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Breakthroughs in Perovskite-Based Thermochemical Energy Storage Unveiled by ABraytCSPfuture Project

The ABraytCSPfuture project, initiated in November 2022, has achieved significant milestones in utilizing perovskite compositions for thermochemical energy storage. Notably, collaborators from DLR and CERTH have made remarkable progress in experimental synthesis techniques and the development and assessment of perovskite structures tailored for this purpose.

Recent research findings, spanning from first-principles calculations and computational redox enthalpy studies to microstructural and thermomechanical properties characterisations, have identified promising and easy to synthesize perovskite compositions based on earth-abundant elements.

Parallel experimental work highlighted the feasibility of constructing honeycombs or reticulated porous ceramics entirely from such perovskites. It has been revealed that synthesis conditions play a crucial role in product purity, impacting their redox performance and cyclic weight variations. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis has identified distinct heat flow patterns per reaction step, emphasizing the significance of structural integrity and purity in heat transfer mechanisms. Additionally, doping with strontium has been found to enhance material stability and performance by suppressing structural transitions.

Standardized and scalable manufacturing procedures have been developed for producing robust Sr-doped CaMnO3 cylindrical honeycombs and foams, ranging from 10 to 65 mm in diameter. These structures are currently undergoing extensive characterisation with respect to their microstructural and thermomechanical properties.

Long-term cyclic thermochemical testing in electrically-heated furnace test rigs demonstrated fully reversible redox performance without enduring dimensional alterations. Moreover, by subjecting the honeycombs to heating up to 1100 °C under air flow, consortium researchers have recorded the endothermic heat absorption during reduction and subsequent exothermic heat release during oxidation in multiple cycles; the latter was clearly and measurably materialized to sensible heat effects rendering the air stream flowing through the porous structures hotter (thermochemical temperature boosting effect). Further tests to quantify all operational application parameters are currently in progress.

Furthermore, the project has initiated its modelling phase employing advanced computational tools to refine the design of the dual-bed thermochemical reactor and evaluate its environmental implications. This modelling effort, exploiting also experimental results as above mentioned, is crucial for ensuring seamless integration with state-of-the-art air-operated Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants. The technical findings have already been disseminated in various international conferences and events. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to the consortium for further information.

Extrusion of Sr-doped honeycombs and sintered specimens of cell density 44 and 90 cpsi (cells per square inch).

Sr-doped sintered foams and characteristic computed tomography image.

This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101084569.

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