Frequently Asked Questions

About THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE TANK (TES TANK)

WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTORS OF A TES SYSTEM DESIGN?

  • Establishment of the TES application and whether it will be combined with a District Cooling plant, Gas Turbine Power Plant or Mission Critical/Emergency Cooling Systems, as the elaboration of each of these systems is different.
  • Proper study of the TES system, including plants details, components, system size, operating patterns, temperatures, demand needs, and more.
  • Selection of the optimal TES technology in accordance with the client’s requirements, whether it be a naturally stratified chilled water tank, ice storage, or other Thermal Energy Storage method.
  • Design of tailor-made diffusers for your TES Tank.
  • Cutting-edge simulations of the tank with Computational Fluid Dynamics, which uses complex equations and modelling to evaluate the performance of the TES systems by assessing thermo-fluid variables.
  • Selection of the state-of-the-art measuring and control equipment to adequately operate the TES systems without affecting its thermal performance.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN BENEFITS OFFERED BY TES TECHNOLOGY?

  • Reduced capital costs due to sizing for average demand.
  • Increased electrical efficiency by reducing power consumption by coordinating with peak power demands.
  • Decreased use of other fuels through a more efficient operation.
  • Evening out of cooling system loads by drawing stored energy from the thermal tank.
  • Use of excess capacity during off-peak hours to meet peak cooling demands.
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants.
  • Less wasted energy and resources.
  • Possibility to combine with TIAC, DC, and Data Centers, among other applications.

WHEN SHOULD TES BE COMBINED WITH TURBINE INLET AIR COOLING (TIAC)?

Thermal Energy Storage is very beneficial combined with TIAC for peak power production, when extra power production is required for certain hours per day (3 to 8 hours per day). The combination of Thermal Energy Storage and Turbine Inlet Air Cooling is called TESTIAC.
The chilled water stored in the thermal tank can be used to provide turbine cooling in facilities that use gas turbines, like a GT Power Plant. TIAC helps increase turbine power output in facilities situated in areas with extreme ambient conditions. A TESTIAC configuration would add to the overall efficiency of the plant.

CAN TES BE INTEGRATED INTO DISTRICT COOLING (DC) PLANTS?

Of course! District Cooling plants can absolutely take advantage of TES technologies. Thermal Storage offers many benefits for DC plants: operational optimization particularly at peak load periods, increased efficiency, increased plant reliability and availability, etc.

Most new District Energy plants already incorporate TES. Even, older DC plants can be retrofitted with thermal storage capabilities, providing the added benefit of an optimized peak cooling response. TES technologies can also offer back-up cooling for DC systems during outages, maintenance, or during component failure.

To combine Thermal Energy Storage and District Cooling, our technicians put at your disposal their wide experience and full support to seamless integrate both systems, including the control configuration to ensuring the optimal management of the complete plant.

IS TES AN ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY SOLUTION?

Thermal Energy Storage has many environmental benefits compared to alternative methods, such as a lower carbon footprint, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, decreased use of additional fuels, and energy conservation. All these elements contribute to TES being a more environmentally-friendly solution.

TES Tanks also count toward LEED credits. Did you know that off-peak power is cleaner than peak power? It’s a fact, and Thermal Energy Storage can help you reduce demand during peak hours and minimize consumption of electricity and fossil fuels.

Governmental authorities of the Middle East, where there is huge population growth and rising power demands, have already implemented state-mandated requirements to install Thermal Storage technologies. Additionally, the Paris Climate Change Agreement has forced governments worldwide to consider using more sustainable TES systems over alternative options.

WHAT ARE THE TES TECHNOLOGIES OFFERED BY ARANER?

  • Thermal Energy Storage Tanks: Our most popular tank is the Stratified Water Tank, in which natural stratification separates the warm and cold water. The Ice Storage Tank is another option which generates ice on cooling coils.
  • Above ground or underground TES tanks
  • Steel or concrete TES tanks
  • Tailor-made diffusers: Diffusers are used in our Stratified Water Tanks to maximize the efficiency of the TES system by minimizing the thermal losses. Radial and Slotted Pipe Diffusers are two of our most popular models.
  • TESTIAC: The combination of TES and Turbine Inlet Air Chilling components.
  • More! Get in touch with ARANER to find your solution.

HOW IS COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DESIGN (CFD) USED FOR TES TANK DESIGN?

CFD has revolutionized the industrial design as a key tool for the detailed analysis of the fluid motion and heat transfer. Beyond traditional approaches, CFD adds a superior understanding and insight into the complex phenomena of thermal energy storage and generates essential results about the design of the TES system for each particular project.

In simple terms, Computational Fluid Dynamics speeds up the design process of TES systems and simulate how the tank will function by modelling the tank’s inflow and outflow, as well as the behaviour of the thermocline layer. CFD considers a wide variety of parameters: velocity, temperature, fluid properties, turbulence, etc.

Computational Fluid Dynamics can only be performed by CFD specialists. ARANER’s engineers are experts in CFD simulations, which not only requires specialized knowledge of physics, but also requires knowledge of a highly-advanced software and design tools.

WHAT ARE THE INSTALLATION OPTIONS FOR TES TANKS IN TERMS OF FOOTPRINT?

As mentioned in the section called “What are the main benefits offered by tes technology?”, TES facilitates sizing for average demand, meaning that in additional to reducing capital costs, you may also be able to reduce your plant’s dimensions.

For TES, there are 2 footprint options: an above ground tank or an underground tank. If footprint limitations are an obstacle, ARANER will study your project to come up with the best solution for you. Underground TES tanks can be buried below natural areas, parking lots, or in the basement of your facility. Buried tanks also do not influence the aesthetics of your plant.

WHAT ABOUT OF THE OPERATION OF THE TES TANK AND SYSTEM?

ARANER engineers closely work with our clients in order to assess their cooling needs and propose the best solution. Based on the cooling consumption curve, the cooling production can be optimized between the cooling supply from chillers and TES tank.

The TES operation simulation allows ARANER specialists to assess the operation of chillers in conjunction with the sizing of the TES system.

HOW DO WE MEASURE THE EFFICIENCY OF A TES SYSTEM?

Typically, the performance of any chilled-water storage tank is measured in terms of the Figure of Merit (FOM). According to ASHRAE, the FOM is the ratio of the amount of cooling removed from storage to the amount of cooling theoretically available from fully charged storage. It takes into account the loss of usable stored cooling capacity due to thermal conduction and mixing in the tank due to thermocline thickness and loss of temperature differential.

The Figure of Merit depends on the aspect ratio of the tank, operating practices and mainly on the design of diffusers. Stratified chilled water tanks with well-designed diffusers typically perform at FOM levels of 85-95%.

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