Supercritical CO2 Heat Pumps and Power Cycles for Concentrating Solar Power: Preprint

Joshua McTigue, Pau Farres-Antunez, Ty Neises, Alexander White

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Pumped Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) is a promising technology for electricity storage applications. Grid electricity drives a heat pump which moves energy from a cold space to a hot space, thereby creating hot and cold thermal storage. The temperature difference between the storage is later used to drive a heat engine and return electricity to the grid. In this article, supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) is chosen as the working fluid for PTES, and results are compared to 'conventional' systems that use an ideal gas. Molten salts are used for the hot storage which means that a CSP plant with thermal storage and an sCO2 power cycle could potentially be hybridized with PTES by the addition of a heat pump. This article describes some of the benefits of this combined system which can provide renewable power generation and energy management services. Two methods by which an sCO2 heat pump can be combined with an sCO2 power cycle for CSP are described and techno-economic results are presented. Results indicate that these systems can achieve reasonable technical performance, but that costs are currently high.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2020
Event26th SolarPACES Conference 2020 -
Duration: 28 Sep 20202 Oct 2020


Conference26th SolarPACES Conference 2020

Bibliographical note

See NREL/CP-5700-83285 for paper as published in proceedings

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-77955


  • carnot battery
  • concentrating solar power
  • pumped thermal energy storage
  • supercritical carbon dioxide
  • thermal energy storage


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