Research Papers

Latent Heat Storage Systems for Solar Thermal Power Plants and Process Heat Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
Wolf-Dieter Steinmann, Doerte Laing, Rainer Tamme

Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

PROSPER Storage for process heat applications by innovative storage technology, supported by German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

DISTOR, storage system for solar direct steam generation.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 132(2), 021003 (Apr 29, 2010) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001405 History: Received November 11, 2008; Revised April 21, 2009; Published April 29, 2010; Online April 29, 2010

Solar thermal systems using absorber evaporating steam directly require isothermal energy storage. The application of latent heat storage systems is an option to fulfill this demand. This concept has been demonstrated mainly for low temperature heating and refrigeration applications, the experience for the power level and temperature range characteristic of solar process heat and solar thermal power plants is limited. Cost effective implementation of the latent heat storage concept demands low cost phase change materials (PCMs). These PCMs usually show low thermal conductivity limiting the power density during the charging/discharging process. This paper describes various approaches, which have been investigated to overcome these limitations. Based on fundamental PCM-research and laboratory-scale experiments, the sandwich concept has been identified to show the highest potential. The sandwich concept has been demonstrated successfully for three different storage units ranging from 2 kW to 100 kW at melting temperatures of 145°C and 225°C.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Number of tubes needed in PCM volume depending on heat conductivity of PCM for three different values of average volume specific power

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Figure 2

Cross-sectional view of capsule used for macroencapsulation approach

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Figure 3

Bundle of capsules filled with PCM before integration into pressure vessel

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Figure 4

Storage segment made of cold compressed storage material with drillings for the tubes of the integrated heat exchanger

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Figure 5

Calculated results for time needed to charge storage system with various fin materials and fin thicknesses

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Figure 6

Thermal power and energy provided by the PROSPER storage module during discharge, temperature at inlet 125°C, temperature at outlet (steam) between 145°C (superheated) and 125°C (saturated steam)

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Figure 7

DISTOR test module—heat exchanger tube bundle with graphite fins

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Figure 8

Power and Energy provided by DISTOR test module during discharge



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