Fig. (a) The TESLAB solar salt TES (250kWh) and (b) PROTEAS solar salt TES (2000-kWh)
TES in molten salts allows for energy dispatchability on demand that has been extensively studied as a means of cost-effective integration of solar-thermal plants with Process Heat, Desalination and Steam Reforming. The ARES group research portfolio in this field includes the development of heat transfer and thermodynamics models for such TES applications as well as experimental work for the model validation. The in-house CyI facilities have a dedicated control and monitoring system for data acquisition and process control, which has been developed in-house at a lower cost than commercial alternatives.
Currently, the division is working on developing further these facilities for experimental work in hydrogen production using solar-thermal methane pyrolysis. Other research activities concern a recent patent pending work of the group such as a Method for Amplifying the Exergy of Thermoclines (MAX-T). The method helps to achieve an exergy level in single-tank TES like that of a two tank TES, thereby, reducing the levelized cost of storage LCOS by 40%.