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Transient Heat Delivery and Storage Process in a Thermocline Heat Storage System

[+] Author Affiliations
Jon T. Van Lew, Peiwen Li, Cho Lik Chan, Wafaa Karaki

University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Jake Stephens

US-Solar, Tucson, AZ

Paper No. IMECE2009-11701, pp. 139-148; 10 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Emerging Technologies: Alternative Energy Systems; Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4379-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Parabolic trough power systems utilizing concentrated solar energy have proven their worth as a means for generating electricity. However, one major aspect preventing the technologies widespread acceptance is the deliverability of energy beyond a narrow window during peak hours of the sun. Thermal storage is a viable option to enhance the dispatchability of the solar energy and an economically feasible option is a thermocline storage system with a low-cost filler material. Utilization of thermocline storage facilities have been studied in the past and this paper hopes to expand upon that knowledge. The current study aimed to effectively model the heat transfer of a working fluid interacting with filler material. An effective numerical method and efficient computation schemes were developed and verified. A thermocline storage system was modeled under specific conditions and results of great significance to heat storage design and operation were obtained.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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