Experimental demonstration of a latent heat storage system for dispatchable electricity
Modern electric grids that use intermittent renewables require energy storage to maintain reliability. Many potential solutions exist, but latent heat thermal energy storage shows particularly high potential for low cost grid scale energy storage. In this paper, we present the design and initial experimental results for a lab-scale prototype of a novel latent heat thermal storage system. This version of our prototype used 50 kg of aluminum-silicon alloy as a phase change material, and a novel valved thermosyphon concept to control heat flow from a thermal storage tank to thermoelectric generators for dispatchable electricity production. Our results validate the system: the thermal storage system was able to receive heat input, evenly distribute heat to and from the phase change material with small temperature gradients, and controllably dispatch heat to a heat engine for electricity generation on demand. With the basic principle of this technology demonstrated, our next step will be to evaluate and improve system efficiency.
AIP Conference Proceedings
Rea, Jonathan E.; Oshman, Christopher J.; Hardin, Corey L.; Singh, Abhishek; Alleman, Jeff; Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Parilla, Philip A.; Olsen, Michele L.; Sharp, Jeff; Siegel, Nathan P.; Ginley, David S.; and Toberer, Eric S.. "Experimental demonstration of a latent heat storage system for dispatchable electricity." AIP Conference Proceedings (2018) : 90022.