skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Prototype Latent Heat Storage System with Aluminum-Silicon as a Phase Change Material and a Stirling Engine for Electricity Generation

Abstract

In this work, we present the design and experimental results of a prototype latent heat thermal energy storage system. This prototype used 100 kg of aluminum-silicon as a phase change material with embedded heat pipes for effective heat transfer, a valved thermosyphon to control heat flow out of the thermal storage system, and a Stirling engine to convert heat to electricity. We tested this system for 11 simulated days of operation; each day included charging of the thermal storage tank, simultaneous electricity generation with heat input, and electricity generation from stored heat alone. On each simulated day, we set the engine to a different power level, allowing us to investigate the response of heat pipes and our valved thermosyphon to part-load conditions. The prototype demonstrated a maximum efficiency of 18.5% in converting stored heat to electricity, at a maximum power output of over 1 kWe. Extending these results to a commercial scale system with solar heat input, our modeling indicates that a discharge efficiency of over 30% and an annual efficiency of 18% could be achieved. This performance represents an advancement in established efficiency for any system that combines latent heat storage with electricity generation, and demonstrates that this systemmore » has potential for future commercial development.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [4]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2]
  1. Colorado School of Mines
  2. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  3. American Superconductor-ITC
  4. Bucknell University
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1567037
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5H00-74995
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Energy Conversion and Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 199
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; thermal energy storage; phase change material; concentrating solar power; heat pipe; prototype; experiment

Citation Formats

Rea, Jonathan E., Oshman, Christopher J., Singh, Abhishek, Alleman, Jeffrey L, Buchholz, Greg, Parilla, Philip A, Adamczyk, Jesse M., Fujishin, Helena-Nikolai, Ortiz, Brenden R., Braden, Tara, Bensen, Erik, Bell, Robert T, Siegel, Nathan P., Ginley, David S, and Toberer, Eric. Prototype Latent Heat Storage System with Aluminum-Silicon as a Phase Change Material and a Stirling Engine for Electricity Generation. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2019.111992.
Rea, Jonathan E., Oshman, Christopher J., Singh, Abhishek, Alleman, Jeffrey L, Buchholz, Greg, Parilla, Philip A, Adamczyk, Jesse M., Fujishin, Helena-Nikolai, Ortiz, Brenden R., Braden, Tara, Bensen, Erik, Bell, Robert T, Siegel, Nathan P., Ginley, David S, & Toberer, Eric. Prototype Latent Heat Storage System with Aluminum-Silicon as a Phase Change Material and a Stirling Engine for Electricity Generation. United States. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2019.111992.
Rea, Jonathan E., Oshman, Christopher J., Singh, Abhishek, Alleman, Jeffrey L, Buchholz, Greg, Parilla, Philip A, Adamczyk, Jesse M., Fujishin, Helena-Nikolai, Ortiz, Brenden R., Braden, Tara, Bensen, Erik, Bell, Robert T, Siegel, Nathan P., Ginley, David S, and Toberer, Eric. Tue . "Prototype Latent Heat Storage System with Aluminum-Silicon as a Phase Change Material and a Stirling Engine for Electricity Generation". United States. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2019.111992.
@article{osti_1567037,
title = {Prototype Latent Heat Storage System with Aluminum-Silicon as a Phase Change Material and a Stirling Engine for Electricity Generation},
author = {Rea, Jonathan E. and Oshman, Christopher J. and Singh, Abhishek and Alleman, Jeffrey L and Buchholz, Greg and Parilla, Philip A and Adamczyk, Jesse M. and Fujishin, Helena-Nikolai and Ortiz, Brenden R. and Braden, Tara and Bensen, Erik and Bell, Robert T and Siegel, Nathan P. and Ginley, David S and Toberer, Eric},
abstractNote = {In this work, we present the design and experimental results of a prototype latent heat thermal energy storage system. This prototype used 100 kg of aluminum-silicon as a phase change material with embedded heat pipes for effective heat transfer, a valved thermosyphon to control heat flow out of the thermal storage system, and a Stirling engine to convert heat to electricity. We tested this system for 11 simulated days of operation; each day included charging of the thermal storage tank, simultaneous electricity generation with heat input, and electricity generation from stored heat alone. On each simulated day, we set the engine to a different power level, allowing us to investigate the response of heat pipes and our valved thermosyphon to part-load conditions. The prototype demonstrated a maximum efficiency of 18.5% in converting stored heat to electricity, at a maximum power output of over 1 kWe. Extending these results to a commercial scale system with solar heat input, our modeling indicates that a discharge efficiency of over 30% and an annual efficiency of 18% could be achieved. This performance represents an advancement in established efficiency for any system that combines latent heat storage with electricity generation, and demonstrates that this system has potential for future commercial development.},
doi = {10.1016/j.enconman.2019.111992},
journal = {Energy Conversion and Management},
number = ,
volume = 199,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}