Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Lupita D. Montoya

Second Advisor

Jean Hertzberg

Third Advisor

Julie Steinbrenner

Fourth Advisor

Conrad Stoldt

Fifth Advisor

Frank Barnes


This work introduces a new concept for a utility scale combined energy storage and generation system. The proposed design utilizes a pumped thermal energy storage (PTES) system, which also utilizes waste heat leaving a natural gas peaker plant. This system creates a low cost utility-scale energy storage system by leveraging this dual-functionality. This dissertation first presents a review of previous work in PTES as well as the details of the proposed integrated bottoming and energy storage system. A time-domain system model was developed in Mathworks R2016a Simscape and Simulink software to analyze this system. Validation of both the fluid state model and the thermal energy storage model are provided. The experimental results showed the average error in cumulative fluid energy between simulation and measurement was +/- 0.3% per hour. Comparison to a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model showed <1% error for bottoming mode heat transfer.

The system model was used to conduct sensitivity analysis, baseline performance, and levelized cost of energy of a recently proposed Pumped Thermal Energy Storage and Bottoming System (Bot-PTES) that uses ammonia as the working fluid. This analysis focused on the effects of hot thermal storage utilization, system pressure, and evaporator/condenser size on the system performance. This work presents the estimated performance for a proposed baseline Bot-PTES. Results of this analysis showed that all selected parameters had significant effects on efficiency, with the evaporator/condenser size having the largest effect over the selected ranges. Results for the baseline case showed stand-alone energy storage efficiencies between 51 and 66% for varying power levels and charge states, and a stand-alone bottoming efficiency of 24%. The resulting efficiencies for this case were low compared to competing technologies; however, the dual-functionality of the Bot-PTES enables it to have higher capacity factor, leading to $91-197/MWh levelized cost of energy compared to $262-284/MWh for batteries and $172-254/MWh for Compressed Air Energy Storage.