Solar thermoelectricity via advanced latent heat storage
AIP Conference Proceedings
We report on a new modular, dispatchable, and cost-effective solar electricity-generating technology. Solar ThermoElectricity via Advanced Latent heat Storage (STEALS) integrates several state-of-the-art technologies to provide electricity on demand. In the envisioned STEALS system, concentrated sunlight is converted to heat at a solar absorber. The heat is then delivered to either a thermoelectric (TE) module for direct electricity generation, or to charge a phase change material for thermal energy storage, enabling subsequent generation during off-sun hours, or both for simultaneous electricity production and energy storage. The key to making STEALS a dispatchable technology lies in the development of a “thermal valve,” which controls when heat is allowed to flow through the TE module, thus controlling when electricity is generated. The current project addresses each of the three major subcomponents, (i) the TE module, (ii) the thermal energy storage system, and (iii) the thermal valve. The project also includes system-level and techno- economic modeling of the envisioned integrated system and will culminate in the demonstration of a laboratory-scale STEALS prototype capable of generating 3kWe.
Olsen, Michele L.; Rea, Jonathan E.; Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Hardin, Corey L.; Oshman, Christopher J.; Vaughn, J; Roark, T.; Raade, J. W.; Bradshaw, R. W.; and Sharp, Jeff. "Solar thermoelectricity via advanced latent heat storage." AIP Conference Proceedings (2016) : 50035.