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Title: Thermocline Thermal Storage Test for Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power Plants

Abstract

Solar thermal-to-electric power plants have been tested and investigated at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) since the late 1970s, and thermal storage has always been an area of key study because it affords an economical method of delivering solar-electricity during non-daylight hours. This paper describes the design considerations of a new, single-tank, thermal storage system and details the benefits of employing this technology in large-scale (10MW to 100MW) solar thermal power plants. Since December 1999, solar engineers at Sandia National Laboratories' National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) have designed and are constructing a thermal storage test called the thermocline system. This technology, which employs a single thermocline tank, has the potential to replace the traditional and more expensive two-tank storage systems. The thermocline tank approach uses a mixture of silica sand and quartzite rock to displace a significant portion of the volume in the tank. Then it is filled with the heat transfer fluid, a molten nitrate salt. A thermal gradient separates the hot and cold salt. Loading the tank with the combination of sand, rock, and molten salt instead of just molten salt dramatically reduces the system cost. The typical cost of the molten nitrate salt is $800 per tonmore » versus the cost of the sand and rock portion at $70 per ton. Construction of the thermocline system will be completed in August 2000, and testing will run for two to three months. The testing results will be used to determine the economic viability of the single-tank (thermocline) storage technology for large-scale solar thermal power plants. Also discussed in this paper are the safety issues involving molten nitrate salts and other heat transfer fluids, such as synthetic heat transfer oils, and the impact of these issues on the system design.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
761869
Report Number(s):
SAND2000-2059C
TRN: AH200033%%5
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Sandia National Laboratories student Intership Program 5th Annual Symposium, Albuquerque, NM (US), 08/10/2000; Other Information: PBD: 14 Aug 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; SOLAR THERMAL POWER PLANTS; HEAT STORAGE; THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE EQUIPMENT; DESIGN; SILICA; QUARTZITES; MOLTEN SALTS; COST

Citation Formats

LAURENT, STEVEN J. Thermocline Thermal Storage Test for Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power Plants. United States: N. p., 2000. Web.
LAURENT, STEVEN J. Thermocline Thermal Storage Test for Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power Plants. United States.
LAURENT, STEVEN J. Mon . "Thermocline Thermal Storage Test for Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power Plants". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/761869.
@article{osti_761869,
title = {Thermocline Thermal Storage Test for Large-Scale Solar Thermal Power Plants},
author = {LAURENT, STEVEN J},
abstractNote = {Solar thermal-to-electric power plants have been tested and investigated at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) since the late 1970s, and thermal storage has always been an area of key study because it affords an economical method of delivering solar-electricity during non-daylight hours. This paper describes the design considerations of a new, single-tank, thermal storage system and details the benefits of employing this technology in large-scale (10MW to 100MW) solar thermal power plants. Since December 1999, solar engineers at Sandia National Laboratories' National Solar Thermal Test Facility (NSTTF) have designed and are constructing a thermal storage test called the thermocline system. This technology, which employs a single thermocline tank, has the potential to replace the traditional and more expensive two-tank storage systems. The thermocline tank approach uses a mixture of silica sand and quartzite rock to displace a significant portion of the volume in the tank. Then it is filled with the heat transfer fluid, a molten nitrate salt. A thermal gradient separates the hot and cold salt. Loading the tank with the combination of sand, rock, and molten salt instead of just molten salt dramatically reduces the system cost. The typical cost of the molten nitrate salt is $800 per ton versus the cost of the sand and rock portion at $70 per ton. Construction of the thermocline system will be completed in August 2000, and testing will run for two to three months. The testing results will be used to determine the economic viability of the single-tank (thermocline) storage technology for large-scale solar thermal power plants. Also discussed in this paper are the safety issues involving molten nitrate salts and other heat transfer fluids, such as synthetic heat transfer oils, and the impact of these issues on the system design.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {8}
}

Conference:
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