Comparison between a Stratified Solar Pond and an Encapsulated Composite PCM for large scale direct-loading thermal storage

Stratified solar ponds have been in use for several years to capture and store large amounts of thermal energy directly from the sun. They offer a relatively cheap solution for storing solar energy at a large scale. Low temperature phase-change materials’, (PCM’s), such as paraffin or poly-ethylene glycol can potentially be used instead of a stratified solar pond, without the problem of evaporation and with higher photothermal. PCM photothermal efficiency can be further improved through the addition of photothermal materials, increasing the rate at which they convert visible light into heat. Comparing a solar pond to a composite PCM will involve developing a CFD model of the flow within the solar pond, as well as modelling the heat transfer within both the solar pond and composite PCM. Looking into the costs of both systems for a set storage capacity and area would be preferable as well.

Supervisor name: 
Tadhg O'Donovan, Ityona Amber, Aleksandar Vukasovic
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