The Use of Thermal Energy Storage to Enable Renewable Energy
The use of thermal energy storage to enable renewable energy
Robert W. Timmerman PE, CEM, LEED AP, member AEE (retired)
Energy storage is necessary to convert intermittent renewable power to firm power. In supplying buildings with thermal energy (heating or cooling), it is frequently cheaper to supply and store thermal energy directly and rather than storing electric power to operate devices that produce thermal energy.
This paper will draw upon the author’s research and experience in designing some pioneering thermal storage installations, and show how thermal storage may mitigate the so-called “duck curve” of electric power demand.
Solar heat is particularly amenable to inter-seasonal storage, and it may be possible to store winter cold in northern climates for summer cooling
It is the author’s suggestion to use economies of scale in overnight storage of chilled water to mitigate peak electric loads, with the most efficient chillers charging the storage.
Biography of Robert W. Timmerman PE, CEM, LEED AP, member AEE (retired)
Mr. Timmerman hold Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. He holds three U.S. patents on district heating technology, has done research and studies on innovative district heating and cooling technology, and designed a number of innovative heating and cooling systems. He has presented 6 technical papers on advanced district heating and district cooling technology. Most recently, he is the author of one chapter of the 2020 Nova Publications book The Future of District Heating.