Argonne and Capstone Receive Funding to Advance Thermal Energy Storage Technology

New system incorporates Argonne’s high-efficiency, fast-charging/discharging thermal energy system for waste heat recovery and reuse in process and manufacturing environments.

Thermal energy storage
Argonne and Capstone Turbine Corp. plan to refine Argonne’s system to capture and store waste heat. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory)

Thermal energy storage systems to capture and store waste heat for later use when operating a manufacturing facility or large building could reduce costs for combined heat and power systems.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and Capstone Turbine Corp. have received $380,000 from the DOETechnology Commercialization Fund (TCF) to refine Argonne’s high-efficiency, fast charging/discharging latent heat thermal energy storage system (TESS) for use in building applications and process/manufacturing industries.

The TESS is a ​thermal battery” developed originally for storing heat in concentrated solar power applications, funded by DOE’s Solar Energy Technology Office. Argonne’s TESS incorporates a phase change material in a high thermal conductivity porous preform, resulting in a composite material system that has enhanced thermal performance. One of the TESS’s most valuable features is its tunability for specific applications through the selection of appropriate phase change material. Additionally, TESS’s high thermal energy density results in a small footprint.

Storing thermal energy and using it during periods of high electricity pricing can result in significant cost savings. This is particularly important for process/manufacturing industries and building applications, as it reduces costs and increases energy efficiency.” — Dileep Singh, principal investigator and senior materials scientist/group manager in Argonne’s Applied Materials division

Thermal energy storage
This shows a magnified view of the high-thermal-conductivity foam used in Argonne’s TESS thermal battery. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory)

Capstone Turbine Corporation manufactures combined heat and power (CHP) systems used in environments that can support reuse of process-related waste heat to improve system performance efficiencies and reduce operational costs. This project focuses on integrating Argonne’s TESS into a Capstone C200 CHP system, specifically, using thermal modeling and simulations to optimize system design; fabricating and integrating the TESS to the C200 system; testing the performance of the integrated TESS-C200 system and conducting a techno-economic analysis to establish performance/cost benefits of the integrated system.

According to Argonne Principal Investigator Dileep Singh, ​Storing thermal energy and using it during periods of high electricity pricing can result in significant cost savings. This is particularly important for process/manufacturing industries and building applications, as it reduces costs and increases energy efficiency.”

Thermal energy storage
This is a magnified view of the application-specific phase change material incorporated into TESS​’s high-thermal-conductivity porous foam. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory)

Argonne has made it a core mission to develop advanced manufacturing technologies, such as materials with advanced properties and manufacturing processes that are more energy efficient. Sign up here to learn more about Argonne’s technologies advancing manufacturing, including energy efficient processes and advanced materials design.

The award is one of 12 Argonne projects funded in 2018 through TCF, which is managed by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions. Argonne’s work to develop the TESS is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Source : Argonne National Laboratory