation and one formulation with high capacity (0.38 g CO 2/g sorbent) and durability (>99.7% capacity retention over 100 cycles) was chosen as a basis for further development of the energy storage reactor system. In parallel with this effort, a full range of currently available commercial and developmental heat exchange reactor systems and sorbent loading methods were examined through literature research and contacts with commercial vendors. Process modelsmore » were developed to examine if a heat exchange reactor system and balance of plant can meet required TCES performance and cost targets, optimizing tradeoffs between thermal performance, exergetic efficiency, and cost. Reactor types evaluated included many forms, from microchannel reactor, to diffusion bonded heat exchanger, to shell and tube heat exchangers. The most viable design for application to a supercritical CO 2 power cycle operating at 200-300 bar pressure and >700°C was determined to be a combination of a diffusion bonded heat exchanger with a shell and tube reactor. A bench scale reactor system was then designed and constructed to test sorbent performance under more commercially relevant conditions. This system utilizes a tube-in tube reactor design containing approximately 250 grams sorbent and is able to operate under a wide range of temperature, pressure and flow conditions as needed to explore system performance under a variety of operating conditions. A variety of sorbent loading methods may be tested using the reactor design. Initial bench test results over 25 cycles showed very high sorbent stability (>99%) and sufficient capacity (>0.28 g CO 2/g sorbent) for an economical commercial-scale system. Initial technoeconomic evaluation of the proposed storage system show that the sorbent cost should not have a significant impact on overall system cost, and that the largest cost impacts come from the heat exchanger reactor and balance of plant equipment, including compressors and gas storage, due to the high temperatures for sCO 2 cycles. Current estimated system costs are $47/kWhth based on current material and equipment cost estimates.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Southern Research Inst., Durham, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Southern Research Inst., Durham, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1377395
Report Number(s):
DOE-SouthernResearch-6535
16EE000448
DOE Contract Number:
EE0006535
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 14 SOLAR ENERGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; thermochemical energy storage; concentrated solar power

Citation Formats

Gangwal, Santosh, and Muto, Andrew. Regenerative Carbonate-Based Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Concentrating Solar Power. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1377395.
Gangwal, Santosh, & Muto, Andrew. Regenerative Carbonate-Based Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Concentrating Solar Power. United States. doi:10.2172/1377395.
Gangwal, Santosh, and Muto, Andrew. 2017. "Regenerative Carbonate-Based Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Concentrating Solar Power". United States. doi:10.2172/1377395. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1377395.
@article{osti_1377395,
title = {Regenerative Carbonate-Based Thermochemical Energy Storage System for Concentrating Solar Power},
author = {Gangwal, Santosh and Muto, Andrew},
abstractNote = {Southern Research has developed a thermochemical energy storage (TCES) technology that utilizes the endothermic-exothermic reversible carbonation of calcium oxide (lime) to store thermal energy at high-temperatures, such as those achieved by next generation concentrating solar power (CSP) facilities. The major challenges addressed in the development of this system include refining a high capacity, yet durable sorbent material and designing a low thermal resistance low-cost heat exchanger reactor system to move heat between the sorbent and a heat transfer fluid under conditions relevant for CSP operation (e.g., energy density, reaction kinetics, heat flow). The proprietary stabilized sorbent was developed by Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI). A factorial matrix of sorbent compositions covering the design space was tested using accelerated high throughput screening in a thermo-gravimetric analyzer. Several promising formulations were selected for more thorough evaluation and one formulation with high capacity (0.38 g CO2/g sorbent) and durability (>99.7% capacity retention over 100 cycles) was chosen as a basis for further development of the energy storage reactor system. In parallel with this effort, a full range of currently available commercial and developmental heat exchange reactor systems and sorbent loading methods were examined through literature research and contacts with commercial vendors. Process models were developed to examine if a heat exchange reactor system and balance of plant can meet required TCES performance and cost targets, optimizing tradeoffs between thermal performance, exergetic efficiency, and cost. Reactor types evaluated included many forms, from microchannel reactor, to diffusion bonded heat exchanger, to shell and tube heat exchangers. The most viable design for application to a supercritical CO2 power cycle operating at 200-300 bar pressure and >700°C was determined to be a combination of a diffusion bonded heat exchanger with a shell and tube reactor. A bench scale reactor system was then designed and constructed to test sorbent performance under more commercially relevant conditions. This system utilizes a tube-in tube reactor design containing approximately 250 grams sorbent and is able to operate under a wide range of temperature, pressure and flow conditions as needed to explore system performance under a variety of operating conditions. A variety of sorbent loading methods may be tested using the reactor design. Initial bench test results over 25 cycles showed very high sorbent stability (>99%) and sufficient capacity (>0.28 g CO2/g sorbent) for an economical commercial-scale system. Initial technoeconomic evaluation of the proposed storage system show that the sorbent cost should not have a significant impact on overall system cost, and that the largest cost impacts come from the heat exchanger reactor and balance of plant equipment, including compressors and gas storage, due to the high temperatures for sCO2 cycles. Current estimated system costs are $47/kWhth based on current material and equipment cost estimates.},
