Generalized charts of energy storage effectiveness for thermocline heat storage tank design and calibration

Peiwen Li, Jon Van Lew, Wafaa Karaki, Cholik Chan, Jake Stephens, Qiuwang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Solar thermal energy storage is important to the daily extended operation and cost reduction of a concentrated solar thermal power plant. To provide industrial engineers with an effective tool for sizing a thermocline heat storage tank, this paper used dimensionless heat transfer governing equations for fluid and solid filler material and studied all scenarios of energy charge and discharge processes. It has been found that what can be provided through the analysis is a series of well-configured general charts bearing curves of energy storage effectiveness against four dimensionless parameters grouped up from the storage tank dimensions, properties of the fluid and filler material, and operational conditions (such as mass flow rate of fluid and energy charge and discharge periods). As the curves in the charts are generalized, they are applicable to general thermocline heat storage systems. Engineers can conveniently look up the charts to design and calibrate the dimensions of thermocline solar thermal storage tanks and operational conditions, without doing complicated modeling and computations. It is of great significance that the generalized charts will serve as tools for thermal energy storage system design and calibration in energy industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2130-2143
Number of pages14
JournalSolar energy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Concentrated solar thermal power
  • Design charts and tools
  • Energy storage effectiveness
  • General analysis
  • Thermal storage
  • Thermocline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Generalized charts of energy storage effectiveness for thermocline heat storage tank design and calibration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this