Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Energy Efficiency

Is Distributed Thermal Storage Next?

Here’s one electricity storage technology that’s been around for over 20 years, under the radar, but might be due for a resurgence in interest with the addition of more wind power to the grid.  Wind tends to blow at night when we don’t need it.

[social_buttons]

Steffes Electric Thermal Storage makes devices that store excess off-peak renewable electricity very simply, as heat, by heating up electric coils surrounded by ceramic bricks in a sealed container. The ceramic bricks are thermal sinks. They soak up the heat slowly, and when triggered to, can release that heat, just as slowly, providing low-cost heating.

Excess electricity generated can be stored at any time, like at night from excess wind power, and then released at any time it’s needed; on demand, in the form of heat.

Because it is useful for businesses and homeowners, it is distributed energy storage.

Replace oil heating

Homeowners in states like Maine, that mostly use oil for heating, could become virtually energy independent with electric thermal heat storage in conjunction with wind energy to compete directly with oil.

With residential wind turbines

In all of the windy Plains states from the Dakotas to Wyoming and Oklahoma, rural homeowners could store their own excess wind power, which is typically generated at night, in electric thermal storage in their home. Then, when needed, that captured heat can be released to warm the home all day. Whether the night wind comes from a utility, or their yard, wind is the perfect partner. It blows when we don’t need it, and the windy states need to use more energy for heating.

With utility-scale wind on the grid

Distributed storage is also good for utility-scale wind farms. This pairing of distributed thermal storage meets a need for stability on both sides: on the one side, the homeowner wants some guarantee of a low electricity rate before adding electric thermal storage – and on the other side utilities generating wind power want some guarantee that there are entities ready to use its energy when its generated (which for wind is when people are sleeping).

With energy-saver incentives

Many utilities already give out or provide discounts on energy-saving devices to encourage energy conservation, to help meet their Renewable Energy Standards (RES) that require them to add more renewable energy. As they add more renewable energy, they need to add more renewable energy storage.

With more wind power on the grid

Distributed storage (in homes) for off-peak electricity might be more cost-effective and easier to implement than centralized storage. Rebates like those for fluorescent light bulbs, could incentivize  homeowners to add electric thermal storage.

With Renewable Energy Standards

In each state with RES requirements that utilities add more renewable generation; homeowners could be also encouraged with incentives to use distributed thermal electricity storage to help use excess wind energy at night.

Related stories:

California Proposes First Renewable Energy Storage Requirements

Make Ice at Night to Store Wind Energy

Wind Storage Worth Trillions

For Baseload Wind Cheaper than Fossil Fuels

Storing Renewable Energy in Boxes of Air

Top ARPA-E Funding Goes to Renewable Storage in “Liquid Battery”

Metal-Air Battery With 11 Times the Energy at Half the Cost?

Pump Hydro Underground to Store Wind Power

More susan/” target=”_blank”>Cleantechnica from Susan Kraemer: Journalists on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/dotcommodity" target="_blank

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.

Comments

You May Also Like

Batteries

Eos Energy Storage has released its second big announcement of the month, a funding boost that includes funding from NRG Energy, a major US...

Clean Power

With Dr. Ernest Moniz officially confirmed at the next US Secretary of Energy, leading cleantech and green groups are getting their statements out regarding what...

Biomass

IRENA and IEA-ETSAP's initial set of 10 renewable energy briefs scopes out the state of play in terms of technology, markets and barriers to...

Batteries

  The US Energy Information Agency (EIA) recently had a pretty interesting and useful post on electricity storage you might be interested in checking...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.