Development and investigation of a novel thermochemical energy storage reactor for residential use

  • Cheng Zeng

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Thermochemical energy storage is an important technology to increase the share of renewable energy use in buildings. It has advantages over sensible and latent heat storage in terms of energy density and the ability of seasonal storage.

    The main aim of the study is to investigate a thermochemical reactor for residential building applications. The research conducted in the thesis includes an extensive literature review, reactor theoretical study, experimental testing and numerical simulation of the reactor. The study has proposed a three-phase thermochemical reactor, which innovates intrapezoidal containers, side gaps and added fins, featuring air and water outlet in discharging. Experimental testing has shown that integration of fins improves the reactor performance in both charging and discharging. Comparing to the reactor without fins, in charging it presents a significant increase in the thermochemical material temperature and nearly 10°C increase in the outlet air temperature in discharging. It also achieves a higher water temperature lift ranging from 1.8°C to 4°C.

    The study has developed and validated a numerical reactor model to investigate the reactor performance under varying operation and configuration conditions. In charging, the critical parameters to the charging performance are charging temperature, air mass flow rate, reactor bed porosity and charging duration. Their effect to achieve an optimal charging performance has been investigated. In discharging, a smaller particle diameter and inlet relative humidity at around 40% are desirable. Additionally, the varying reactor geometrical parameters to the reactor performance have been obtained. The reactor with a smaller air travel path shows superior charging and discharging performance. According to the results, the study provides a decision-making tool for achieving a three-phase reactor design with superior performance.
    Date of AwardJun 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorShuli Liu (Supervisor) & Ashish Shukla (Supervisor)

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