Liquid Metal Competence Center Karlsruhe (LIMCKA) Labs
Thermal energy storage
Thermal energy storage
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
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The Liquid Metal Competence Center Karlsruhe (LIMCKA) Labs consist of liquid metal facilities for materials, thermal energy storage systems and loop components testing. https://limcka.forschung.kit.edu/english/index.php
The LIMCKA Labs infrastructure provides:
1) material testing in stagnant liquid metals at different conditions – ideally for screening experiments for thermal energy storage materials and structural materials (from melting temperature of the liquid metal up to 1100°C)
2) testing of direct and indirect thermal energy storage systems with liquid metal as heat transfer fluid (temperatures from the melting temperature of the liquid metal up to 550°C, heating power up to 1 MW, cooling power up to 500 kW, test port max. 4 m)
3) loop components testing (valves, pumps, measurement devices) in liquid metal flows (temperatures from the melting temperature of the liquid metal up to 550°C, heating power up to 1 MW, cooling power up to 500 kW)
Services currently offered by the infrastructure:
The LIMCKA infrastructure enabled researchers in various research fields dealing with liquid metal as heat transfer fluids to new findings in the past years. For example, a first-of-its-kind thermal energy storage system with liquid metal and filler material was designed and is currently tested, and the production of hydrogen from natural gas without carbon dioxide emissions in liquid metal was successfully demonstrated (awarded with the Innovation Award of the German Gas Industry).
The LIMCKA Labs were utilized in numerous national programmes for experimental investigations in the field of concentrating solar power, liquid-metal based projects and EU projects in the fields of nuclear safety, e.g. in SEARCH, MAXSIMA, MYRTE and currently in PASCAL and PATRICIA. Furthermore, the LIMCKA Labs are part of the EERA-JPNM und EERA-CSP networks.
Scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals in the field of liquid metal thermal-hydraulics reached high citation numbers, e.g. the “Handbook on lead-bismuth eutectic alloy and lead properties, materials compatibility, thermal-hydraulics and technologies” (2015, Fazio et al.), which resulted from the European collaboration.