System and Component Development for Long-Duration Energy Storage Using Particle Thermal Energy Storage

Zhiwen Ma, Xingchao Wang, Patrick Davenport, Jeffrey Gifford, Korey Cook, Janna Martinek, Jason Schirck, Aaron Morris, Matthew Lambert, Ruichong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus Citations


Energy storage, at various scales, will be required to maintain reliable power supply from variable renewable resources, and improve grid resilience. Long-duration energy storage (10–100 h) can substitute baseload coal power generation and increase levels of renewable power supply. Thermal energy storage (TES) has siting flexibility and the ability to store a large capacity of energy, and thus it has the potential to meet the needs of long-duration energy storage. A novel TES system was developed by using solid particles as storage media and charging/discharging electricity from renewable power connected via the electric grid. The particle TES uses low-cost silica sand at 30–40$/Ton that is stable at high temperatures of>1,000 °C. Thus, the particle TES system has an overall low storage cost and high thermal-power efficiency. Key components of the system were conceptually designed and modeled for their performance. Conversion of electricity to thermal energy using electric heating can achieve a>98% charging efficiency, and the conversion of thermal energy back to electricity uses an air-Brayton combined power cycle with > 52% thermal-to-electricity efficiency at > 1,170 °C to achieve a > 50% roundtrip efficiency after subtracting estimated plant parasitic losses. Laboratory-scale prototypes were fabricated and tested to verify their design approaches and operations relevant to product-scale components.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number119078
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5700-81476


  • Electric-thermal energy storage
  • Long-duration energy storage
  • Renewable energy
  • Solid particles
  • Thermal energy storage


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