Thermodynamic Analysis of Packed Bed Thermal Energy Storage System

  • Huan Guo
  • Yujie XuEmail author
  • Cong Guo
  • Haisheng Chen
  • Yifei Wang
  • Zheng Yang
  • Ye Huang
  • Binlin Dou


A packed-bed thermal energy storage (PBTES) device, which is simultaneously restricted by thermal storage capacity and outlet temperatures of both cold and hot heat transfer fluids, is characterized by an unstable operation condition, and its calculation is complicated. To solve this problem, a steady thermodynamics model of PBTES with fixed temperatures on both ends was built. By using this model, the exergy destruction, thermocline thickness, thermal storage capacity, thermal storage time, and other key parameters can be calculated in a simple way. In addition, the model explained the internal reason for the change of thermocline thickness during thermal storage and release processes. Furthermore, the stable operation of the PBTES device was analyzed, and it was found that higher inlet temperature of hot air, and lower temperature difference between cold and hot air can produce less exergy destruction and achieve a larger cycle number of stable operation. The work can be employed as the basis of the design and engineering application of PBTES.


packed bed thermal energy storage thermocline steady thermodynamic analysis stable operation 




Specific heat capacity/J•kg−1•K−1


Change of exergy/J


Thermal energy of air/J


Exergy destruction/J


Exergy destruction per unit of time/J•s−1




Mass, kg

Mass flow rate/kg•s−1


Cycle numbers of operation


Constant thermal storage capacity/J


Entropy generation per unit of time/J•kg−1•K−1•s−1


Entropy change per unit of time/J•kg−1•K−1•s−1




Temperature change of cold and hot air/J•kg−1•K−1


Temperature difference between cold and hot air/K




Change of thermal energy/J

Greek letters


Exergy destruction rate/J•s−1


Mass of pebbles contained per unit length/kg•m−1





cold air




Inlet parameter of hot air


Hot air


Inlet parameter of cold air


Release period


Storage period


Storage and release periods




Environment parameter


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The authors acknowledge the support provided by National Key R&D plan (No. 2017YFB0903605), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51806210), Newton Advanced Fellowship of the Royal Society (No. NA170093), and International Partnership Program, Bureau of International Cooperation of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. 182211KYSB20170029).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huan Guo
    • 1
  • Yujie Xu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Cong Guo
    • 1
  • Haisheng Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yifei Wang
    • 1
  • Zheng Yang
    • 1
  • Ye Huang
    • 3
  • Binlin Dou
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Engineering ThermophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of the Built EnvironmentUniversity of UlsterCo. AntrimUK
  4. 4.School of Energy and Power EngineeringUniversity of Shanghai for Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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