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Feasibility study of MgSO4 + zeolite based composite thermochemical energy stores charged by vacuum flat plate solar thermal collectors for seasonal thermal energy storage

Mahon, D., Henshall, P., Claudio, G., Eames, P.C.
Renewable energy 2020 v.145 pp. 1799-1807
carbon, carbon dioxide, energy conservation, feasibility studies, heat, magnesium sulfate, models, renewable energy sources, solar collectors, solar radiation, technology, temperature, thermal energy, zeolites
A primary drawback of solar thermal technologies, especially in a domestic setting, is that collection of thermal energy occurs when solar irradiance is abundant and there is generally little requirement for heating. Thermochemical Energy Storage (TCES) offers a means of storing thermal energy interseasonally with little heat loss. A combination of a Solar Thermal Collector (STC) and TCES system will allow a variety of different heating applications, such as domestic space and hot water heating as well as low temperature industrial process heat applications to be met in a low carbon way. This paper describes and assesses the feasibility of two novel technologies currently under development at Loughborough University; i) an evacuated flat plate STC and ii) composite TCES materials, coupled together into a system designed to store and supply thermal energy on demand throughout the year. Experimental results of composite TCES materials along with predicted performance of STC's are used within a developed model to assess key metrics of conceptual TCES + STC systems feasibility, including; charging time, payback time, cost/kWh, energy savings and CO2 savings. This paper demonstrates the economic, energy and carbon savings potential of conceptual TCES + STC systems suitable for domestic use.