Research Papers

Development of PCM Storage for Process Heat and Power Generation

[+] Author and Article Information
Wolf-Dieter Steinmann

German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart, Germanywolf.steinmann@dlr.de

Doerte Laing, Rainer Tamme

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

J. Sol. Energy Eng 131(4), 041009 (Sep 22, 2009) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3197834 History: Received December 22, 2008; Revised April 21, 2009; Published September 22, 2009

The increased interest in solar thermal systems using steam as a working medium either for power generation or process heat applications gave rise to a growing demand for latent heat storage units. Essential for the development of cost-effective latent heat storage systems is the achievement of a sufficient power level in spite of the characteristic low thermal diffusivities of latent heat storage materials. The sandwich concept using fins made either from graphite or aluminum has been identified as the most promising option for latent heat storage systems. The feasibility of this approach has been demonstrated by three prototypes using graphite and one prototype using aluminum fins. The prototype with aluminum fins was filled with sodium nitrate and was operated for more than 4000 h without degradation of power. The volume specific average power density is in the range 1025kW/m3, so it is proven that the major problem of phase change material (PCM) storage of low heat transfer rates has been overcome and high-temperature PCM storage with large capacity factor is possible.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Volume spec. storage capacity of candidate PCMs compared with single phase media for sensible heat storage dependent on temperature variation of storage material

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Figure 2

Volume specific average thermal power provided by PCM storage system during discharge with embedded parallel-tube heat exchanger for variable effective heat conductivity in storage material; PCM is eutectic NaNO3/KNO3 (solidification at 222°C), fluid temperature is 212°C, outer diameter tubes is 0.0213 m.

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Figure 3

PROSPER storage unit with removed cover during charging process with partly molten storage material (dark) and solid storage material (white). View onto manifold (left) and some of the graphite fins.

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Figure 4

NaNO3 PCM storage test module

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Figure 5

Fins for heat transfer enhancement

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Figure 6

Typical charge/discharge cycle NaNO3 PCM storage test module




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