To recover the energy, the heat pump is reversed to become a heat engine.
The engine takes heat from the hot store, delivers waste heat to the cold store, and produces mechanical work. When recovering electricity the heat engine drives a generator.
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PHES requires the following elements: two low cost usually steel tanks filled with mineral particulate gravel-sized particles of crushed rock and a means of efficiently compressing and expanding gas. A closed circuit filled with the working gas connects the two stores, the compressor and the expander. The process proceeds as follows: the argon, at ambient pressure and temperature top left limb of the circuit on the diagram , enters the compressor diagram shows a rotating compressor symbol — all equipment is in fact reciprocating.
It enters the top of the hot storage vessel and flows slowly typically less than 0.
At the bottom of the tank, the argon exits, still at nearly 12 bar but now at ambient temperature. The argon then enters the bottom of the cold vessel and flows slowly up, cooling the particulate and itself being warmed. It leaves the top of the tank back at ambient pressure and temperature. To recover the power i.
Argon at ambient temperature and pressure enters the cold tank and flows slowly down through it, warming the particulate and itself becoming cold. It is compressed to 12 bar, heating back up to ambient temperature. It then enters the bottom of the hot tank. PHES can address markets that require response times in the region of minutes upwards.
The system uses gravel as the storage medium, so it offers a very low cost storage solution. There are no potential supply constraints on any of the materials used in this system. Plant size is expected to be in the range of MW per unit.
Thermal Energy Storage Market
Grouping of units can provide GW-sized installations. Technology is in development stage and commercial systems are due in Liquid Air Energy Storage LAES uses electricity to cool air until it liquefies, stores the liquid air in a tank, brings the liquid air back to a gaseous state by exposure to ambient air or with waste heat from an industrial process and uses that gas to turn a turbine and generate electricity.
Although novel at a system level, the LAES process uses components and sub-systems that are mature technologies available from major OEMs.
Optimization and advanced control of thermal energy storage systems
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