Research Papers

Efficiency of Solar Electricity Production With Long-Term Storage

[+] Author and Article Information
Mostafa Shakeri

Renewable Energy Applications Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Louisville,
Louisville, KY 40292
e-mail: mostafa.shakeri@louisville.edu

Maryam Soltanzadeh

Renewable Energy Applications Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Louisville,
Louisville, KY 40292

R. Eric Berson

Bioreactor Laboratory,
Department of Chemical Engineering,
University of Louisville,
Louisville, KY 40292
e-mail: eric.berson@louisville.edu

M. Keith Sharp

Renewable Energy Applications Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Louisville,
Louisville, KY 40292
e-mail: keith.sharp@louisville.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Solar Energy Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF SOLAR ENERGY ENGINEERING: Including Wind Energy and Building Energy Conservation. Manuscript received July 10, 2012; final manuscript received May 13, 2014; published online August 25, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Nathan Siegel.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(1), 011007 (Aug 25, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: SOL-12-1176; doi: 10.1115/1.4028140 History: Received July 10, 2012; Revised May 13, 2014

Solar electric production systems with energy storage were simulated and compared, including an ammonia thermochemical cycle, compressed air energy storage (CAES), pumped hydroelectric energy storage (PHES), vanadium flow battery, and thermal energy storage (TES). All systems used the same parabolic concentrator to collect solar energy and Stirling engine to produce electricity. Efficiency and storage losses were modeled after existing experiments. At receiver and ammonia synthesis temperatures of 800 K, efficiencies of all systems except TES were initially similar at 17–19%, while TES provided ∼23%. Further, TES was most efficient for diurnal-scale storage. However, lower time-dependent storage losses caused the ammonia system to have the highest efficiency after one month of storage and to be increasingly favored as time of storage increased. Solar electric production with full capacity factor may be most efficient with a combination of systems including direct solar-electric production and systems with both diurnal and long-term storage.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the ammonia thermochemical energy storage system

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the heat exchanger, preheater, and reactor on the dissociation side of the ammonia cycle

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the heat exchanger on the synthesis side of the ammonia cycle

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Fig. 4

Overall efficiency of the ammonia energy storage system (solar–storage–electric) as a function of synthesis (heat recovery) reactor temperature for (a) Louisville, KY and (b) Phoenix, AZ. For these plots, experimental reaction extents of Refs. [12,13] were used and recycling was allowed.

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Fig. 5

Overall (solar–electric–storage–electric or solar–storage–electric) efficiency of the solar driven CAES, battery, PHES, and TES systems as a function of solar receiver temperature and of the ammonia system as a function of synthesis (heat recovery) reactor temperature for (a) Louisville, KY and (b) Phoenix, AZ. On both plots, battery efficiency, which was nearly identical to PHES, is hidden by the PHES curve. Experimental reaction extents of Refs. [12,13] were used for these plots.

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Fig. 6

Cumulative efficiency of the solar energy storage systems at different stages in the system for (a) Louisville, KY and (b) Phoenix, AZ. SE stands for Stirling engine.

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Fig. 7

Retrievable energy as a function of time for the five energy storage models in (a) Louisville, KY and (b) Phoenix, AZ



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