Storage media sensitivity analysis

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Kelly Herbst
Storage media sensitivity analysis

Have you completed using SAM or other tools an evaluation of different types of storage media? I am particularly interested in understanding the effect on system costs of the use of a system with increased heat capacity relative to molten salts.

If you have not done this, can you please explain how this could be done using SAM? Thank you.

Paul Gilman

Dear CSPSAM,

One source of information about storage for CSP systems is the NREL Troughnet website. You can also search the NREL Publications website for keywords like "csp storage" for more recent NREL publications on the subject.

SAM's thermal energy storage (TES) model for CSP systems includes a library of different heat transfer fluids for use as a storage fluid in the TES system. For the analysis you describe, you would first choose an option for the Storage HTF fluid input n the Thermal Energy Storage page. (You can also specify a custom fluid if you want to model one that is not in the library.)

Next, you would specify storage-related installation and operating costs on the System Costs page.

Depending on what kind of CSP system you are modeling, parabolic trough or power tower, you would then optimize the solar field and TES capacity for each TES design as described in SAM's Helps system. Instructions for optimizing the solar field of a parabolic trough system are under "Sizing the Solar Field" in the Solar Field topic, and for power towers, you can explore the sample file Power tower field with storage optimization.zsam, which you can open from the File menu by clicking Open sample file. (There is also a sample file illustrating the optimization for parabolic troughs.)

Best regards,
Paul.

Kelly Herbst

Dear Paul,
Thank you for your reply. I understand from your answer that I can create my own HTF but what I am really interest in is evaluating Thermal Storage Fluids with different properties, not HTF. Is this possible to do with SAM? Thank you.

Paul Gilman

Sorry for my confusing reply. Yes, you can model a thermal energy storage system with different storage fluids. The name of the input for the storage fluid in the SAM user interface is "Storage HTF fluid."

SAM uses the same library for the field HTF and the storage fluid. The fluids in the library are: Hitec Solar Salt, Caloria HT 43, Hitec XL, Hitec, Therminol VP-1, Therminol 59, Therminol 66, Dowtherm Q, and Dowtherm RP.

You can specify parameters for a user-defined fluid if you want to model a fluid that is not in the library.

Best regards,
Paul.

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