The sensible heat research activities deal with those single and collective vibration and translation modes to which all the constituents of a thermodynamic system are subjected, by keeping the system in the same thermodynamic phase and without performing any chemical reaction, and that are responsible for the temperature variation of the system. The major objective is to develop materials with enhanced thermodynamic properties, and efficient and reliable heat storage systems.

Research line activities

Packed-bed thermal storage: material and storage system development

This project aims to develop of an effective TES system by mainly substituting the expensive solar salt by different low-cost materials such as slag from steel-making companies. In addition, the implementation of a one storage tank instead a two-tank design might also help to reduce the total storage system cost. In this context, a thermocline-type storage unit has revealed a high performance heat storage capability.

Nano fluids for SHS: Synthesis, thermo-physical characterization and compatibility analysis

Nano-fluids and, in particular, nano-salts are receiving a strong interest due the observed enhancement of the thermal properties of the suspending medium generated by the addition of a small percentage of nanoparticles. It is believed that such materials are between the key drivers to achieve a strong reduction in the electricity cost from CSP plants, making solar energy competitive without additional subsidies. A systematic experimental analysis of the "solar salt" with the addition of several nanoparticles, such as silica, alumina, etc., is in progress.

Research Line Leader


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