International Journal of Energy Research, Vol.44, No.6, 4163-4195, 2020
Review on solar thermal energy storage technologies and their geometrical configurations
Because of the unstable and intermittent nature of solar energy availability, a thermal energy storage system is required to integrate with the collectors to store thermal energy and retrieve it whenever it is required. Thermal energy storage not only eliminates the discrepancy between energy supply and demand but also increases the performance and reliability of energy systems and plays a crucial role in energy conservation. Under this paper, different thermal energy storage methods, heat transfer enhancement techniques, storage materials, heat transfer fluids, and geometrical configurations are discussed. A comparative assessment of various thermal energy storage methods is also presented. Sensible heat storage involves storing thermal energy within the storage medium by increasing temperature without undergoing any phase transformation, whereas latent heat storage involves storing thermal energy within the material during the transition phase. Combined thermal energy storage is the novel approach to store thermal energy by combining both sensible and latent storage. Based on the literature review, it was found that most of the researchers carried out their work on sensible and latent storage systems with the different storage media and heat transfer fluids. Limited work on a combined sensible-latent heat thermal energy storage system with different storage materials and heat transfer fluids was carried out so far. Further, combined sensible and latent heat storage systems are reported to have a promising approach, as it reduces the cost and increases the energy storage with a stabilized outflow of temperature from the system. The studies discussed and presented in this paper may be helpful to carry out further research in this area.