Thermal energy storage characteristics of synthetic oil and sand mixture for thermocline single tank

Yongping Yang, Jingxiao Han, Peiwen Li, Ben Xu, Hongjuan Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The new idea of using sand soaked with the thermal conductive oil as the filler material was proposed for better sensible heat storage in a thermocline single tank. The characteristics of thermal energy storage (TES) using the mixture of Xceltherm 600 synthetic oil and sand under various inlet temperature and velocities were investigated. An experimental setup of the TES system was built for the study. Air was used as the heat transfer fluid to flow through tubes that pass through the sand-oil mixture to store or extract heat. The outer surfaces of the airflow tubes have nice contact to oil and sand. It is found that the TES efficiency of sand-oil mixture increases by 18.5% compared to that of pure sand. In the sand-oil media, the temperature gradient along the radial direction is lower, while the temperature gradient along the axial direction is higher. Under the tested air inlet temperatures (328.15-358.15K), the TES performances show similar characteristics. For industrial power generation application, further work to optimize temperature range needs to be conducted in the future. The air velocity is also another important parameter to the TES. Lower velocity not only increases the TES efficiency, but also enlarges the thermocline temperature gradient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-637
Number of pages7
JournalZhongguo Dianji Gongcheng Xuebao/Proceedings of the Chinese Society of Electrical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 5 2015


  • Filler material
  • Sand
  • Solar energy
  • Synthetic oil
  • Thermal energy storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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