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International Journal of Photoenergy
Volume 2019, Article ID 1609234, 17 pages
Research Article

Numerical Investigations on Charging/Discharging Performance of a Novel Truncated Cone Thermal Energy Storage Tank on a Concentrated Solar Power System

1School of Urban Construction, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430065, China
2College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Northeast Petroleum University, Daqing 163318, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Qianjun Mao; moc.361@nujnaiqoam and Li Peng; moc.361@lpkjs

Received 9 August 2018; Revised 10 October 2018; Accepted 30 October 2018; Published 27 January 2019

Guest Editor: Mattia De Rosa

Copyright © 2019 Qianjun Mao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Developing a concentrated solar power (CSP) technology is one of the most effective methods to solve energy shortage and environmental pollution all over the world. Thermal energy storage (TES) system coupling with phase change materials (PCM) is one of the most significant methods to mitigate the intermittence of solar energy. In this paper, firstly, a 2D physical and mathematical model of a novel truncated cone shell-and-tube TES tank has been proposed based on enthalpy method. Secondly, the performance during the charging/discharging process of the truncated cone tank has been compared with the traditional cylindrical tank. Finally, the effects of inlet conditions of heat transfer fluid (HTF), and thickness of tube on the charging/discharging process, stored/released energy capacity; energy storage/release rate and heat storage efficiency have been investigated. The results show that the performance of truncated cone tank is better, and the charging/discharging time reduces 32.08% and 21.59%, respectively, compared with the cylindrical tank. The effect of wall thickness on the truncated cone TES tank can be ignored. And the inlet temperature and velocity of HTF have the significant influence on the charging/discharging performance of TES tank. And the maximum heat storage efficiency of the truncated cone TES tank can reach 93%. However, some appropriate methods should be taken for improving the thermal energy utilization rate of HTF in the future. This research will provide insights and significant reference towards geometric design and operating conditions in TES system.