Thermoeconomic analysis of a solar enhanced energy storage concept based on thermodynamic cycles
Large scale energy storage may play an increasingly important role in the power generation and distribution sector, especially when large shares of renewable energies will have to be integrated into the electrical grid. Pumped-hydro is the only large scale storage technology that has been widely used. However the spread of this technology is limited by geographic constraints. In the present work, a particular implementation of a storage concept based on thermodynamic cycles, invented by ABB Switzerland ltd. Corporate Research, has been analysed thermoeconomically. A variant using solar thermal collectors is presented. It benefits from the synergy between daily variations in solar irradiance and in electricity demand. This results in an effective increase of the electric energy storage efficiency. A steady state multi-objective optimization of a 50 MW plant was done; minimizing the investment costs and maximizing the energy storage efficiency. Several types of cold storage substances have been implemented in the formulation and two different types of solar collector were investigated. A storage efficiency of 57% at a cost of 1200 USD/kW was calculated for an optimized plant using solar energy. Finally, a computation of the behaviour of the plant along the year showed a yearly availability of 84.4%.