This paper proposes concrete bricks as the main energy storage medium to replace aggregates in the thermocline thermal energy storage system. By developing a feasible concrete mixture, the root cause of thermal ratcheting which is the settlement of the aggregates is immediately eliminated. Fourteen concrete mixtures were submerged in molten salt at 585°C for 500 hours and were also subjected to 30 thermal cycles from 300 to 600°C in a heating furnace. The results show that 5 of the 14 mixtures exhibited adequate mechanical properties after being subjected to the thermal cycling testing regimen. All mixtures exhibited an increase in compressive strength after 500 hours of exposure in molten salt at 585°C. This illustrates that concrete as an alternative to the use of quartzite rock and silica sand is feasible.
Development and Performance Evaluation of High Temperature Concrete for Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Power Generation
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John, EE, Hale, WM, Selvam, RP, & Brown, B. "Development and Performance Evaluation of High Temperature Concrete for Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Power Generation." Proceedings of the ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B. Denver, Colorado, USA. November 11–17, 2011. pp. 1207-1213. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2011-64286
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