Influence of Diffuse and Ground-Reflected Irradiance on the Spectral Modeling of Solar Reference Cells

Frank Vignola, Josh Peterson, Rich Kessler, Sean Snider, Peter Gotseff, Manajit Sengupta, Aron Habte, Afshin Andreas, Fotis Mavromatakis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations


Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is a key component for solar thermal applications to bridge the gap between the demand for thermal energy and the supply of solar energy, whose availability depends on the time of day and season. Thus, cost-effective packed-bed thermal containers filled with a solid storage medium have been proposed for high-temperature sensible heat storage as materials are abundant and relatively cheap. Thus, it is necessary to investigate their performance and temperature profiles during the charge-discharge cycle. Several models are available for this purpose. Typically, the more detailed a model, the greater the computational effort required to solve it, and hence a time-efficient model is needed to prevent excessively long computation times for long-term analysis. At the more basic level, the common Hughes E-NTU model and the less realistic simplified Infinite-NTU model are very important for their less time and computational effort. In this paper, the appropriateness of employing the Infinite-NTU model was evaluated to investigate the performance of a typical and scalable rock-bed TES as a case study. The results presented provide a methodology to quickly test the validity of the model and predict the temperature profile for the case under study. Accordingly, such simple charge-discharge cycle thermal performance predictions are important to plan, design, and rapidly deploy a reliable and economical solar thermal system for the supply of valuable heat to high-temperature demanding applications of power generation and industrial processes as part of a rapid shift towards non-polluting renewable energy. Keywords: Solar Thermal, TES, Packed-bed, NTU model, Temperature profile
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2021
EventAmerican Solar Energy Society National Solar Conference 2021, SOLAR 2021 - Boulder, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20216 Aug 2021


ConferenceAmerican Solar Energy Society National Solar Conference 2021, SOLAR 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. The Authors.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-80479


  • modeling
  • Reference cell
  • spectral radiation


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