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[en] Highlights: •A novel high temperature solar thermal energy storage system is presented. •The system employs a molten metal oxide for energy storage. •The system can achieve a high energy density of 5 GJ/m3. •Oxygen can be also produced as a valuable by-product. -- Abstract: A novel cycle, the chemical looping of molten copper oxide, is proposed with the thermodynamic potential to achieve sensible, latent and thermochemical heat storage with an energy density of approximately 5.0 GJ/m3, which is approximately 6 times more than the 0.83 GJ/m3 of molten salt. This cycle avoids the technical challenges associated with the application of solid materials (especially multivalent metals) for thermochemical energy storage such as attrition, agglomeration, particle breakage and structural change in successive reduction and oxidation reactions, although it brings alternative challenges associated with the handling of molten metal oxides. A process path for the concept is proposed based on data from the literature for the equilibrium composition of copper and oxygen at different temperatures and gas phase pressures. The process has been modelled with codes developed in MATLAB. The calculations estimate that from the total input concentrated solar thermal energy into the system, about 73% can be absorbed, while the rest is lost through re-radiation heat loss. Furthermore, it is estimated that of the absorbed heat, approximately 95% is stored, while the rest leaves the system as high temperature gas. The calculations also predict that approximately 20% of the inlet solar thermal energy is partitioned as the chemical storage, which is also employed for oxygen production. Also reported is the sensitivity to the effects of key operating parameters.
[en] Highlights: • A novel hybrid solar chemical looping combustion system is presented. • This hybrid CLC system integrates a CLC plant with a solar thermal energy plant. • The oxygen carrier particles are used for chemical and sensible thermal energy storage. • A solar cavity reactor is proposed for fuel reactor. • The calculations show a total solar share of around 60% can be achieved. - Abstract: A novel hybrid solar chemical looping combustion (Hy-Sol-CLC) is presented, in which the oxygen carrier particles in a CLC system are employed to provide thermal energy storage for concentrated solar thermal energy. This hybrid aims to take advantage of key features of a chemical looping combustion (CLC) system that are desirable for solar energy systems, notably their inherent chemical and sensible energy storage systems, the relatively low temperature of the “fuel” reactor (to which the concentrated solar thermal energy is added in a hybrid) relative to that of the final temperature of the product gas and the potential to operate the fuel reactor at a different pressure to the heated gas stream. By this approach, it is aimed to achieve high efficiency of the solar energy, infrastructure sharing, economic synergy, base load power generation and a high solar fraction of the total energy. In the proposed Hy-Sol-CLC system, a cavity solar receiver has been chosen for fuel reactor while for the storage of the oxygen carrier particles two reservoirs have been added to a conventional CLC. A heat exchanger is also proposed to provide independent control of the temperatures of the storage reservoirs from those of solar fuel and air reactors. The system is simulated using Aspen Plus software for the average diurnal profile of normal irradiance for Port Augusta, South Australia. The operating temperature of the fuel reactor, solar absorption efficiency, solar share, fraction of the solar thermal energy stored within the solar reactor, the fractions of sensible and chemical storages and the system exergy efficiency are reported. The calculations show that a total solar share of around 60% can be achieved. Also reported is the sensitivity to the effects of key operating parameters, i.e. reservoir temperature, molar ratio of oxygen carrier particles to fuel, solar fuel reactor operating temperature and solar collector field concentration ratio
[en] Highlights: • A hybrid solar chemical looping combustion power cycle is reported. • The cycle is studied for two configurations, with and without an after-burner. • The oxygen carrier particles are used as storage medium for solar thermal energy. • Total solar shares of 41.4% and 60% are achieved with and without the after-burner. • Efficiencies of 50% and 44.0% are achieved with and without the after-burner. - Abstract: The overall energetic performance of a gas turbine combined cycle powered by a hybrid cycle between a solar thermal and a chemical looping combustion (CLC) system firing methane is reported for two configurations. In one case, the outlet from the air reactor is fed directly to a gas turbine, while in the other an after-burner, also firing methane, is added to increase the gas turbine inlet temperature. The cycle is simulated using Aspen Plus software for the average diurnal profile of normal irradiance for Port Augusta, South Australia. The first law efficiency, total solar absorption efficiency, average and peak fractional power boosts, total solar share, net solar to electrical efficiency, fraction of pressurised CO2, incremental CO2 avoidance and the exergy efficiency for both cycles are reported. The calculations predict a first law efficiency of 50.0% for the cycle employing an after-burner, compared with 44.0% for that without the after-burner. However, this is achieved at the cost of decreasing the solar share from 60.0%, without the after-burner, to 41.4% with it. Also reported is the sensitivity analysis of performance to variations in key operating parameters. The sensitivity analysis shows that further improvements to the performance of the cycle are possible
