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1. (WO2018125535) USE OF EXTERNAL AIR FOR CLOSED CYCLE INVENTORY CONTROL
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CLAIMS

We claim:

1. A method comprising:

in a closed cycle system operating in a power generation mode, circulating a working fluid through a closed cycle fluid path including, in sequence, a compressor, a hot side heat exchanger, a turbine, and a cold side heat exchanger, wherein the closed cycle fluid path comprises a high pressure leg and a low pressure leg;

in response to a demand for increased power generation, compressing and dehumidifying environmental air; and

injecting the compressed and dehumidified environmental air into the low pressure leg.

2. The method of claim 1 , wherein the closed cycle system comprises a closed Brayton cycle system.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

extracting working fluid from the high pressure leg of the closed cycle fluid path; storing the extracted working fluid in a working fluid storage tank; and

injecting the extracted working fluid from the working fluid storage tank into the low pressure leg simultaneously with injecting the compressed and dehumidified environmental air into the low pressure leg.

4. The method of claim 1 , wherein the closed cycle system is configured to thermally contact the working fluid circulating through cold side heat exchanger with a cold side thermal storage ("CTS") medium, wherein dehumidifying the environmental air comprises:

transferring at least a portion of the CTS medium to a dehumidifier; and

thermally contacting the environmental air with the CTS medium within the dehumidifier and condensing water out of the environmental air.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein dehumidifying the environmental air occurs before compressing the environmental air.

6. The method of claim 4, wherein dehumidifying the environmental air occurs after compressing the environmental air.

7. The method of claim 4, further comprising:

after thermally contacting the environmental air with the CTS medium within the dehumidifier and condensing water out of the environmental air, transferring at least a portion of the CTS medium from the dehumidifier to an intermediate CTS storage tank.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the working fluid is air.

9. A method comprising:

in a closed cycle system in a power generation mode, circulating a working fluid through a closed cycle fluid path including, in sequence, a compressor, a hot side heat exchanger, a turbine, and a cold side heat exchanger, wherein the closed cycle fluid path comprises a high pressure leg and a low pressure leg, and wherein the closed cycle system is configured to thermally contact the working fluid circulating through the cold side heat exchanger with a cold side thermal storage ("CTS") medium;

in response to a demand for decreased power generation, expelling working fluid from the closed cycle fluid path through an expansion valve, thereby cooling the expelled working fluid; and

thermally contacting the expelled working fluid with a portion of the CTS medium.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the expelled working fluid is thermally contacted with a portion of the CTS medium in an auxiliary heat exchanger.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein working fluid is expelled from the low pressure leg.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the working fluid is air.

13. A system comprising:

a first compressor;

a hot side heat exchanger;

a turbine;

a cold side heat exchanger;

a working fluid circulating in a closed cycle fluid path through, in sequence, the first compressor, the hot side heat exchanger, the turbine, and the cold side heat exchanger, wherein the closed cycle fluid path comprises a high pressure leg and a low pressure leg; and

a second compressor coupled to the low pressure leg and configured to, upon demand, compress environmental air and inject the compressed environmental air into the low pressure leg.

14. The system of claim 13, further comprising:

a cold side thermal storage ("CTS") medium, wherein the system is configured to thermally contact the working fluid circulating through the cold side heat exchanger with the CTS medium;

a CTS storage tank configured to store CTS medium; and

a dehumidifier configured to thermally contact the environmental air with a portion of the CTS medium and condense water out of the environmental air.

15. The system of claim 13, wherein the dehumidifier supplies dehumidified environmental air to the second compressor for compressing.

16. The system of claim 13, wherein the second compressor supplies compressed environmental air to the dehumidifier for dehumidification.

17. The system of claim 13 further comprising an intermediate CTS storage tank configured to receive CTS medium from the dehumidifier.

18. The system of claim 13 further comprising a working fluid storage tank containing working fluid at a pressure greater than a pressure of the working fluid in the low pressure leg, wherein the system is configured to, upon demand, inject working fluid from the working fluid storage tank into the low pressure leg simultaneously with the compressed environmental air.

19. The system of claim 13, wherein the working fluid is air.

20. A system comprising:

a first compressor;

a hot side heat exchanger;

a turbine;

a cold side heat exchanger;

a working fluid circulating in a closed cycle fluid path through, in sequence, the first compressor, the hot side heat exchanger, the turbine, and the cold side heat exchanger, wherein the closed cycle fluid path comprises a high pressure leg and a low pressure leg;

a cold side thermal storage ("CTS") medium, wherein the system is configured to thermally contact the working fluid circulating through the cold side heat exchanger with the CTS medium;

an expansion valve configured to expel working fluid from the closed cycle fluid path; and

an auxiliary heat exchanger configured to thermally contact the expelled working fluid with at least a portion of the CTS medium.

21. The system of claim 20, wherein the working fluid is air.