Sustainable Energy Research Group
Gruppo di Ricerca SERG

Thermo-Electric Energy Storage with Solar Heat Integration: Exergy and Exergo-Economic Analysis

A Thermo-Electric Energy Storage (TEES) system is proposed to provide peak-load support (1–2 daily hours of operation) for distributed users using small/medium-size photovoltaic systems (4 to 50 kWe). The purpose is to complement the PV with a reliable storage system that cancompensate the produc tivity/load mismatch, aiming at off-grid operation. The proposed TEES applies sensible heat storage, using insulated warm-water reservoirs at 120/160 ◦C, and cold storage at −10/−20 ◦C (water and ethylene glycol). The power cycle is a trans-critical CO2 unit including recuperation; in the storage mode, a supercritical heat pump restores heat to the hot reservoir, while a cooling cycle cools the cold reservoir; both the heat pump and cooling cycle operate on photovoltaic (PV) energy, and benefit from solar heat integration at low–medium temperatures (80–120 ◦C). This allows the achievement of a marginal round-trip efficiency (electric-to-electric) in the range of 50% (not considering solar heat integration).The TEES system is analysed with different resource conditions and parameters settings (hot storage temperature, pressure levels for all cycles, ambient temperature, etc.), making reference to standard days of each month of the year; exergy and exergo-economic analyses are performed to identify the critical items in the complete system and the cost of stored electricity.


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