Demonstration of a thermosyphon thermal valve for controlled extraction of stored solar thermal energy

Christopher Oshman*, Jon Rea, Corey Hardin, Abhishek Singh, Jeff Alleman, Michele Olsen, Greg Glatzmaier, Phillip Parilla, Nathan Siegel, David Ginley, Eric S. Toberer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

For concentrated solar power (CSP) to be an effective replacement for power generation by fossil fuels, the thermal energy must be stored and then released for when demand exceeds production, such as during off-sun hours. Until now, there has been limited methods to reliably and efficiently release and control the extraction of thermal energy from a material containing stored sensible or latent heat. Due to their isothermal property, phase change materials (PCMs) storing latent heat are an ideal choice for storage, though it has proven challenging to reliably extract and utilize that heat. To solve this problem, the geometry of a thermosyphon was rearranged to create a thermal valve that is able to turn the flow of thermal energy from a PCM "on" and "off". A stainless steel thermal valve using sodium as the working fluid was designed, fabricated, assessed, and found to effectively and selectively extract heat from a 577°C molten aluminum PCM. It is expected that thermal valves will significantly contribute to more widespread implementation of CSP as a stored energy source from distributed generation to utility-scale power production.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSolarPACES 2017
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems
EditorsRodrigo Mancilla, Christoph Richter
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
ISBN (Electronic)9780735417571
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems, SolarPACES 2017 - Santiago, Chile
Duration: 26 Sep 201729 Sep 2017
Conference number: 23

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume2033
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Conference

Conference23rd International Conference on Concentrating Solar Power and Chemical Energy Systems, SolarPACES 2017
Abbreviated titleSolarPACES 2017
CountryChile
CitySantiago
Period26/09/1729/09/17

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