Advances in Solar Energy Harvesting and Thermal Storage

A special issue of Processes (ISSN 2227-9717). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2024) | Viewed by 6691

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Napoli Federico II, 80125 Napoli, Italy
Interests: fluid machine; energy systems; solar energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Napoli Federico II, 80125 Napoli, Italy
Interests: fluid machine; energy systems; energy storage

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Napoli Federico II, 80125 Napoli, Italy
Interests: polluttants analisys; internal combustion engines; solar energy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a Special Issue which will cover a collection of invited reviews and research articles on the science of solar energy harvesting and thermal storage.

Solar energy is arguably the most abundant renewable energy source in nature. However, it presents some criticalities that make it difficult to exploit it massively, first of all, the low energy density and the intermittence of its availability. Technological advances tend to address these difficulties by improving solar energy capture efficiencies and storage systems.

The capture efficiency is greatly influenced by the temperature of the heat transfer fluid. This particularly high temperature in concentrating systems poses problems both for the fluids to be used and for the storage systems affected by greater heat losses. The Special Issues will deal with the most recent advances in these energy issues and will represent an interesting focus on the optimal use of solar energy.

The overall objective of this Special Issue is to provide a comprehensive view on the technological developments in solar energy capture and its storage in a thermal way and to disseminate the current state of the art in research in the field.

Prof. Dr. Amoresano Amedeo
Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Langella
Dr. Paolo Iodice
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Processes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • thermal energy storage
  • heat transfer enhancement
  • SHTES (sensible heat thermal energy storage)
  • LHTES (latent heat thermal energy storage)
  • thermochemical energy storage
  • PCM
  • metal foam
  • storage and efficiency
  • composite materials
  • control systems

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 5077 KiB  
Communication
Synthetic-Gas Production through Chemical Looping Process with Concentrating Solar Dish: Temperature-Distribution Evaluation
by Edoardo Montà, Massimo Santarelli and Davide Papurello
Processes 2022, 10(9), 1698; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10091698 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1470
Abstract
The energy crisis and the adaptation of the global energy structure promote the development of renewable energies, in particular solar energy, also for syngas production. In this work, attention was focused on solar devices, necessary to provide high-temperature heat for the reduction reaction [...] Read more.
The energy crisis and the adaptation of the global energy structure promote the development of renewable energies, in particular solar energy, also for syngas production. In this work, attention was focused on solar devices, necessary to provide high-temperature heat for the reduction reaction of metal oxides involved in the chemical looping driven by solar energy. Thermochemical processes for synthetic-gas production and CO2 sequestration were investigated using a concentrating solar thermal system. This paper proposes a useful forecasting model of the receiver temperature to make a realistic estimate of the system’s producibility for the different periods of the year. The model proposed was validated in the winter season, and the predicted temperature varied below 5% considering the real experimental data (442–472 °C). The validated model was used to evaluate the temperature receiver in spring and in summer, when the thermal level is reliable for thermochemical processes. From the spring season until the completion of the summer season, optimum conditions inside the receiver were reached (above 1000 °C). These preliminary findings could be used for the development of large-scale production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Energy Harvesting and Thermal Storage)
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26 pages, 6314 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Control Models Based on Reinforcement Learning in the Operating of Solar Thermal Cooling Systems
by Juan J. Diaz and José A. Fernández
Processes 2022, 10(8), 1649; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr10081649 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1836
Abstract
The objective of this research work was to investigate the potential of control models based on reinforcement learning in the optimization of solar thermal cooling systems (STCS) operation through a case study. In this, the performance of the installation working with a traditional [...] Read more.
The objective of this research work was to investigate the potential of control models based on reinforcement learning in the optimization of solar thermal cooling systems (STCS) operation through a case study. In this, the performance of the installation working with a traditional predictive control approach and with a reinforcement learning (RL)-based control approach was analyzed and compared using a specific realistic simulation tool. In order to achieve the proposed objective, a control system module based on the reinforcement learning approach with the capacity for interacting with the aforementioned realistic simulation tool was developed in Python. For the studied period and the STCS operating with a control system based on RL, the following was observed: a 35% reduction in consumption of auxiliary energy, a 17% reduction in the electrical consumption of the pump that feeds the absorption machine and more precise control in the generation of cooling energy regarding the installation working under a predictive control approach. Through the obtained results, the advantages and potential of control models based on RL for the controlling and regulation of solar thermal cooling systems were verified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Energy Harvesting and Thermal Storage)
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Review

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34 pages, 11863 KiB  
Review
Latest Advances in Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Plants
by Martina Barrasso, Giuseppe Langella, Amedeo Amoresano and Paolo Iodice
Processes 2023, 11(6), 1832; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11061832 - 16 Jun 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2861
Abstract
To address the growing problem of pollution and global warming, it is necessary to steer the development of innovative technologies towards systems with minimal carbon dioxide production. Thermal storage plays a crucial role in solar systems as it bridges the gap between resource [...] Read more.
To address the growing problem of pollution and global warming, it is necessary to steer the development of innovative technologies towards systems with minimal carbon dioxide production. Thermal storage plays a crucial role in solar systems as it bridges the gap between resource availability and energy demand, thereby enhancing the economic viability of the system and ensuring energy continuity during periods of usage. Thermal energy storage methods consist of sensible heat storage, which involves storing energy using temperature differences; latent heat storage, which utilizes the latent heat of phase change materials; and thermochemical heat storage, which utilizes reversible chemical reactions through thermochemical materials. The objective of this review paper is to explore significant research contributions that focus on practical applications and scientific aspects of thermal energy storage materials and procedures. For each type of storage, different materials have been examined, taking into consideration the most recent studies, both for medium and long-term storage and, when possible, comparing methodologies for the same purpose. It has been observed that TCHS systems have the potential to reduce the volume of chemical storage tanks by 34 times using chemical reactions. Among the SHS materials, water, molten salts, and graphite exhibit the highest energy density, with graphite also possessing remarkable thermal conductivity. Nanoparticles can enhance the thermophysical properties of TES materials by increasing their thermal conductivity and wettability and improving intermolecular characteristics. The use of biobased PCMs for applications that do not require very high temperatures allows for maximizing the efficiency of such storage systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Solar Energy Harvesting and Thermal Storage)
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