Abstract: Among all renewable energy technologies, Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies possess an inherent advantage to integrate naturally with thermal energy storage (TES) for non-intermittent production of electricity. The most important component in any TES system is the storage media. The molten nitrate salts are the widely preferred thermal storage media due to their heat capacity and its operating temperature range is compatible with current generation steam power cycles. For next generation high-temperature CSP plant require a TES media and heat transfer fluid to operate at temperatures greater than 700°C. Current generation molten salts decompose around 600°C, making them inadequate for many advanced high-temperature power cycles. In this research work, a new set of molten salts were developed and thermo-physical properties are experimentally tested to identify their suitability for high-temperature sensible heat storage application. Merits and demerits of using different type mixtures – binary, ternary and quaternary chlorides are investigated. The challenges associated with the selection, handling, and operation of a molten chloride mixtures are explored in this thesis.
Gowtham Mohan is a Ph.D. candidate in CECS at ANU, supervised by Dr. Joe Coventry. During his Ph.D., he visited National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Colorado for three-month research exchange to conduct experiments. He was one of five researchers to represent ANU in the Global Young Scientist Summit (GYSS) 2018, Singapore. He won both the Dean’s research travel grant and Vice-Chancellors travel grant in 2016. He holds a master degree in sustainable energy engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, was awarded a full scholarship for his masters based on academic excellence