Test Fa­cil­i­ty for Ther­mal En­er­gy Stor­age in Molten Salt (TESIS:store)

This large-scale research facility is used to develop and improve thermal storage capabilities and the molten salt technology that is used to store energy produced from renewable sources
This large-scale re­search fa­cil­i­ty is used to de­vel­op and im­prove ther­mal stor­age ca­pa­bil­i­ties and the molten salt tech­nol­o­gy that is used to store en­er­gy pro­duced from re­new­able sources
Image 1/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

This large-scale research facility is used to develop and improve thermal storage capabilities and the molten salt technology that is used to store energy produced from renewable sources

At the Test Fa­cil­i­ty for Ther­mal En­er­gy Stor­age in Molten Salt (TESIS), re­searchers from the DLR In­sti­tute of En­gi­neer­ing Ther­mo­dy­nam­ics in Cologne are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a sin­gle-tank, high-tem­per­a­ture ther­mal stor­age sys­tem based on salt and qual­i­fy­ing molten salt in­fras­truc­ture com­po­nents in a test­ing en­vi­ron­ment.
TESIS:store single-tank test storage system
TESIS:store sin­gle-tank test stor­age sys­tem
Image 2/8, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

TESIS:store single-tank test storage system

The TESIS:store sin­gle-tank test stor­age sys­tem is sup­plied with molten salt from two stor­age tanks. This ar­range­ment sim­u­lates the as­so­ci­at­ed pro­cess, which con­sists of a heat source and a heat sink. In the re­al sys­tem, a heat source might be a so­lar field or an elec­tric heater, while a heat sink could be a steam gen­er­a­tor.
Feed and return line of the TESIS:com component test section
Feed and re­turn line of the TESIS:com com­po­nent test sec­tion

Image 3/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Feed and return line of the TESIS:com component test section

Com­po­nents for molten salt sys­tems can be test­ed in the TESIS:com com­po­nent test sec­tion. Ex­am­ples in­clude valves, mea­sur­ing in­stru­ments, ma­chin­ery and re­ceiv­er tubes. The tem­per­a­ture and flow rate can run through their en­tire ranges with­in a few sec­onds.
TESIS facility control centre
TESIS fa­cil­i­ty con­trol cen­tre
Image 4/8, Credit: DLR

TESIS facility control centre

Over 1000 ref­er­ence val­ues from both parts of the sys­tem are mon­i­tored and archived on an on­go­ing ba­sis at the TESIS con­trol cen­tre. It is al­so pos­si­ble to run au­to­mat­ic test­ing pro­grammes.
Storage tanks of the TESIS:store single-tank test storage system
Stor­age tanks of the TESIS:store sin­gle-tank test stor­age sys­tem

Image 5/8, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Storage tanks of the TESIS:store single-tank test storage system

The TESIS:store sin­gle-tank ex­per­i­men­tal stor­age sys­tem is sup­plied with liq­uid salt from two stor­age tanks. These con­sist of a heat source and sink, sim­u­lat­ing the as­so­ci­at­ed pro­cess. In a re­al sys­tem, a heat source could be, for ex­am­ple, a pho­to­volta­ic pow­er sta­tion or an elec­tric heater, and a heat sink could be, for ex­am­ple, a steam gen­er­a­tor.
Interior view of the TESIS large-scale facility
In­te­ri­or view of the TESIS large-scale fa­cil­i­ty
Image 6/8, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Interior view of the TESIS large-scale facility

Both parts of the fa­cil­i­ty – TESIS:store and TESIS:com – are sup­plied with molten salt at dif­fer­ent tem­per­a­tures from two stor­age tanks. This re­quires spe­cial sub­mersible pumps and valves de­signed to be used with molten salt.
Inspection of the TESIS facility
In­spec­tion of the TESIS fa­cil­i­ty
Image 7/8, Credit: DLR

Inspection of the TESIS facility

High-qual­i­ty stan­dards de­mand reg­u­lar main­te­nance and in­spec­tion.
TESIS:store single-tank test storage system
TESIS:store sin­gle-tank test stor­age sys­tem
Image 8/8, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

TESIS:store single-tank test storage system

The TESIS:store sin­gle-tank test stor­age sys­tem is housed in a tow­er. The roof can be opened, al­low­ing ac­cess for a va­ri­ety of test equip­ment. Apart from mea­sur­ing tech­nol­o­gy, this de­sign al­lows the study of in­no­va­tive con­cepts in­volv­ing solids as stor­age ma­te­ri­als; solids may be able to re­place most of the molten salt re­quired, po­ten­tial­ly de­liv­er­ing large cost re­duc­tions.

The Test Facility for Thermal Energy Storage in Molten Salt (TESIS) at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics in Cologne is the first research facility for molten salt storage and technology at a significant scale in Germany. This large-scale research facility is used to develop and improve thermal storage capabilities and the molten salt technology that is used to store energy produced from renewable sources.

The test facility trials technology on the scale of one megawatt hour – far beyond the energy levels reachable in a laboratory. As such, research here takes place under conditions representative of those in real-world industrial applications. These applications include energy-intensive industrial processes such as the production of steel, iron, non-ferrous metals, glass, cement and chemical products.

Molten salt storage can increase the energy efficiency of these processes. It can also be incorporated into power plant technology to stabilise fluctuating and volatile power generation from renewable energy sources. Molten salt storage systems are already being used commercially for demand-driven power generation in solar thermal power plants. These thermal storage systems can also be integrated into conventional fossil fuel power plants to improve their flexibility or to convert them into heat storage power plants.

TESIS:store – the largest facility for the development of new single-tank storage concepts

TESIS is a twin programme consisting of two subsystems – TESIS:com and TESIS:store. TESIS:store is the world’s largest research facility dedicated to the development new single-tank storage concepts for high-temperature heat storage. Storing excess heat in just one tank, instead of the usual two, can reduce capital costs by up to 40 percent while halving heat losses. Research is directed at issues such as material compatibility, heat and mass transfer, thermal mechanics and the integration of storage systems.

Contact
  • Volker Speelmann
    Head of Cen­tral Ex­pen­di­ture Man­age­ment
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4103
    Fax: +49 2203 601 4115
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Thomas Bauer
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    DLR In­sti­tute of En­gi­neer­ing Ther­mo­dy­nam­ics
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-4094
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact

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