The expected performance of an innovative Pumped Thermal Energy Storage (PTES) system based on a closed-loop Brayton-Joule cycle and integrated with a Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plant are analysed in this study. The integrated PTES–CSP plant includes five machines (two compressors and three turbines), a central receiver tower system, three water coolers and three Thermal Energy Storage (TES) tanks, while argon and granite pebbles are chosen as working fluid and storage media, respectively. A sizing of the main components of the integrated plant has been firstly carried out for the design of an integrated PTES-CSP plant with a nominal net power of 5 MW and a nominal storage capacity of 6 equivalent hours of operation. Specific mathematical models have been developed in MATLAB-Simulink to simulate the PTES and CSP subsystem in different operating conditions, and to evaluate the thermocline profile evolution within the three storage tanks during/charging and discharging processes. A control strategy has finally been developed to determine the operating modes of the plant based on the grid service request, the solar availability, and the TES levels. The performance of the system during a summer and a winter day have been analysed considering the integration of the PTES subsystem in the Italian energy market for arbitrage. Results have demonstrated the technical feasibility of the hybridization of a PTES system with a CSP plant and the ability of the integrated system to participate to energy arbitrage, although a lower exergy roundtrip efficiency (about 54 %) has been observed with respect to the sole PTES system (about 60 %).
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