High temperature test facility thermal storage system evaluations
With increased interest in storing thermal energy at high temperatures for Concentrated Solar Power and other industrial processes, there is a growing need to test prototype scale systems. This facility provides the means to determine the thermal characteristics of systems requiring a high temperature heat source up to 900oC. One of only a handful of facilities globally, it was developed to provide industry and research institutions with a testing service needed to support the development of high temperature thermal energy storage but its versatile design means that it can be used for a variety of industrial processes.
Using the High Temperature Test Facility two high temperature thermal storage prototypes were developed and tested applicable for use with concentrating solar thermal power plants and high temperature materials processing. These prototypes used phase change materials (PCMs) capable of delivering temperatures at 300 and 650 C. The designs incorporated a novel shell and tube configuration, as well as a new PCM.
The Facility is housed within a purpose built enclosure enabling safe control and observation of the test. The facility is designed to recirculate atmospheric air through the test specimen at the desired flow and temperature conditions. Fitted with a high temperature fan and an electrical heater bank, the facility can subject the test specimen to the full range of flow and temperature conditions on a continuous basis.
Testing can be programmed to continuously charge and discharge for a specified number of cycles. This enables the measurement of charging and discharging performance as well as a means of assessing the long term stability of the system.
This facility can also be used for the testing of materials and equipment over its operating range:
Fan mass flow range: 0.1 to 1 kg/s
Maximum static pressure fan: 1000 Pa
Temperature range: Ambient to 900oC
Heater capacity: 200 kW
Maximum operating condition: 0.5 kg/s at 900oC at 600 Pa
The HTTF project was funded by the Australian Government via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
The project was conducted in collaboration with the University of Lleida, Spain.