THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE UNIT
A R+D activity integrated in Plataforma Solar de Almeria
ATE focusses on the development, optimization and integration of thermal energy storage systems (TESS), taking into account the specific technological features of the solar thermal power plant involved.
Our great know-how, both in (sensible and latent) storage prototypes testing and in multi-physics modelling (by own or commercial programs), qualify us to design and optimize TESS for working temperatures between 140ºC and 800ºC. In this sense, we follow a holistic approach where the TESS integration in the Concentrating Solar Power Plant plays a critical role.
The activities of the Thermal Storage Group deal with all aspects involved in the development, verification and optimization of efficient TESS:
- Proposing new storage media and characterizing some of their mechanical, chemical and thermophysical properties1.
- Testing components for molten salt loops (valves, pressure gauges, vertical pumps, heat tracing, etc.).
- Designing new heat storage concepts with known storage media.
- Testing novel modules for energy storage, both sensible and latent, even in real solar conditions.
- Modelling the behaviour of TESS, with own and commercial programs.
- Studying the integration of TESS in the CSP and its feasibility from a global point of view.
- Optimizing the operation strategies of TESS in order to obtain a maximum advantage of the stored energy.
1Thanks to Ciemat’s laboratories and testing facilities
Through its experts, the Thermal Storage and Solar Fuels Unit participates actively in several scientific networks (Energy Storage JP of EERA, Task II and III of SolarPACES IA of the IEA, Spanish association for Hydrogen –AeH2-) and national (AENOR-GT3) and international (IEC- CTN 206/SC 117/GT 03 and ASME-PCT52) standardization committees.
Since the very beginning, the Unit has worked closely with colleagues from various universities, industrial partners and technological centres of several Autonomous Communities of Spain, through specific collaboration agreements.