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Research Papers

Investigation of a High-Temperature Packed-Bed Sensible Heat Thermal Energy Storage System With Large-Sized Elements

[+] Author and Article Information
Sarada Kuravi

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
Florida Institute of Technology,
Melbourne, FL 32901
e-mail: skuravi@fit.edu

Jamie Trahan

e-mail: jltrahan@mail.usf.edu

Yogi Goswami

e-mail: goswami@usf.edu

Chand Jotshi

e-mail: chand1@usf.edu

Elias Stefanakos

e-mail: estafana@usf.edu
Clean Energy Research Center,
University of South Florida,
Tampa, FL 33620

Nitin Goel

SunBorne Energy Inc.,
Gurgaon 122001, India
e-mail: nitin.goel@sunborneenergy.com

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Solar Energy Engineering. Manuscript received September 23, 2012; final manuscript received March 1, 2013; published online June 25, 2013. Editor: Gilles Flamant.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 135(4), 041008 (Jun 25, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1247; doi: 10.1115/1.4023969 History: Received September 23, 2012; Revised March 01, 2013

A high-temperature, sensible heat thermal energy storage (TES) system is designed for use in a central receiver concentrating solar power plant. Air is used as the heat transfer fluid and solid bricks made out of a high storage density material are used for storage. Experiments were performed using a laboratory-scale TES prototype system, and the results are presented. The air inlet temperature was varied between 300 °C to 600 °C, and the flow rate was varied from 50 cubic feet per minute (CFM) to 90 CFM. It was found that the charging time decreases with increase in mass flow rate. A 1D packed-bed model was used to simulate the thermal performance of the system and was validated with the experimental results. Unsteady 1D energy conservation equations were formulated for combined convection and conduction heat transfer and solved numerically for charging/discharging cycles. Appropriate heat transfer and pressure drop correlations from prior literature were identified. A parametric study was done by varying the bed dimensions, fluid flow rate, particle diameter, and porosity to evaluate the charging/discharging characteristics, overall thermal efficiency, and capacity ratio of the system.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Packed bed (left); element “m” of packed bed (right) [41]

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Fig. 2

Individual brick dimensions

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Fig. 3

Isometric view of brick assembly

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Fig. 4

Location of thermocouples to measure temperatures of brick surface, brick center, air temperature along the rows, and columns center of air channel

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Fig. 5

Schematic diagram of storage system

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Fig. 6

Experimental setup

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Fig. 7

Estimated percent heat lost as a function of insulation layer thickness in 48 h during standby mode

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Fig. 8

Inlet air temperature at different mass flow rates and with different insulation thicknesses

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Fig. 9

Air temperature at top of bed entering each column during charging mode. Mass flow rate is 0.0447 kg/s; insulation thickness is 0.0508 m.

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Fig. 10

Air temperature at top of bed entering in each column during charging mode for mass flow rate of 0.0447 kg/s and insulation thickness of 0.203 m

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Fig. 11

Air temperature in row 2 and row 4 for each column. Air mass flow rate is 0.0447 kg/s, and insulation thickness is 0.203 m (8 in.).

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Fig. 12

Average brick temperature at different rows within the storage bed for charging and discharging mode. Air mass flow rate is 0.0447 kg/s, and insulation thickness is 0.203 m.

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Fig. 13

Air temperature of column 5 for all rows within the storage bed for charging and discharging mode. Air mass flow rate is 0.0447 kg/s, and insulation thickness is 0.203 m.

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Fig. 14

Average brick temperature at different levels within the bed for charging and standby mode. Mass flow rate during charging is 0.0385 kg/s, and insulation thickness is 0.0508 m (2 in.).

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Fig. 15

Temperature of air at different rows (mass flow rate 0.0447 kg/s)

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Fig. 16

Temperature of bricks at different rows (mass flow rate 0.0447 kg/s)

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