solar thermal energy storage

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Javier E. Garay

Primary Student
Name: Andrew Zigang Zhao
Phone: 505-412-5678
Grad Year: 2020

Today, solar energy provides cheaper electricity than coal or natural gas; however, a city like San Diego does not solely run on solar energy because every night the sun sets, and from time to time a cloud wanders by. Solar power is inconsistent. Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is a method to store energy from the sun to distribute when consumers demand electricity. State of the art TES materials include solar salts based on nitrates that store energy as sensible heat with an energy density on the order of 1 MJ per liter and an operating temperature limited to below 600 degrees Celsius. To improve the energy density, increase the operating temperature, and boost the efficiency of a TES system, we propose the use of metal sulfides for thermochemical energy storage. Their energy density is more than 10 times higher than solar salts and have operating temperatures above 700 degrees Celsius. Here we present the thermal properties of metal sulfides.

Industry Application Area(s)
Energy/Clean technology | Materials

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