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On the specific heat capacity of HITEC-salt nanocomposites for concentrated solar power applications

Parida, DR and Basu, S (2023) On the specific heat capacity of HITEC-salt nanocomposites for concentrated solar power applications. In: RSC Advances, 13 (8). pp. 5496-5508.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1039/d2ra07384f


High specific heat capacity or CP of molten salt is crucial for concentrated solar power plants as it will enhance the energy density of thermal energy storage. It can be achieved by doping nanoparticles into molten salts. However, reported results show inconsistency in CP enhancement (positive and negative). Since the results are based on Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC) measurements of small batches (<10 mg), the average CP obtained from these results may not represent the bulk-CP of the nanocomposite, which is an important parameter from an application viewpoint. Moreover, the methods of salt-nanoparticle composite production lack industrial scalability. In this work, we examined a potentially scalable method based on mechanical shear mixing. The molten-salt of choice was HITEC due to its lower melting point, while inexpensive alumina and silica nanoparticles were used as dopants. To compare and contrast variability in CP enhancement, the sample selection was made by random sampling; DSC measurement was performed on small-sized batches (<10 mg), and the T-history method was applied on large-sized batches (20 g). While DSC tests indicated a mean decrease in CP for alumina (−43%) and an increase in CP for silica nanocomposite (+15%), T-history tests indicated a mean decrement in the bulk-CP for both alumina (−49%) and silica nanocomposites (−3%). This anomalous behavior in CP values was further compared using a nonparametric statistical test, the Mann-Whitney U test, which revealed that the CP of small-sized batches is statistically different from that of large-sized batches. Given their industrial scale of usage, the CP of the nanocomposite must be measured using both DSC and T-history methods to ascertain the effect of nanoparticles. © 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: RSC Advances
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Authors.
Keywords: Alumina; Aluminum oxide; Differential scanning calorimetry; Fused salts; Heat storage; Nanocomposites; Scalability; Silica nanoparticles; SiO2 nanoparticles; Solar energy; Specific heat, Concentrated solar power; Doping nanoparticles; Energy density; Large-sized; Molten salt; Power applications; Silica nanocomposites; Specific heat capacity; The differential scanning calorimeter (DSC); Thermal energy storage, Concentrated solar power
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Mechanical Engineering
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2023 05:42
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2023 05:42
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/80980

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