By Jessica Hernandez, Lux Research
Storing thermal energy generated by large-scale solar energy plants, manufacturing plants, and the building sector is crucial if energy-intensive industries and power companies are to decarbonise and improve their operating efficiency.
Electrochemical energy storage like lithium-ion batteries, which convert energy into electricity, can generally only be used for short-term storage.
But thermal energy storage (TES) – which involves heating or cooling a storage medium like molten salt and minerals to use stored energy later – is larger in scale and has a longer service life as well as lower upfront costs. Its efficiency depends on the storage medium.