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Performance Based Cost Modeling of Phase Change Thermal Energy Storage for High Temperature Concentrating Solar Power Systems

[+] Author Affiliations
Russell Muren, Diego A. Arias, Brian Luptowski

Abengoa Solar Inc., Lakewood, CO

Paper No. IMECE2009-12848, pp. 193-202; 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


Sizing and cost models were developed for thermal energy storage (TES) systems utilizing cascaded phase change materials (PCM) as the storage media in a variety of configurations. The sizing model is based on an energy balance around a characteristic fundamental element of the system, consisting of a steel pipe embedded in a matrix of phase change material. Due to the transient behavior PCM system, the sizing model requires time and space integrations. The model accounts for decreases in thermal performance caused by precipitate formation on the surface of the pipe and predicts the resulting transient power output. The model calculates the required tank and pipe sizes, the amounts of heat transfer fluid and PCM, as well as the land area for the configuration. Using a cost metric approach, the cost of each system component is estimated. Furthermore, the effect of several technological pitfalls, including: pinch point heat transfer, precipitate buildup, and transient energy output have been investigated. Prices are shown to depend heavily on system configuration. Specifically, prices are shown to be most dependent on precipitate formation during discharge and consequently the size of the necessary heat transfer area of heat exchangers. The cost of different configurations vary from $40/kWh to $100/kWh.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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