High-Capacity Cool Thermal Energy Storage for Peak Shaving - a Solution for Energy Challenges in the 21st century

University dissertation from Stockholm : Kemiteknik

Abstract: Due to climatic change, increasing thermal loads inbuildings and rising living standards, comfort cooling inbuildings is becoming increasingly important and the demand forcomfort cooling is expanding very quickly around the world. Theincreased cooling demand results in a peak in electrical powerdemand during the hottest summer hours. This peak presents newchallenges and uncertainties to electricity utilities and theircustomers.Cool thermal storage systems have not only the potential tobecome one of the primary solutions to the electrical powerimbalance between production and demand, but also shift coolingenergy use to off-peak periods and avoid peak demand charges.It increases the possibilities of utilizing renewable energysources and waste heat for cooling generation. In addition, acool storage can actually increase the efficiency of combinedheat and power (CHP) generation provided that heat drivencooling is coupled to CHP. Then, the cool storage may avoidpeaks in the heat demand for cooling generation, and this meansthat the CHP can operate at design conditions in most oftime.Phase Change Materials (PCMs) used for cool storage hasobtained considerable attention, since they can be designed tomelt and freeze at a selected temperature and have shown apromising ability to reduce the size of storage systemscompared with a sensible heat storage system because they usethe latent heat of the storage medium for thermal energystorage.The goal of this thesis is to define suitable PCM candidatesfor comfort cooling storage. The thesis work combines differentmethods to determine the thermophysical properties oftetradecane, hexadecane and their binary mixtures, anddemonstrates the potential of using these materials as PCM forcomfort cooling storage. The phase equilibrium of the binarysystem has been studied theoretically as well asexperimentally, resulting in the derivation of the phasediagram. With knowledge of the liquid-solid phase equilibriumcharacteristics and the phase diagram, an improvedunderstanding is provided for the interrelationships involvedin the phase change of the studied materials. It has beenindicated that except for the minimum-melting point mixture,all mixtures melt and freeze within a temperature range and notat a constant temperature, which is so far often assumed in PCMstorage design. In addition, the enthalpy change during thephase transition (heat of fusion) corresponds to the phasechange temperature range; thus, the storage density obtaineddepends on how large a part of the phase change temperaturerange is valid for a given application.Differential Scanning Calorimetery (DSC) is one frequentlyused method in the development of PCMs. In this thesis, it hasbeen found that varying results are obtained depending on theDSC settings throughout the measurements. When the DSC runs ata high heating/cooling rate it will lead to erroneousinformation. Also, the correct phase transition temperaturerange cannot be obtained simply from DSC measurement. Combiningphase equilibrium considerations with DSC measurements gives areliable design method that incorporates both the heat offusion and the phase change temperature range.The potential of PCM storage for peak shaving in differentcooling systems has been demonstrated. A Computer model hasbeen developed for rapid phase equilibrium calculation. The useof phase equilibrium data in the design of a cool storagesystem is presented as a general methodology.Keywords:Comfort cooling, peak shaving, PCM, coolthermal storage system, DSC, phase change temperature range,the heat of fusion, phase equilibrium, phase diagram. Language:English

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