Comparative study of single and multi-layered packed-bed thermal energy storage systems for CSP plants
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The Multi-layered Thermal Energy Storage (TES) tank consists of three regions–top and bottom part is packed with suitable Phase Change Materials (PCM) and low-cost pebbles are placed in the middle region, whereas entire tank portion is filled by solid fillers in Single-layered tank system. For a storage tank operating between 563 and 663 K with bed dimensions of 12 and 14.38 m using Solar salt as Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF), it is observed that the duration of discharge for multi-layered tank is 5.32 h whereas it is 4.19 h for single-layered tank with a Reynolds number of 10. The effect of intermediate melting temperature range of PCMs are also analyzed by taking PCMs with sharp as well as intermediate melting ranges. Further, comparison of single and multi-layered systems is carried out by analyzing the temperature profiles and width of both PCM layers. The width of top and bottom PCM layers of tank is varied from 0 to 30% to analyze its effect on the discharging duration. It is observed that multi-layered system provides extra discharge of 1 h with introduction of PCM at top and bottom with a width of 10%. Discharge duration increases with increase in PCM width whereas the percentage increase in duration of discharge with increase in PCM width is comparatively less. It is also seen that PCMs with sharp melting point performs better compared to one having intermediate range of melting temperatures. Multi-layered configuration concept offers best possibilities as integration to CSP plants with desired efficiency.
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