Thermochemical Energy Storage for Concentrated Solar Power Plant

Project Description

Energy production by renewable sources, particularly solar, is gaining significant interest due to general awareness of reducing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions. Due to transient nature of solar heat, a key enabler in promoting the solar power, especially concentrated solar power (CSP) plants is the development of efficient energy storage technologies. There are various kinds of TES technologies such as the use of latent and sensible heats. Due to many advantages, thermochemical energy storage (TCES) is a promising candidate for efficient energy storage. For example, compared to latent energy storage technologies, which use phase change materials, TCES has 53 times greater energy density. Higher energy storage densities are desirable since they lead to more compact storage systems and lower costs. The proposed work aims at developing a thermochemical energy storage technology using reversible dissociation of ammonia. The reversible reaction is used to store energy in chemical bonds and releasing it when needed to drive a thermal power cycle.

In addition to providing a fundamental understanding of the TCES system design, the analysis will assist in reducing the thermodynamic inefficiencies, improving the performance and minimizing the cost of energy storage. The model will also be used to analyze the exergetic efficiency of the TCES system, which is a critical criterion for achieving the CSP solar energy production cost target.

The investigation will be of great value to the development of energy storage solutions for renewable energy.

Work Description

The research work includes the development of a system level model using Aspen Plus simulation tool. The analysis will consider the conservation principles of mass and energy, and the balance of exergy for all the components of the TCES system and its integration with the CSP plants. The model will also include the effects of irreversibility in the system. The chemical reactions in the reactor systems will be modeled by considering both equilibrium and reduced kinetics. The effects of temperature dependence on thermodynamic properties will also be included in the analysis. The developed models will be used to investigate the effects of various design parameters on the TCES performance. In addition to providing a fundamental understanding of the TCES system design, the analysis will assist in reducing the thermodynamic inefficiencies, improving the performance and minimizing the cost of energy storage. The model will also be used to analyze the exergetic efficiency of the TCES system, which is a critical criterion for achieving the CSP solar energy production cost target.

The work is divided into following tasks:

Task 1.Development of a system level model of TCES using ASPEN plus

Task 2.Model validation

Task 3.Analysis of exergetic efficiency of the TCES system

Task 4.Investigation of temperature requirements of the endothermic and exothermic processes for ammonia dissociation and synthesis

Task 5.Investigation of catalyst material

Task 6.Investigation of nitrogen to oxygen ratio in the storage tank

Task 7.Investigation of heat exchanger effectiveness and parasitic loads

Requirements Description

Good computational background.

Work Schedule

Task 1.Development of a system level model of TCES using ASPEN plus (1-4 months)

Task 2.Model validation (4-5 months)

Task 3.Analysis of exergetic efficiency of the TCES system (6-8 months)

Task 4.Investigation of temperature requirements of the endothermic and exothermic processes for ammonia dissociation and synthesis (7-9 months)

Task 5.Investigation of catalyst material (9-10 months)

Task 6.Investigation of nitrogen to oxygen ratio in the storage tank (10-11 months)

Task 7.Investigation of heat exchanger effectiveness and parasitic loads (11-12 months)

Additional Notes

The preferred qualification for this position includes:

  • A BS degree in mechanical or chemical engineering with good GPA.
  • Interest in thermo-fluids area.
  • Good computational/CFD background.

 

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Job ID: 169722
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Job Detail
Job Opening ID
169722
Department
Engineering
Semester[s]
Fall 2019 and Winter 2020
Work could be done by someone not coming to campus (e.g., online or non-local student)
No
What majors can apply?
  • Mechanical Engineering (MSE)
Faculty Sponsor
Faculty Name
Tariq Shamim
Department
Engineering
Email
shamim@umflint.edu
Phone
(810)766-6696
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