Thermal Energy Storage (TES) isn't electron sexy, but it is reliably cool.

Posted on April 22, 2016
Posted By: Paul Valenta
Thermal energy storage (TES) has been around for years. When compressor-based HVAC systems were first applied, they were not large enough to cool large venues. Motion picture theaters and houses of worship would use thermal storage by creating and storing cooling all week for the weekends' activities. As HVAC systems became commonplace, the utility load factor in North America steadily began to lower due to the adoption of this technology. Today, it is under 50 percent. Connecting net zero buildings to the power grid will make the utility load factor even worse, while also reducing the financial health of a traditional utility company.

HVAC is the largest contributor to low load electricity generation load factors. The good news is that the cooling load of a building is also the easiest electric load to shift. Today’s TES systems have steadily improved over the last 30 years and can be counted on to last for more than 30 years reliably. Packaged systems are available for light commercial and commercial systems and can be applied across a broad market, ranging from small churches to large campuses. TES stores the energy in the form it will be used in, with little or no cycle degradation. Most systems, upon end of life, can be easily refurbished, repurposed or recycled. TES can be easily and quickly dispatched during peak summer days as well.

Building designs that contain electron energy storage, thermal energy storage and renewable generation will be leading the way in value, low cost operation, and occupant productivity.

Don't dismiss thermal energy storage as part of the grid resiliency solution.

Authored By:
Paul Valenta is a native North Dakotan now residing in Mars, PA. Paul has an Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Nebraska and has been in the HVAC industry for 30 years, the last 20 with CALMAC Manufacturing. Currently, Paul is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for CALMAC Manufacturing Corp and is responsible for Marketing and Sales of IceBank™ Ice Storage products. Paul is a member of ASHRAE,

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