[en] Highlights: • We present the benefits of integrating a solar cavity receiver and a combustor. • The hybrid solar receiver combustor is compared with its equivalent hybrid. • The start-up losses of the back-up boiler are calculated for a variable resource. • Levelized cost of electricity is reduced by up to 17%. • Fuel consumption is reduced by up to 31%. - Abstract: The impact of avoiding the start-up and shut-down losses of a solar thermal power plant by directly integrating the back-up boiler into a tubular solar-only cavity receiver is studied using a multiple time-step, piecewise-continuous model. A steady-state analytical model of the mass and energy flows through both this device and a solar-only cavity receiver reported previously are incorporated within a model of the solar power generating plant with storage. The performance of the Hybrid Solar Receiver Combustor (HSRC) is compared with an equivalent reference conventional hybrid solar thermal system employing a solar-only cavity receiver and a back-up boiler. The model accounts for start-up and shut-down losses of the boiler, threshold losses of the solar-only cavity receiver and the amount of trace heating required to avoid cooling of the heat transfer fluid. The model is implemented for a 12 month/five year time-series of historical Direct Normal Irradiation (DNI) at 1 h time-steps to account for the variability in the solar resource at four sites spanning Australia and the USA. A method to optimize the size of the heliostat field is also reported, based on the dumped fraction of solar power from the heliostat field. The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for the HSRC configuration was estimated to be reduced by up to 17% relative to the equivalent conventional hybrid solar thermal system depending on the cost of the fuel, the storage capacity and the solar resource, while the fuel consumption was estimated to be reduced by some 12–31%.
[en] Highlights: ► A novel solar–CLC hybrid system is proposed which integrates a CLC with solar thermal energy. ► The oxygen carrier particles are used as storage medium for thermal energy storage. ► A solar cavity reactor is proposed for fuel reactor. ► The absorbed solar energy is stored in the particles to produce a base heat load. -- Abstract: A novel hybrid of a solar thermal energy and a chemical looping combustion (CLC) system is proposed here, which employs the oxygen carrier particles in a CLC system to provide diurnal thermal energy storage for concentrated solar thermal energy. In taking advantage of the chemical and sensible energy storage systems that are an inherent part of a CLC system, this hybrid offers potential to achieve cost effective, base load power generation for solar energy. In the proposed system, three reservoirs have been added to a conventional CLC system to allow storage of the oxygen carrier particles, while a cavity solar receiver has been chosen for the fuel reactor. The performance of the system is evaluated using ASPEN PLUS software, with the model being validated using independent simulation result reported previously. Operating temperature, solar efficiency, solar fraction, exergy efficiency and the fraction of the solar thermal energy stored for a based load power generation application are reported.
[en] Highlights: • First analysis to assess storage requirements of a stand-alone packed bed, batch process solar gasifier. • 35 days of storage required for stand-alone solar system, whereas 8 h of storage required for hybrid system. • Sensitivity of storage requirement to reactor operation, solar region and solar multiple evaluated. - Abstract: The first multi-day performance analysis of the feasibility of integrating a packed bed, indirectly irradiated solar gasification reactor with a downstream FT liquids production facility is reported. Two fuel-loading scenarios were assessed. In one, the residual unconverted fuel at the end of a day is reused, while in the second, the residual fuel is discarded. To estimate a full year time-series of operation, a simplified statistical model was developed from short-period simulations of the 1-D heat transfer, devolatilisation and gasification chemistry model of a 150 kW_t_h packed bed reactor (based on the authors’ earlier work). The short time-series cover a variety of solar conditions to represent seasonal, diurnal and cloud-induced solar transience. Also assessed was the influence of increasing the solar flux incident at the emitter plate of the packed bed reactor on syngas production. The combination of the annual time-series and daily model of syngas production was found to represent reasonably the seasonal transience in syngas production. It was then used to estimate the minimum syngas storage volume required to maintain a stable flow-rate and composition of syngas to a FT reactor over a full year of operation. This found that, for an assumed heliostat field collection area of 1000 m"2, at least 64 days of storage is required, under both the Residual Fuel Re-Use and Discard scenarios. This figure was not sensitive to the two solar sites assessed, Farmington, New Mexico or Tonopah Airport, Nevada. Increasing the heliostat field collection area from 1000 to 1500 m"2, led to an increase in the calculated daily rate of syngas throughput that could be maintained over a full year by 74%, to 5.9 kmol/day. Importantly, a larger heliostat field collection area was calculated to reduce the required storage capacity to approximately halve 35 days, which in absolute terms corresponds to 3.0 tons of syngas. Nevertheless, a requirement for this capacity of storage suggests that the use of the packed bed solar gasification reactor for FT liquids production is unlikely to be viable without substantial changes to the design and operation of the reactor and/or downstream processing plant.