Molten salt facilities, lessons learnt at pilot plant scale to guarantee commercial plants; heat losses evaluation and correction

Highlights

Importance of the thermal losses in the evaluation of TES systems is presented.

Evaluation of heat losses of a molten salt pilot plant built in Spain by Abengoa.

The design of conventional systems are found to be the key for the performance.

Different performance scenarios were performed for reengineering of the plant.

Abstract

This paper presents the importance of the thermal losses in the performance evaluation of thermal storage systems. In order to reinforce this statement, an evaluation of a pilot plant whose size is sufficiently representative for the extrapolation of results at larger scales has been carried out. The evaluation of the heat losses of a molten salt pilot plant with 8.1 MWhth built in Spain by Abengoa is presented. While the storage materials development has attracted a lot of attention from the researchers, the performance of a two-tank storage system has not been evaluated in detail. The relevance of the design of conventional systems such as insulation, mechanical assembly or foundation, are found to be the key for the feasibility of a TES system. Different performance scenarios were performed and based on experimental results, decisions for reengineering of the pilot plant could be taken to improve commercial storage plants.

Keywords

  • Thermal energy storage (TES);
  • Molten salt;
  • Heat losses;
  • Reengineering;
  • Lessons learnt;
  • Concentrated solar power plant (CSP)

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