Single element thermal energy storage system

Amey Barde Mitchell Shinn Richard Wirz

The single element test is an important step towards design and fabrication of a test facility for the demonstration of solar thermal energy storage technology using sulfur as a thermal storage material. It provides a controlled environment to investigate the performance of thermal storage fluid, based on the thermal storage capacity and the charging-discharging rate. The single element test serves to achieve two important objectives.

  1. The first objective is to understand the thermal behavior of thermal storage fluid by analyzing temperature field within a thermal storage material during charging-discharging cycles, for various operating conditions. These experimental measurements are essential for the validation of a numerical model being developed to predict the thermo-fluidic behavior of thermal storage material.
  2. The second objective is to design and fabricate a ‘shell and tube’ type thermal storage system to investigate the performance of sulfur as a thermal storage material. This system would provide a crucial design perspective, necessary to develop an effective system for on-sun demonstration of the proposed solar thermal energy storage technology. In order to achieve these objectives, two independent experimental facilities are developed.