Constant-Temperature Heat Storage in Metal Hydrides
Constant-Temperature Heat Storage in Metal
Hydrogen Consultants, Inc.
12420 North Dumont Way
Littleton, CO 80125
Franklin E. Lynch
Thermal storage is a crucial element of solar-dynamic space power systems. Storing
heat in solid-liquid phase-change materials is not ideal. These materials are usually
highly corrosive salts, and undercooling and heat-transfer temperature differentials
cause significant deviations from ideal isothermal conditions. Metal hydrides are
equivalent to molten salts in terms of heat storage per unit mass but store more
heat per unit volume. In addition, hydrides may enable recovery of stored heat without
a reduction in temperature. This effect may be achieved by using pairs of metal hydrides
operating in tandem to pump waste heat from the radiator loop to the receiver. A
temperature swing in one of the two hydrides overcomes the irreversible energy losses
of storing and recovering heat from the other. In effect, this provides isothermal
heat storage for maintaining rated output from the power system while the stored
heat is recovered. Phase I would compare alternate concepts and prepare for the fabrication
of a ground test article in Phase II.
Potential Commercial Application:
Potential Commercial Applications: Hydride thermal storage could be applied in terrestrial
solar electric power and in thermal load-leveling for batch processing at high temperatures
in chemical industries.