Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Seminar


High Performance Reduction/Oxidation Metal Oxides for Thermochemical Energy Storage (PROMOTES): A Project Overview.


Dr. Andrea Ambrosini


Sandia National Laboratories


Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 2:00:00 PM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Dr. Peter Loutzenhiser


Thermochemical energy storage (TCES) offers the potential for greatly increased storage density relative to sensible-only energy storage for concentrating solar power (CSP).Heat may be stored indefinitely in the form of chemical bonds via TCES, accessed upon demand, and converted to heat at temperatures significantly higher (>1100°C) than current CSP technology, making TCES well-suited to more efficient high-temperature power cycles. The PROMOTES (High Performance Reduction/Oxidation Metal Oxides for Thermochemical Energy Storage) project was conceived to advance both materials and systems for TCES, with the overall aim of systematically developing, characterizing, and demonstrating an innovative storage cycle based on novel metal oxides, in particular those with mixed ionic-electronic conductivity (MIECs), for direct integration with Air Brayton power cycles. In the PROMOTES system concept, particles are reduced in a solar receiver/reduction reactor (SR3) and flow into a hot storage bin from which they can be released on-demand into a reoxidation reactor (ROx), where they are contacted counter-currently with air flowing from the compression cycle of the Brayton system. The compressed air can act as both oxidant and heat transfer fluid. The heated air exits the ROx and flows to the turbine; spent particles flow to cold storage to await recycle to the SR3. This presentation describes the efforts and results of the PROMOTES effort, including materials development, reactor design, modeling and scale-up, and technoeconomic analysis to asses feasibility.


Andrea Ambrosini is a Principal Member of the R&D Staff in the Concentrating Solar Technologies department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Ambrosini’s research involves the exploration and development of functional oxide materials for renewable energy applications, particularly solar-thermal chemistry. Current research includes development of materials and processes for CSP-driven renewable ammonia production, as well as CO2 and H2O splitting for renewable hydrogen and fuel production. She has also led DOE-funded projects in the topics of solar selective absorptive coatings and thermochemical energy storage for concentrating solar power. Additional research interests include solid oxide electrolyzers, high-temperature oxygen separation membranes, and transparent conducting oxide materials. Dr. Ambrosini received her B.S. in Chemistry from Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA) and her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). Prior to joining Sandia, she was a post-doctoral fellow for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) at Laboratoire CRISMAT in Caen, France. She has over 30 peer reviewed publications, 2 published patents and 5 patents pending.


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