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Thermal energy storage

Thermal energy storage 19 February 2021

Thermal energy storage could help to balance grid stress (via Environment Journal)

By Pippa Neill

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have developed a simple method that could help balance the energy grid while also improving energy efficiency. 

The study, which was published in the journal Nature Energy, involves a new design method that uses thermal energy storage to allow buildings to function as a huge battery by storing thermal energy in novel materials until it can be used later.

One example is a heat pump, while electricity is needed initially to create and store the heat, the heat can then be used later without using additional electricity.

This process could make the heating and cooling of buildings more efficient and less expensive.

The researchers have described that this method mirrors an idea used for batteries by helping to inform what new thermal storage materials are needed for buildings and how the devices should be designed with these materials.

The researchers developed a computer model to understand the various design tradeoffs with these thermal storage devices, including ones that require high power and low power.

Jason Woods, a senior research engineer at NREL and lead author of the newly published paper, said: ‘This framework ensures the cost–effective design of thermal storage materials and devices depending on the power and energy requirements of a particular application.

Read the full story here…