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Experimental study and analysis of a novel layered packed-bed for thermal energy storage applications: A proof of concept

Lookup NU author(s): Tahir Ameen, Dr Rosemary NormanORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 The Author(s)This paper presents a study carried out as part of commissioning and testing of world's first grid-scale 150 kWe Pumped Heat Energy Storage (PHES) demonstration system. The system employs two novel layered packed-bed thermal stores. The present study experimentally investigates one of the stores designated as “hot thermal store”, which has an energy storage density of 1072 MJ/m3 and stores heat at 500 °C and 12 bar. The layered store is an enhancement of a normal packed-bed store and offers a higher degree of thermal stratification. Experiments show that layering results in about 64 % reduction in pressure loss along with yielding considerably narrower thermocline. Round-trip efficiency, storage capacity and utilisation were calculated based on 1st Law analysis considering both simple and layered mode operation at nominal design conditions. Two cycle control scenarios were considered: time-based and temperature-based. In the time-based scenario, the store shows nearly similar performance in both modes. However, in temperature-based scenario, layered mode outperforms. During cyclic operation, layered mode outperforms as it reaches steady-state in merely 3rd cycle, without any loss in efficiency, capacity and utilisation; simple mode yields competitive efficiency but capacity and utilisation deteriorate after each successive cycle and steady-state is achieved in 20th cycle. 2nd Law analysis was additionally performed to gain insight into various losses and their impact on the performance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ameen MT, Ma Z, Smallbone A, Norman R, Roskilly AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Energy Conversion and Management

Year: 2023

Volume: 277

Print publication date: 01/02/2023

Online publication date: 11/01/2023

Acceptance date: 30/12/2022

Date deposited: 11/01/2023

ISSN (print): 0196-8904

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2227

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.enconman.2022.116648


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Funder referenceFunder name
Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), UK