The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is developing a thermal energy storage (TES) system that uses solid particles as the storage medium for a concentrating solar power plant. This paper focuses on the particle-TES performance in terms of three efficiency metrics: first-law efficiency, second-law efficiency, and storage effectiveness. The paper presents the derivation of the efficiency expression and their application in assessing the particle-TES performance and design. The particle-TES system uses low-cost stable materials that withstand high temperature at a fraction of the cost of the salt and metal containment vessels for high-temperature TES. Cost analysis indicates that particle TES costs less than $10/kWhth, which is less than half the cost of the current molten-salt-based TES and just a fraction of liquid heat transfer fluid storage at a similar high temperature of >700°C, due to its low cost of storage medium and containment. The fluidized-bed TES can hold hot particles of > 800°C with >95% exergetic efficiency, storage effectiveness, and thermal efficiency. © 2013 Z. Ma.
Ma, Z., Glatzmaier, G. C., & Mehos, M. (2013). Development of solid particle thermal energy storage for concentrating solar power plants that use fluidized bed technology. In Energy Procedia (Vol. 49, pp. 898–907). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2014.03.097