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Durham University

Research & business

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Publication details for Dr Huashan Bao

Ma, Zhiwei, Bao, Huashan & Roskilly, Anthony P. (2020). Electricity-assisted thermochemical sorption system for seasonal solar energy storage. Energy Conversion and Management 209: 112659.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

The present paper investigated the seasonal solar thermal energy storage (SSTES) using solid-gas thermochemical sorption technology that has inherently combined function of heat pump and energy storage. The thermochemical reactions that can discharge heat at a higher temperature usually requires a relatively higher desorption temperature during charging process, which could be problematic to efficiently recover solar energy in high-latitude regions like the UK when using the most mature and economic solar thermal collector (flat-plate or evacuated tube type). The present work studied two hybrid concepts where an electric-driven compressor or an electric heater was introduced to supplement the thermochemical desorption process in terms of pressure rise and temperature lift, respectively, when the available solar heat was not sufficiently high. The SrCl2-8/1NH3 chemisorption was selected from 230 ammonia-chemisorption reactions due to its suitable adsorption/desorption temperature and large energy storage density. The performance of two hybrid systems using SrCl2-8/1NH3 chemisorption were evaluated and compared to determine the optimal solution. The results revealed that the hybrid thermochemical sorption with a compressor substantially improved the storage capacity compared to that with electric heater. With a compression ratio of 4, the SSTES system with 20 m2 solar collector under the weather condition of Newcastle upon Tyne can store 3226.8 kWh chemisorption heat in summer by charging 4465.4 kWh solar heat and 848.2 kWh electricity, indicating 60.7% storage efficiency; the corresponding energy density based on the overall system volume is 147.3 kWh/m3. Because of using the renewable solar heat and low carbon intensity electricity in summer, the proposed hybrid SSTES system has noteworthy reduction on carbon emission compared to gas boiler and conventional heat pump.