Thermal energy storage in metallic phase change materials

Kotze, Johannes Paulus (2014-12)

Thesis (PhD) -- Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Currently the reduction of the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) is the main goal of concentrating solar power (CSP) research. Central to a cost reduction strategy proposed by the American Department of Energy is the use of advanced power cycles like supercritical steam Rankine cycles to increase the efficiency of the CSP plant. A supercritical steam cycle requires source temperatures in excess of 620°C, which is above the maximum storage temperature of the current two-tank molten nitrate salt storage, which stores thermal energy at 565°C. Metallic phase change materials (PCM) can store thermal energy at higher temperatures, and do not have the drawbacks of salt based PCMs. A thermal energy storage (TES) concept is developed that uses both metallic PCMs and liquid metal heat transfer fluids (HTF). The concept was proposed in two iterations, one where steam is generated directly from the PCM – direct steam generation (DSG), and another where a separate liquid metal/water heat exchanger is used – indirect steam generation, (ISG). Eutectic aluminium-silicon alloy (AlSi12) was selected as the ideal metallic PCM for research, and eutectic sodium-potassium alloy (NaK) as the most suitable heat transfer fluid. Thermal energy storage in PCMs results in moving boundary heat transfer problems, which has design implications. The heat transfer analysis of the heat transfer surfaces is significantly simplified if quasi-steady state heat transfer analysis can be assumed, and this is true if the Stefan condition is met. To validate the simplifying assumptions and to prove the concept, a prototype heat storage unit was built. During testing, it was shown that the simplifying assumptions are valid, and that the prototype worked, validating the concept. Unfortunately unexpected corrosion issues limited the experimental work, but highlighted an important aspect of metallic PCM TES. Liquid aluminium based alloys are highly corrosive to most materials and this is a topic for future investigation. To demonstrate the practicality of the concept and to come to terms with the control strategy of both proposed concepts, a storage unit was designed for a 100 MW power plant with 15 hours of thermal storage. Only AlSi12 was used in the design, limiting the power cycle to a subcritical power block. This demonstrated some practicalities about the concept and shed some light on control issues regarding the DSG concept. A techno-economic evaluation of metallic PCM storage concluded that metallic PCMs can be used in conjunction with liquid metal heat transfer fluids to achieve high temperature storage and it should be economically viable if the corrosion issues of aluminium alloys can be resolved. The use of advanced power cycles, metallic PCM storage and liquid metal heat transfer is only merited if significant reduction in LCOE in the whole plant is achieved and only forms part of the solution. Cascading of multiple PCMs across a range of temperatures is required to minimize entropy generation. Two-tank molten salt storage can also be used in conjunction with cascaded metallic PCM storage to minimize cost, but this also needs further investigation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tans is die minimering van die gemiddelde leeftydkoste van elektrisiteit (GLVE) die hoofdoel van gekonsentreerde son-energie navorsing. In die kosteverminderingsplan wat voorgestel is deur die Amerikaanse Departement van Energie, word die gebruik van gevorderde kragsiklusse aanbeveel. 'n Superkritiese stoom-siklus vereis bron temperature hoër as 620 °C, wat bo die 565 °C maksimum stoor temperatuur van die huidige twee-tenk gesmelte nitraatsout termiese energiestoor (TES) is. Metaal fase veranderingsmateriale (FVMe) kan termiese energie stoor by hoër temperature, en het nie die nadele van soutgebaseerde FVMe nie. ʼn TES konsep word ontwikkel wat gebruik maak van metaal FVM en vloeibare metaal warmteoordrag vloeistof. Die konsep is voorgestel in twee iterasies; een waar stoom direk gegenereer word uit die FVM (direkte stoomopwekking (DSO)), en 'n ander waar 'n afsonderlike vloeibare metaal/water warmteruiler gebruik word (indirekte stoomopwekking (ISO)). Eutektiese aluminium-silikon allooi (AlSi12) is gekies as die mees geskikte metaal FVM vir navorsingsdoeleindes, en eutektiese natrium – kalium allooi (NaK) as die mees geskikte warmteoordrag vloeistof. Termiese energie stoor in FVMe lei tot bewegende grens warmteoordrag berekeninge, wat ontwerps-implikasies het. Die warmteoordrag ontleding van die warmteruilers word aansienlik vereenvoudig indien kwasi-bestendige toestand warmteoordrag ontledings gebruik kan word en dit is geldig indien daar aan die Stefan toestand voldoen word. Om vereenvoudigende aannames te bevestig en om die konsep te bewys is 'n prototipe warmte stoor eenheid gebou. Gedurende toetse is daar bewys dat die vereenvoudigende aannames geldig is, dat die prototipe werk en dien as ʼn bevestiging van die konsep. Ongelukkig het onverwagte korrosie die eksperimentele werk kortgeknip, maar dit het klem op 'n belangrike aspek van metaal FVM TES geplaas. Vloeibare aluminium allooie is hoogs korrosief en dit is 'n onderwerp vir toekomstige navorsing. Om die praktiese uitvoerbaarheid van die konsep te demonstreer en om die beheerstrategie van beide voorgestelde konsepte te bevestig is 'n stoor-eenheid ontwerp vir 'n 100 MW kragstasie met 15 uur van 'n TES. Slegs AlSi12 is gebruik in die ontwerp, wat die kragsiklus beperk het tot 'n subkritiese stoomsiklus. Dit het praktiese aspekte van die konsep onderteken, en beheerkwessies rakende die DSO konsep in die kollig geplaas. In 'n tegno-ekonomiese analise van metaal FVM TES word die gevolgtrekking gemaak dat metaal FVMe gebruik kan word in samewerking met 'n vloeibare metaal warmteoordrag vloeistof om hoë temperatuur stoor moontlik te maak en dat dit ekonomies lewensvatbaar is indien die korrosie kwessies van aluminium allooi opgelos kan word. Die gebruik van gevorderde kragsiklusse, metaal FVM stoor en vloeibare metaal warmteoordrag word net geregverdig indien beduidende vermindering in GLVE van die hele kragsentrale bereik is, en dit vorm slegs 'n deel van die oplossing. ʼn Kaskade van verskeie FVMe oor 'n reeks van temperature word vereis om entropie generasie te minimeer. Twee-tenk gesmelte soutstoor kan ook gebruik word in samewerking met kaskade metaal FVM stoor om koste te verminder, maar dit moet ook verder ondersoek word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96049
This item appears in the following collections: