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Running Head: HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
Heat storage in nuclear plants aimed at improving output
Abdulrahman Aldossary
University of North Dakota
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HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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Contents
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………… Error! Bookmark not defined.
Background information …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4
Ways to store the excess heat energy ………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………… Error! Bookmark not defined.
References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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Heat storage in atomic plants aimed at improving production
Abstract
Experts argue that the history of civilization based its arguments from the concepts of
heat control (Fosberg, 2019). Human civilization is in a significant way connected and related
to the ideas of controlling heat energy. Humans started using heat energy bovver 300000
years ago. However, the differences in the use of heat came from the applications brought
about by the changes in technology today. For instance, traditional machines relied on the use
of concepts and sources such as wood. The traditional society likewise relied on items like
wood and coal as the ultimate source of energy. With the adoption of technologies such as
gas turbines, one needs to understand that regardless of the differences witnessed on the
concepts of the cooking fire and the mentioned developments, the resulting benefits seem to
be the same.
However, one of the issues which these two technologies or concepts presented from
an economic perspective involves the application of energy when needed. Controlling the
supply of power depending on the changes in demand or needs in the various areas of
implementation remains a challenge to many parties. For example, using the concept of gas
turbines, companies may find it uneconomical to run the associated plants at high capacity
factors. On the other hand, experts argue that running the plants on low capacity factors may
be economical, which in the end involves turning the systems on only when the need arises.
While using energy efficiently remains one of the goals which companies, especially in
HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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mechanical engineering areas of applications, seek to achieve, most firms find it hard to
uphold the concepts of efficiency (Fosberg, 2019).
Some of the technologies which plants may opt to use include solar, nuclear, and or
wind sources. However, experts argue that these technologies and options may not help the
companies in this context to achieve the desired levels of performance and efficiency. For
example, wind, solar, and nuclear power sources are usually high capital. On the other note,
the mentioned sources and technologies offer low costs of operations to the affected firms. In
the end, such techniques cannot be used in varying demands for energy due to their nature
and expenses. When a company uses these sources, especially on a different trend, the costs
of production and operations may, in the long run, double or even triple. Such a constraint
makes it hard and inappropriate to use such technologies (Fosberg, 2019).
This paper claims that companies especially those that run or operate nuclear plants
may benefit from the use of technologies which in the end help in the storage of heat energy
based on the underlying operations to bridge the existing gap created by the variations as well
as volatility of the prevailing and preferred sources of energy such as solar among others.
Understanding the working of the various plants, in the end, may help companies to achieve
the desired levels of efficiency especially when it comes to the utilization of stored energy
(Forsberg et al., 2017).
Background information
Storing energy produced in the course of operations remains a challenge ton many
companies. Most nuclear among other plants, in the end, produce vast amounts of heat which
are disposed of in the form of exhaust. Therefore, most of these firms find it hard to harness
such power and energy for future use. In the end, the costs associated with running the
various plants, especially in nuclear fields of application turns out high in both the short and
long run. The need to come up with a way of ensuring that the various companies in the
HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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diverse areas of application achieve the desired levels of efficiency in the production
processes is, therefore, driven by the notion that storing the excess energy that otherwise
would go to waste is critical (Fosberg, 2019). The current means that solar and hydropower
plants use in the storage of power do not meet the desired levels of performance (Van Lew,
Li, Chan, Karaki & Stephens, 2011). For instance, the volatility, as well as, the variability of
the power, in this case, makes it hard for the solar and hydropower to become the ideal source
of energy for nuclear plants.
From another perspective, another challenge which arises in the use of solar power as
the ultimate source of energy in this context comes from the fact that the changes in the net
load witnessed in the market may not meet the growing needs of companies and consumers.
The solar systems do not exhibit the abilities to cater for such changes in the production and
demand for power making then unreliable in the long run. Additionally, it is worth noting that
nuclear plants do not exhibit a similar ability based on handling the changes witnessed in the
supply and demand of energy. In the process, such challenges make it hard for nuclear plants
to achieve the desired levels of performance.
