Solar Energy, Vol.190, 511-514, 2019
A first estimate for thermal osmotic long storage
In this brief note, a first assessment on the possibilities for thermal osmotic storage using the thermal precipitation of aqueous solutions as alternative to sensible heat storage is performed. In a recent study it was found that the thermal dependence of the solubility of many common aqueous solutions could be harnessed to transform thermal energy into osmotic energy and then to run a heat powered cycle. Here, a scoping study is performed on the possibility to use such a property to storage thermal energy. Utilizing a transient model it was found that despite the fact that traditional sensible heat can stores much more thermal energy than osmotic does, however, for large Biot and Fourier numbers -which means compactness and long thermal storage, the osmotic storage becomes an attractive option. Additional R&D is required in order to arrive at a reliable practical and commercial design.