Thermo-mechanical parametric analysis of packed-bed thermocline energy storage tanks
Rights accessOpen Access
A packed-bed thermocline tank represents a proved cheaper thermal energy storage for concentrated solar power plants compared with the commonly-built two-tank system. However, its implementation has been stopped mainly due to the vessel’s thermal ratcheting concern, which would compromise its structural integrity. In order to have a better understanding of the commercial viability of thermocline approach, regarding energetic effectiveness and structural reliability, a new numerical simulation platform has been developed. The model dynamically solves and couples all the significant components of the subsystem, being able to evaluate its thermal and mechanical response over plant normal operation. The filler material is considered as a cohesionless bulk solid with thermal expansion. For the stresses on the tank wall the general thermoelastic theory is used. First, the numerical model is validated with the Solar One thermocline case, and then a parametric analysis is carried out by settling this storage technology in two real plants with a temperature rise of 100 °C and 275 °C. The numerical results show a better storage performance together with the lowest temperature difference, but both options achieve suitable structural factors of safety with a proper design.
© 2016. This version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
CitationGonzález, I., Perez, C., Lehmkuhl, O., Torras, S., Oliva, A. Thermo-mechanical parametric analysis of packed-bed thermocline energy storage tanks. "Applied energy", 1 Octubre 2016, vol. 179, p. 1106-1122.