Stand-Alone and Hybrid Electric Thermal Energy Storage in the System Advisor Model

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This project developed stand-alone electric-thermal energy storage (ETES), stand-alone pumped thermal energy storage (PTES), and hybrid molten-salt power tower (MSPT)-ETES performance and dispatch optimization techno-economic models. The models are available to the public through the System Advisor Model (SAM) software, scripting, and as open-source code. We compared results of the dispatch model to PLEXOS dispatch of a similar generator using the same initial grid pricing signal and found our dispatch model performed well, but closer agreement between the models was limited by the inherent differences between price-taker and unit commitment models. Nevertheless, the price-taker models developed in this project are useful to analyze proposed ETES and PTES technologies because they provide more detailed system and component models, solve several orders of magnitude faster, and are available as free open-source software. The model results represent the most optimistic returns considering grid arbitrage from the input electricity pricing, so the financial results can be applied as a feasibility stage-gate. We also submitted a journal draft paper that describes the ETES dispatch model methodology and demonstrates model functionality. An accepted journal article will serve as peer-reviewed documentation for the models, along with the open-source code, SAM help-menu content, and eventually this final project report.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages51
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5700-82989


  • concentrating solar thermal
  • dispatch optimization
  • ETES
  • PTES
  • system advisor model
  • thermal energy storage


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