doi = {10.2172/1377395},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • This project was motivated by the potential of reducible perovskite oxides for high-temperature, thermochemical energy storage (TCES) to provide dispatchable renewable heat for concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. This project sought to identify and characterize perovskites from earth-abundant cations with high reducibility below 1000 °C for coupling TCES of solar energy to super-critical CO2 (s-CO2) plants that operate above temperature limits (< 600 °C) of current molten-salt storage. Specific TCES > 750 kJ/kg for storage cycles between 500 and 900 °C was targeted with a system cost goal of $15/kWhth. To realize feasibility of TCES systems based on reducible perovskites,more » our team focused on designing and testing a lab-scale concentrating solar receiver, wherein perovskite particles capture solar energy by fast O2 release and sensible heating at a thermal efficiency of 90% and wall temperatures below 1100 °C. System-level models of the receiver and reoxidation reactor coupled to validated thermochemical materials models can assess approaches to scale-up a full TCES system based on reduction/oxidation cycles of perovskite oxides at large scales. After characterizing many Ca-based perovskites for TCES, our team identified strontium-doped calcium manganite Ca1-xSrxMnO3-δ (with x ≤ 0.1) as a composition with adequate stability and specific TCES capacity (> 750 kJ/kg for Ca0.95Sr0.05MnO3-δ) for cycling between air at 500 °C and low-PO2 (10-4 bar) N2 at 900 °C. Substantial kinetic tests demonstrated that resident times of several minutes in low-PO2 gas were needed for these materials to reach the specific TCES goals with particles of reasonable size for large-scale transport (diameter dp > 200 μm). On the other hand, fast reoxidation kinetics in air enables subsequent rapid heat release in a fluidized reoxidation reactor/ heat recovery unit for driving s-CO2 power plants. Validated material thermochemistry coupled to radiation and convective particle-gas transport models facilitated full TCES system analysis for CSP and results showed that receiver efficiencies approaching 85% were feasible with wall-to-particle heat transfer coefficients observed in laboratory experiments. Coupling these reactive particle-gas transport models to external SolTrace and CFD models drove design of a reactive-particle receiver with indirect heating through flux spreading. A lab-scale receiver using Ca0.9Sr0.1MnO3-δ was demonstrated at NREL’s High Flux Solar Furnace with particle temperatures reaching 900 °C while wall temperatures remained below 1100 °C and approximately 200 kJ/kg of chemical energy storage. These first demonstrations of on-sun perovskite reduction and the robust modeling tools from this program provide a basis for going forward with improved receiver designs to increase heat fluxes and solar-energy capture efficiencies. Measurements and modeling tools from this project provide the foundations for advancing TCES for CSP and other applications using reducible perovskite oxides from low-cost, earth-abundant elements. A perovskite composition has been identified that has the thermodynamic potential to meet the targeted TCES capacity of 750 kJ/kg over a range of temperatures amenable for integration with s-CO2 cycles. Further research needs to explore ways of accelerating effective particle kinetics through variations in composition and/or reactor/receiver design. Initial demonstrations of on-sun particle reduction for TCES show a need for testing at larger scales with reduced heat losses and improved particle-wall heat transfer. The gained insight into particle-gas transport and reactor design can launch future development of cost-effective, large-scale particle-based TCES as a technology for enabling increased renewable energy penetration.« less
  • As part of a Federal Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Award, the project will be led by Colorado School of Mines (CSM) to explore and demonstrate the efficacy of highly reducible, redox-stable oxides to provide efficient thermochemical energy storage for heat release at temperatures of 900 degrees Celcius or more. NREL will support the material development for its application in a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant. In the project, NREL will provide its inventive system design, chemical looping for CSP, and use it as a platform to accommodate the chemical processes using a cost effective perovskite materials identified by CSM. NREL willmore » design a 5-10kW particle receiver for perovskite reduction to store solar energy and help the development of a fluidized-bed reoxidation reactor and system integration. NREL will develop the demonstration receiver for on-sun test in the 5-10 kWt range in NREL's high flux solar furnace. NREL will assist in system analysis and provide techno-economic inputs for the overall system configuration.« less
  • The objective of this research was to evaluate and demonstrate a metal hydride-based TES system for use with a CSP system. A unique approach has been applied to this project that combines our modeling experience with the extensive material knowledge and expertise at both SRNL and Curtin University (CU). Because of their high energy capacity and reasonable kinetics many metal hydride systems can be charged rapidly. Metal hydrides for vehicle applications have demonstrated charging rates in minutes and tens of minutes as opposed to hours. This coupled with high heat of reaction allows metal hydride TES systems to produce verymore » high thermal power rates (approx. 1kW per 6-8 kg of material). A major objective of this work is to evaluate some of the new metal hydride materials that have recently become available. A problem with metal hydride TES systems in the past has been selecting a suitable high capacity low temperature metal hydride material to pair with the high temperature material. A unique aspect of metal hydride TES systems is that many of these systems can be located on or near dish/engine collectors due to their high thermal capacity and small size. The primary objective of this work is to develop a high enthalpy metal hydride that is capable of reversibly storing hydrogen at high temperatures (> 650 °C) and that can be paired with a suitable low enthalpy metal hydride with low cost materials. Furthermore, a demonstration of hydrogen cycling between the two hydride beds is desired.« less
  • This document summarizes a workshop on thermal energy storage for concentrating solar power (CSP) that was held in Golden, Colorado, on May 20, 2011. The event was hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories. The objective was to engage the university and laboratory research communities to identify and define research directions for developing new high-temperature materials and systems that advance thermal energy storage for CSP technologies. This workshop was motivated, in part, by the DOE SunShot Initiative, which sets a very aggressive cost goal for CSP technologies -- a levelizedmore » cost of energy of 6 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2020 with no incentives or credits.« less
  • This project investigates the engineering and economic feasibility of supplying baseload power using a concentrating solar power (CSP) plant integrated with sulfur based thermochemical heat storage. The technology stores high temperature solar heat in the chemical bonds of elemental sulfur. Energy is recovered as high temperature heat upon sulfur combustion. Extensive developmental and design work associated with sulfur dioxide (SO 2) disproportionation and sulfuric acid (H 2SO 4) decomposition chemical reactions used in this technology had been carried out in the two completed phases of this project. The feasibility and economics of the proposed concept was demonstrated and determined.