Thermal energy storage via manganese-oxide based redox cycling

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Solar radiation is highly intermittent and its use for demand-sensitive electricity generation requires energy storage. Storing large amounts of solar-produced electricity is challenging and has been a highly sought after goal. High-temperature solar thermal energy storage can be deployed as an alternative enabling technology for matching solar radiation availability and electricity demand.

This project aims at developing a novel high-temperature thermochemical energy storage syst em for dispatchable and efficient concentrating solar power generation via combined power cycles. The proposed approach is based on the manganese-oxide redox cycle in a system involving two fluidised-bed reactors (Fig. 1), one for solar-driven high-temperature endothermic reduction and one for non-solar lower-temperature exothermic oxidation. We will develop stable and durable redox materials promising high reaction rates, and development of a solar reduction reactor prototype promising high efficiency. The solar reactor is a novel beam-up concept that allows for suppression of convective heat losses from a down-facing receiver cavity, effective and well-controlled fluidisation of the redox material due to a symmetric vertical orientation, and high optical efficiency due to the symmetric field layout around the receiver.

Solar thermochemical energy storage system using manganese-oxide
            based redox cycling

Fig. 1. Solar thermochemical energy storage system using manganese-oxide based redox cycling

The proposed technology allows for higher operating temperatures, and thus higher efficiencies of the power cycle, compared to non-thermochemical storage systems. It has the potential for efficient and fast-response high-energy density storage in the solid oxide material.

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