Sorption thermal energy storage (TES) seems to be an auspicious solution to overcome the issues of intermittent energy sources and utilization of low-grade heat. Ultrasound-assisted adsorption/desorption of water vapor on activated alumina is proposed as a means of low-grade heat utilization through TES. The effects of ultrasonic power on the storing stage (desorption of water vapor) were analyzed to optimize the desorption and overall efficiencies. To determine and justify the effectiveness of incorporating ultrasound from an energy-savings point of view, an approach of constant total (heat plus ultrasound) input power of 25 W was adopted. To measure the extent of the effectiveness of using ultrasound, ultrasonic-power-to-total power ratios of 0.2 and 0.4 were investigated and the results compared with those of no-ultrasound (heat only) at the same total power. The regeneration temperature and desorption rate were measured simultaneously to investigate the effects of ultrasonication on regeneration temperature and utilization of low-grade heat. The experimental results showed that using ultrasound facilitates the regeneration of activated alumina at both power ratios without increasing the total input power. With regard to regeneration temperature, incorporating ultrasound decreases the regeneration temperature hence justifying the utilization of low-grade heat for thermal energy purposes. In terms of overall energy recovery of the adsorption thermal storage process, a new metric is proposed to justify incorporating ultrasound and any other auxiliary energy along with low-grade heat.

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