Some of the currently used mechanisms store energy for use in the future include the
use of pumped hydro, lithium ions, and but not limited to fuel cells exhibit various
challenges. Some of the problems that these technologies and options present in the long run,
according to Forsberg, Brick & Haratyk (2018) is the overall cost. The costs associated with
the storage as compared to the utilization of the stored power remains high and hence
becomes uneconomical for the nuclear plants. The figure below visualizes the comparison
between the costs of energy and the rate of utilization based on the values of optimistic
battery.
HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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Figure 1: comparison between the costs of storage, optimistic battery,
and the rate of power utilization or consumption (Forsberg, Brick & Haratyk, 2018).
Ways to store the excess heat energy
There exist multiple strategies that have been proposed to save energy effectively.
These strategies seek to bridge the existing gap between the current changes in the market in
terms of demand and supply and the use of the current technologies to promote and achieve
the desired levels of performance and hence output. One of the techniques suggested by
Forsberg, Brick & Haratyk, (2018) includes the packed bed thermal approach. This approach
acts as a vital tool that helps in the storage of energy. This technology is an idea for use in the
room of heat energy emitted in the nuclear systems and plants. The storage system comprises
of pressure vessels packed with solid pebbles and a steam valve. Also, the system contains a
water outlet located at the bottom of the system stores the absorbed heat in the rocks.
Figure 2: An illustration of the packed bed thermal heat mechanism (Forsberg, Brick & Haratyk, 2018).
Another technology that can be used in the storage of heat emitted through the nuclear
plant operations includes the hot rock mechanism. The hot rock storage mechanism operates
HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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similarly with the packed bed thermal system. The primary difference between the two
systems is that the former relies on the atmospheric pressure, as shown in the visual aid
below.
Figure 3: Heat Rock storage mechanism (Forsberg, Brick & Haratyk, 2018).
While thermal technologies act as the most promising solutions concerning the
storage of heat energy for use in the future, nuclear plants may need efficient and more
reliable mechanisms to store and guarantee steady flow and supply of power (Barnes &
Levine, 2011). The other most appropriate technologies that the nuclear plants can benefit
from when it comes to the storage of excess heat achieved during the various processes may
include cryogenic air energy and steam accumulator, among others. In this context, the
selection of the right technology to use in the long run depends on the nature of the processes
involved.
To conclude, efficiency in nuclear plants can be achieved by the use of the
appropriate technologies to maintain a steady supply of power. Nuclear plants usually emit
heat as one of the primary by-products. Storing this heat may play a crucial part in defining
the ultimate platform for achieving better performance for the affected firms. Therefore,
using technologies such as the packed bed thermal storage among others to store energy may
help the affected firms to reduce the challenges presented by the variability and volatility of
the underlying sources such as solar source.
HEAT STORAGE IN NUCLEAR PLANTS AIMED
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References
Barnes, F. S., & Levine, J. G. (Eds.). (2011). Extensive energy storage systems handbook.
CRC press.
Forsberg, C., Brick, S., & Haratyk, G. (2018). Coupling heat storage to nuclear reactors for
variable electricity output with baseload reactor operation. The Electricity
Journal, 31(3), 23-31.
Fosberg, C. W., (2019). Storing Heat from Nuclear Power Plants Could Improve Output. The
American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Retrieved 11 June 2019. From
https://www.asme.org/engineering-topics/articles/energy/storing-heat-nuclear-powerplants-could-improve
Forsberg, C., Stack, D. C., Curtis, D., Haratyk, G., & Sepulveda, N. A. (2018). Converting
excess low-priced electricity into high-temperature stored heat for industry and highvalue electricity production. AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY BULLETIN, 97(3), 4047.
Van Lew, J. T., Li, P., Chan, C. L., Karaki, W., & Stephens, J. (2011). Analysis of heat
storage and delivery of a thermocline tank having solid filler material. Journal of
solar energy engineering, 133(2), 021003.
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