This paper reviews the optimization and control of thermal energy storage systems. Emphasis is given to thermal storage applied to combined heat and power systems, building systems, and solar thermal power systems. The paper also discusses how applications of thermal storage can benefit the chemical industry. Optimization of the design and control of thermal storage systems improves plant performance and improves the management of transient energy loads in a variety of applications. In order to maximize the benefits of thermal storage, it is necessary to include advanced multivariate constrained controls, such as model predictive control. Thermal storage also increases system flexibility, allowing the incorporation of intermittent renewable energy sources. The flexibility of thermal storage will play an increasingly important role as utilities implement smart grid technology with time-of-use electricity pricing. Lastly, thermal energy storage improves system economics by reducing required equipment sizes, improving efficiency, and reducing equipment wear.
About the authors
Wesley J. Cole is a PhD graduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned his BS in chemical engineering from Brigham Young University. Wesley has worked as a research assistant in the wildland fire research laboratory at BYU and at the biomass and bioenergy sector of the Idaho National Laboratory. His current research work includes the modeling, optimization, and control of large-scale, integrated energy systems in order to obtain both cost and energy savings in smart grid environments.
Kody M. Powell is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. His research focus is modeling, control, and optimization of energy systems which have thermal energy storage, specifi cally solar thermal and distributed energy systems. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah.
Thomas F. Edgar is Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and holds the George T. and Gladys Abell Chair in Engineering. Dr. Edgar received his BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas and a PhD from Princeton University. For the past 40 years, he has concentrated his academic work in process modeling, control, and optimization, with over 200 articles and book chapters. He is the UT representative to the Pecan Street Project in Austin, which focuses on transforming the Austin, TX energy network to one based on signifi cant use of renewable energy and smart grid technology.
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