Thermal storage plays an important role in the race to reduce costs in which renewable generation technologies are immersed. So much so that it has become a fundamental requirement for future concentrating solar power (CSP) plants. However, the molten salt double-tank technology used commercially in large power plants is an expensive solution for distributed generation plants with much lower output. The challenge is to generate economically viable storage technologies that allow for the management of distributed generation plants.
Developing an economically viable heat storage system for power plants requires that the materials are compatible with the heat transfer fluid, with high density of energy and very cheap. Magnetite is an ideal material, since it has a much higher energy density than most ceramic materials and is commercially available at a very low price. CIC energiGUNE has developed a novel thermal storage technology based on porous beds of magnetite.
A novel 20 MWh thermal storage system based on porous beds of magnetite that is installed in a 1MWe demonstration plant in Ben Guerir (Morocco).
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