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Assessing thermal energy storage technologies of concentrating solar plants for the direct coupling with chemical processes. The case of solar-driven biomass gasification

Publication date: Available online 27 May 2014
Source:Energy
Author(s): Flavio Manenti , Andres R. Leon-Garzon , Zohreh Ravaghi-Ardebili , Carlo Pirola
Dynamic simulation, design improvements and control issues in solar power plants might compete with special considerations on energy storing techniques. In order to provide the stability in production of power or chemical commodities in spite of discontinuity in the source of energy, i.e. , sun, overall concerns in the details of solar power plant, competition and comparison of common storing technologies should be taken into account to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of the supply. This research activity is aimed at extending the study from the power generation purpose to the solar-supplied chemical commodities production, highlighting the limitations of certain well-established thermal energy storage techniques when concentrating solar is directly coupled with chemical processes. The (intrinsically dynamic and closed-loop) simulation of solar power plants and direct thermal energy storage technologies is performed for the direct thermal energy storage technologies and, only for the case of thermocline, it is coupled with computational fluid-dynamic (CFD) studies for the proper assessment of molten salt and steam temperature trends. To investigate benefits/restrictions of the storage technologies, the solar steam generation is integrated with the gasification of biomasses for syngas production. Also, first-principles dynamic model for the biomass gasifier is provided.


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