This invention is an integrated medium temperature collection and storage system that eliminates the need for bulky storage tanks. That is, a package consisting of several solar receiver units and several cylindrical latent heat thermal energy storage-devices located in the same box. These storage-devices use a shell-and-tube configuration and a phase change material (PCM) that has a high energy density. The invention would enable industrial consumers to have a reliable, low profile, solar-powered system, which integrates well with rooftops and industrial processes.
In the system, solar energy can be either directly sent to the thermal load or stored in these shell-and-tube storage devices for later use. When the solar resource is low, the stored thermal energy can continue to provide thermal energy for at least one hour.
- A convenient (semi- plug-and-play) package is designed for solar energy collection and storage
- Adding the storage units will increase the capital costs by around 10%, but it can increase the annual thermal output of the unit by up to ~20%
- This design represents an effective and, potentially, lower-cost approach to bringing rooftop solar thermal into industrial heating applications
- Utilises the 'dead space' of concentrating solar collectors where sunlight does not shine
- The development of ‘stationary’ rooftop solar thermal systems
- Upgrading the current evacuated tube collector/system
- Concentrating Photovoltaics (PV) collectors
- Industrial heating process
- Solar cooling and heating (Air conditioning)
Technical / Scientific Data
Please see the following publication regarding this patent: Published in Energy Journal, Volume 121, 15 February 2017, Pages 220–237:
Title: Techno-economic analysis of a concentrating solar collector with built-in shell and tube latent heat thermal energy storage (Summary: In this paper, the feasibility of a medium temperature, low profile concentrated solar thermal collector integrated with latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) is investigated.)
The link of publication: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217300233.
UNSW is seeking a partner to work with the researchers on further developing this technology for additional applications.