Storing fluctuating wind power as on-demand heating/cooling capacity
To maintain a balanced electric grid when highly fluctuating wind power is an input, energy storage becomes mandatory. CEEE is developing highly efficient thermal storage technology that uses electricity as input for heat pumps that produce either heating or cooling capacity for later use. Both, charging the hot/cold storage as well as discharging, can be done on an on-demand basis.
Several concepts are under development. The first concept utilizes the latent heat of the liquid/solid phase transition and is novel in the sense that ice storage is used for both heating and cooling applications. More advanced concepts utilize the much more effective liquid/vapor phase transition by evaporating or condensing water and absorbing the resulting steam into a novel, high-capacity desiccant material. The concepts were developed together with colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an invention records has been filed.