Thermal performance evaluation of bischofite at pilot plant scale
Peiró Bell-lloch, Gerard
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The selection of the proper thermal energy storage (TES) material for an application is crucial. On the one hand, these materials should have suitable thermal properties for the operational temperatures range of the systems they are planned to work for, such as thermal stability, high latent heat
and high heat capacity. On the other hand, they should be available on the market and at low price. Besides, researchers have to bear in mind the importance of testing TES materials not only at laboratory scale but also at higher scale, since it has been demonstrated that some thermal characteristics are volume-dependant. In the present study, bischofite, a by-product obtained from the non-metallic industry in the North of Chile with desired thermal properties for mid-temperature applications (around 100 C), has been studied. A first analysis was performed in terms of comparing the thermal properties and cost of bischofite with other material previously studied as TES materials in order to evaluate its potential in both latent and sensible phases. Afterwards, a second analysis was experimentally performed in terms of testing bischofite at large-scale (204 kg) in a pilot plant facility. The experimental procedure consisted on several charging processes within two different temperatures ranges: from 50 C to 80 C and from 80 C to 120 C in order to study the behavior of the material in the sensible solid phase and latent phase respectively. The temperature profiles, the power given by the HTF, the energy balance in the storage system and the accumulation energy rate of the bischofite were analyzed. Results of both analysis showed that bischofite has potential as TES material for mid-temperature applications.