This article presents the concept of a storage facility used to effect power control in South Africa's PBMR power cycle. The concept features a multiple number of storage vessels whose purpose is to contain the working medium, helium, as it is withdrawn from the PBMR's closed loop power cycle, at low energy demand. This helium is appropriately replenished to the power cycle as the energy demand increases. Helium mass transfer between the power cycle and the storage facility, henceforth known as the inventory control system (ICS), is carried out by way of the pressure differential that exists between these two systems. In presenting the ICS concept, emphasis is placed on storage effectiveness; hence the discussion in this paper is centred on those features which accentuate storage effectiveness, namely:•Storage vessel multiplicity;•Unique initial pressures for each vessel arranged in a cascaded manner; and•A heat sink placed in each vessel to provide thermal inertia. Having presented the concept, the objective is to qualitatively justify the presence of each of the above-mentioned features using thermodynamics as a basis. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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