Evaluation of energy density as performance indicator for thermal energy storage at material and system levels
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The increase of the capacity factor of thermal processes which use renewable energies is closely linked to the implementation of thermal energy storage (TES) systems. Currently, TES systems can be classified depending on the technology for storing thermal: sensible heat, latent heat, and sorption and
chemical reactions (usually known as thermochemical energy storage). However, there is no standardized procedure for the evaluation of such technologies, and therefore the development of performance indicators which suit the requisites of the final users becomes an important goal. In the present paper, the authors identified the energy density as an important performance indicator for TES, and evaluated it at both material and system levels. This approach is afterwards applied to prototypes covering the three TES technologies: a two-tank molten salts sensible storage system, a shell-and-tube latent heat storage system, and a magnesium oxide and water chemical storage system. The evaluation of the energy density highlighted the difference of its value at the material value, which presents a theoretical maximum, and the results at system level, which considers all the parts required for operating the TES, and thus presents a significantly lower value. Moreover, the proposed approach captured the effect of the complexity and overall size of the system, showing the relevance of this performance indicator for evaluating technologies for applications in which volume is a limiting parameter.
Is part ofApplied Energy, 2019, vol. 235, p. 954-962
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