Experimental and numerical investigations on sensible heat storage systems

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Energy plays a major role for the existence of mankind. It is necessary to adopt human development and economic growth of any nation with secure, affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy supply. Today, the world is facing several challenges such as global warming, depletion of natural resources, population growth, increase in energy demand and price and unequal distribution of energy sources. All these factors contribute to the urgent need to transform the energy sector, which primarily depends on fossil fuels, to the one that uses renewable energies and energy efficient technologies. Renewable energy is one of the key solutions to the current challenges facing by the world. Many countries have already explored various options of generating power from the renewable energy through different approaches. Concentrated solar power (CSP) is one of the promising large-scale power generation technologies among the renewables, which is being widely commercialized now. The CSP technologies exist in four common forms namely parabolic trough, central tower, and parabolic dish and linear fresnel reflector. The major problem faced by all types of CSP plants is the intermittent solar radiation, which halts the generation of electricity during night and overcast day. This issue can be solved by incorporating a thermal energy storage (TES) system. TES systems are broadly classified into sensible heat storage (SHS), latent heat storage and thermochemical heat storage. TES systems using SHS solid materials are highly attractive due to their high thermal storage capacity, abundant availability, cheap, compatibility with container materials, and chemical stability.
Supervisor: P. Muthukumar