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Research Papers

Energy Storage Start-up Strategies for Concentrated Solar Power Plants With a Dual-Media Thermal Storage System

[+] Author and Article Information
Ben Xu, Cho Lik Chan

Department of Aerospace and
Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Arizona,
Tucson, AZ 85721

Peiwen Li

Department of Aerospace and
Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Arizona,
Tucson, AZ 85721 
e-mail: peiwen@email.arizona.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 December 30, 2014; final manuscript received June 11, 2015; published online June 30, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Nathan Siegel.

J. Sol. Energy Eng 137(5), 051002 (Oct 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: SOL-14-1406; doi: 10.1115/1.4030851 History: Received December 30, 2014; Revised June 11, 2015; Online June 30, 2015

A concentrated solar power (CSP) plant typically has thermal energy storage (TES), which offers advantages of extended operation and power dispatch. Using dual-media, TES can be cost-effective because of the reduced use of heat transfer fluid (HTF), usually an expensive material. The focus of this paper is on the effect of a start-up period thermal storage strategy to the cumulative electrical energy output of a CSP plant. Two strategies—starting with a cold storage tank (referred to as “cold start”) and starting with a fully charged storage tank (referred to as “hot start”)—were investigated with regards to their effects on electrical energy production in the same period of operation. An enthalpy-based 1D transient model for energy storage and temperature variation in solid filler material and HTF was applied for both the sensible heat storage system (SHSS) and the latent heat storage system (LHSS). The analysis was conducted for a CSP plant with an electrical power output of 60 MWe. It was found that the cold start is beneficial for both the SHSS and LHSS systems due to the overall larger electrical energy output over the same number of days compared to that of the hot start. The results are expected to be helpful for planning the start-up operation of a CSP plant with a dual-media thermal storage system.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of a thermal storage tank and a control volume for mathematical analysis

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Fig. 2

Discretization grid for space and time for the method of characteristics

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Fig. 3

Comparison of fluid temperature located at the middle of the tank

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Fig. 4

Comparison of PCM temperature located at the middle of the tank

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Fig. 5

Two different HTF charge/discharge strategies: (a) cold start and (b) hot start

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Fig. 6

Evolution process of dimensionless temperature distribution of filler material at the end of discharges at different cycles with cold start operating strategy: (a) SHSS and (b) LHSS

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Fig. 7

HTF temperature in the discharge process at the exit of SHSS storage tank at cyclic steady-state

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Fig. 8

Temperature distributions of granite rocks along storage tank at the end of charge/discharge for the SHSS

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Fig. 9

Comparison of extracted energy at different cycles for SHSS with cold start and hot start strategies

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Fig. 10

Variation of dimensionless enthalpy of granite rocks at the exit of SHSS versus the charge time to determine how long it will take to reach the fully charged state

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Fig. 11

Variation of HTF temperature at exit of LHSS storage tank versus discharge time at cyclic steady-state

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Fig. 12

Temperature distributions of encapsulated PCM along LHSS storage tank at the end of charge/discharge at cyclic steady-state

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Fig. 13

Comparison of extracted energy at different cycles for LHSS with cold start and hot start strategies

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Fig. 14

Variation of dimensionless enthalpy of encapsulated PCM at the exit of LHSS versus charge time for determination of how long it will take to reach the fully charged state

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