2009 Thermal Storage Research and Development Summary 2018-07-30T21:56:01+00:00

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Filename Storage_DOE_peer-review_3-09.pdf
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Category Concentrating Solar Power, Energy Security, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy
author Nathan Siegel, Bob Bradshaw, Greg Kolb, David Raymond, Rich Diver, Tim Moss
year 2009

Concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, both parabolic trough and power towers, are being built or planned that will generate significant electrical power output in the nearterm. Thermal energy storage incorporated into such plants would reduce the levelized cost of energy and provide dispatchability at the most valuable time of day. Commercially available nitrate salts can provide high capacity storage and have properties that are readily adaptable to the operating characteristics of both trough plants and power towers. The purpose of this project is to develop improved heat transfer
fluids, thermal storage media, and associated
systems that are particularly suited to CSP
applications. The majority of the current R&D effort is focused on parabolic trough facilities. Sandia
National Laboratories has developed and
evaluated alternative inorganic molten salts that
can be used at temperatures up to 500°C,
increasing power cycle efficiency vs. oil-based
HTFs, which are limited to 400°C. The molten
salt HTF is amenable to use in large TES tanks
because it is inexpensive relative to organic
fluids and has negligible vapor pressure. The
primary disadvantage of molten salt HTF is
relatively high freezing point (for instance, 230°C
for binary Solar Salt) as compared to about 13°C
for organic fluids. As such, considerable care
must be taken to ensure that molten salt HTF
does not freeze in the solar field. In the event
that it does, systems must be developed to allow
the field to recover with minimal damage. In
addition, there is a need for further development
of components (valves, heat exchangers,
pumps, and instrumentation) and systems
appropriate for reliably handling molten salt
fluids.