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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 810; doi:10.3390/su9050810

Techno-Economic Forecasts of Lithium Nitrates for Thermal Storage Systems

1
Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Avenida Diagonal Las Torres 2640, Peñalolén, Santiago 7941169, Chile
2
Escuela de Negocios, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Avenida Diagonal Las Torres 2640, Peñalolén, Santiago 7941169, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manfred Max Bergman
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 26 April 2017 / Accepted: 8 May 2017 / Published: 12 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 6th World Sustainability Forum - Selected Papers)
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Abstract

Thermal energy storage systems (TES) are a key component of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants that generally use a NaNO3/KNO3 mixture also known as solar salt as a thermal storage material. Improvements in TES materials are important to lower CSP costs, increase energy efficiency and competitiveness with other technologies. A novel alternative examined in this paper is the use of salt mixtures with lithium nitrate that help to reduce the salt’s melting point and improve thermal capacity. This in turn allows the volume of materials required to be reduced. Based on data for commercial plants and the expected evolution of the lithium market, the technical and economic prospects for this alternative are evaluated considering recent developments of Lithium Nitrates and the uncertain future prices of lithium. Through a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis it is concluded that some of the mixtures could allow a reduction in the costs of CSP plants, improving their competitiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: CSP; lithium based nitrates; thermal energy storage; lithium market CSP; lithium based nitrates; thermal energy storage; lithium market
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Montané, M.; Cáceres, G.; Villena, M.; O’Ryan, R. Techno-Economic Forecasts of Lithium Nitrates for Thermal Storage Systems. Sustainability 2017, 9, 810.

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