Thermal energy storage with phase change materials in solar power plants. Economic analysis
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Thermal energy storage (TES) increases concentrating solar power (CSP) plant capacity factors, but more important, improves dispatchability; therefore, reducing the capital cost of TES systems is very important to reduce cost of energy and serve as an enabler for commercial solar power plants. After presenting the concept of a novel cascade PCM configuration of CSP and demonstrating it energy efficiency, it is needed to develop a thoughtful economic evaluation of the concept. The goal of this paper was to investigate this system through annual modelling, engineering procurement company price quotes, and levelized cost metric comparison with a baseline case, the commercial two-tank molten salt storage system. Simulation results show that this new PCM concept decrease levelized costs of storage. The baseline of using shell and tube heat exchangers for PCM storage offers a reduction in capital and levelized cost, but this paper also shows that there are further cost reduction possibilities, as shown in the scenarios presented here, such as thermal conductivity enhancement, encapsulation of the PCM, or modification of the material to improve its thermal properties. Therefore, although the basic shell and tube PCM system has been shown to offer a cost savings, the 1.8% reduction in LCOE may not be worth the risk of further development. The shell and tube system should be a jumping off point to more appropriate technologies. The variants studied are likely to yield cost reductions in cost performance quotient (CPQ) as high at 80% and in LCOE as high as 10%, representing an unprecedented and valuable avenue of CSP plant cost reduction.
Is part ofJournal of Energy Storage, 2021, vol. 43, p. 103184-1-103184-15
European research projects
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as cc-by (c) Cristina Prieto, Luisa F. Cabeza, 2021
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