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Modular object-oriented methodology for the resolution of molten salt storage tanks for CSP plants

Rodríguez, I., Pérez-Segarra, C.D., Lehmkuhl, O., Oliva, A.
Applied energy 2013 v.109 pp. 402-414
energy, insulating materials, mathematical models, power plants, solar energy, storage technology, tanks
Two-tank molten salt storages are the most widespread thermal energy storage technology within concentrated solar power plants. In spite of this, there are design aspects such as thermal losses control, optimisation of the storage or how these devices scale up with the increase in power capacity of the plant which still should be considered. In this sense, numerical modelling of these systems can be a powerful tool for reducing their cost. The present work aims at modelling molten salt tanks by proposing a parallel modular object-oriented methodology which considers the different elements of the storage (e.g. tank walls, insulation material, tank foundation, molten salt storage media, etc.) as independent systems. Each of these elements can be solved independently and using different levels of modelling (from global to fully three-dimensional models), while at the same time they are linked to each other through their boundary conditions. The mathematical models used, together with some illustrative examples of the application of the proposed methodology, are presented and discussed in detail.