Today, two tanks with hot and cold molten salt are used in commercial CSP plants. The approach to use one single tank instead and substitute a significant storage volume with low cost filler material has a significant cost reduction potential. In this thermocline concept, a temperature zone moves through the packed bed within the tank when charged with hot salt from the top or discharged with cold salt from the bottom. One major highlight of the work at DLR is the construction and commissioning of the unique molten salt test facility TESIS. We present investigations of the single-tank concepts with filler in industrial-relevant scale (4 MWh) in terms of experiments, as well as heat and mass transfer modelling.
Dr. Thomas Bauer, received his PhD degree in the area of thermal engineering from the Northumbria University in the UK. Thomas Bauer works within DLR on material investigations and molten salt storage for thermal energy storage since 2005. In 2012, he changed the DLR location from Stuttgart to Cologne. Thomas Bauer is responsible for a research group on molten salt storage located in Cologne and Stuttgart. This research group addresses the development of molten salt storage along the value chain. New material concepts are being pursued in order to extend the aforementioned temperature range while new molten salt storage systems with lower capital costs and improved operational behaviour are under development. Further attention is also paid to the integration of molten salt storage systems. The group operates the Test Facility for Thermal Energy Storage in Molten Salts (TESIS) with more than 100 tons of molten salt.