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Solar Energy

SDSU Masters Theses: Kirk Reis

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Brian Gehring
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Candidate)
San Diego State University
Thermal System Emphasis

Picture of Kirk

My research focuses high temperature thermal energy storage for use with the Brayton cycle solar thermal power plant. I started working with Dr. Miller in July and I am currently conducting a literature review of the subject. Thermal energy storage has the capacity of allowing a solar thermal power plant to produce more energy, increase efficiency and quiet the major criticisms of solar power generation. If a thermal energy storage concept can be realized and implemented there is incredible potential for this technology.

There are several challenges to high temperature thermal energy storage, including what storage material to use, how to efficiently transfer the heat into and out of the storage material and how to insulate large quantities of storage material. All of these challenges will be the focus of my thesis project, and hopefully will aid in the advancement of solar thermal technology to a realistic solution to the impending energy crisis.