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Title: Development of a cascaded latent heat storage system for parabolic trough solar thermal power generation
Author: Muhammad, Mubarak Danladi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 188X
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2014
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Concentrated solar power (CSP) has the potential of fulfilling the world’s electricity needs. Parabolic-trough system using synthetic oil as the HTF with operating temperature between 300 and 400o C, is the most matured CSP technology. A thermal storage system is required for the stable and cost effective operation of CSP plants. The current storage technology is the indirect two-tank system which is expensive and has high energy consumption due to the need to prevent the storage material from freezing. Latent heat storage (LHS) systems offer higher storage density translating into smaller storage size and higher performance but suitable phase change materials (PCMs) have low thermal conductivity, thus hindering the realization of their potential. The low thermal conductivity can be solved by heat transfer enhancement in the PCM. There is also lack of suitable commercially-available PCMs to cover the operating temperature range. In this study, a hybrid cascaded storage system (HCSS) consisting of a cascaded finned LHS and a high temperature sensible or concrete tube register (CTR) stages was proposed and analysed via modelling and simulation. Fluent CFD code and the Dymola simulation environment were employed. A validated CFD phase change model was used in determining the heat transfer characteristics during charging and discharging of a finned and unfinned LHS shell-and-tube storage element. The effects of various fin configurations were investigated and heat transfer coefficients that can be used for predicting the performance of the system were obtained. A model of the HCSS was then developed in the Dymola simulation environment. Simulations were conducted considering the required boundary conditions of the system to develop the best design of a system having a capacity of 875 MWhth, equivalent to 6 hours of full load operation of a 50 MWe power plant. The cascaded finned LHS section provided ~46% of the entire HCSS capacity. The HCSS and cascaded finned LHS section have volumetric specific capacities 9.3% and 54% greater than that of the two-tank system, respectively. It has been estimated that the capital cost of the system is ~12% greater than that of the two-tank system. Considering that the passive HCSS has lower operational and maintenance costs it will be more cost effective than the twotank system considering the life cycle of the system. There is no requirement of keeping the storage material above its melting temperature always. The HCSS has also the potential of even lower capital cost at higher capacities (>6 hours of full load operation).
Supervisor: Badr, Ossama; Yeung, Hoi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Phase change materials ; Concrete ; Fin ; Thermal energy storage ; Computational fluid dynamics