Renewable generators produce electricity on an intermittent basis, requiring backup generation in networks for periods when wind or sun are not available. Batteries store electricity but are expensive at large scale and their efficiency declines each time they are used. Our Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) provides a low cost energy store that can be ‘charged’ and electricity regenerated at the very high rates needed for grid scale operators.
What is thermal energy storage?
Thermal energy storage is simply the storage of energy as heat, this can be observed in its simplest form as an insulated hot water tank.
Read more about the development of 1414 Degrees thermal energy storage system (TESS) here.
What are the different types of thermal energy storage?
Sensible storage: energy is stored by heating a storage medium and maintaining its state in solid or liquid form. Energy is released and recovered by cooling the storage medium. This type of energy storage is ‘sensible’ because the heating and cooling can be sensed as a temperature change in the storage medium. Typical sensible storage media are: water, air, oil, rocks, brine (and other molten salts), concrete, sand or soil.
Phase change storage: energy is stored by heating a storage medium through its transition from solid to liquid, or from liquid to gas. Energy is released and recovered by extracting heat from the storage medium. Phase change storage, often also called ‘latent heat’ storage is latent, or hidden, because the storage material’s temperature does not change throughout the phase change. These storage materials include water/ice, paraffin, molten salts, metallic elements (e.g. silicon) and alloys.
Thermochemical storage: a thermochemical storage material absorbs energy in the form of heat, and splits into two physically separable chemical compounds. The recombination of these two compounds into the thermochemical storage material releases heat for energy recovery. Salt hydrates are the primary example of this energy storage technology.