A new thermocline-PCM thermal storage concept for CSP plants. Numerical analysis and perspectives
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Thermocline storage concept has been considered for more than a decade as a possible solution to reduce the huge cost of the storage system in CSP plants. However, one of the drawbacks of this concept is the decrease in its performance throughout the time. The objective of this paper is to present a new thermocline-PCM storage concept which aims at circumventing this issue. The concept proposed is built of different solid filler materials and encapsulated PCMs combined into a multi-layer storage tank with molten salt as heat transfer fluid. The performance evaluation of each of the prototypes proposed is virtually tested by means of a detailed numerical methodology which considers the heat transfer and fluid dynamics phenomena present in these devices. The virtual tests carried out are designed so as to take into account several charging and discharging cycles until equilibrium is achieved, i.e. the same amount of energy stored in the charging phase is delivered in the discharge. As a result, the dependence of the storage capacity on the PCMs temperatures, the total energy stored/released, as well as the efficiencies of the storing process have been compared for the different thermocline, PCM-only and multi-layered thermocline-PCM configurations. Based on this analysis the selection of the best option for a given case/plant is proposed.
CitationGalione, P.A., Perez, C., Rodriguez, I., Lehmkuhl, O., Rigola, J. A new thermocline-PCM thermal storage concept for CSP plants. Numerical analysis and perspectives. A: Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems. "Energy Procedia : SolarPACES 2013". Las Vegas: 2013, p. 790-799.
- CTTC - Centre Tecnològic de la Transferència de Calor - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament de Màquines i Motors Tèrmics - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- TUAREG - Turbulence and Aerodynamics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Research Group - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos