Thermal energy storage for industrial heat processes
Thermal energy storage, in the form of heat batteries, allows plants to store heat to run on renewable solar also during hours when the sun is not up. By doing so, thermal storage optimizes energy costs by providing heat directly to the process without the need for conversion. This system allows higher fuel savings, lower CO2 emissions, and higher economic savings for industries.
Heat represents about 70 % of the energy demand in industries. Solar thermal supplying renewable heat is a reliable and cost-effective solution widely operated in the industrial sector. Implementing a heat battery to your system makes it possible to meet a large portion of heating demand with solar heat and improve the energy efficiency of the plant.
Thermal energy storage – a game-changer
To successfully transition to renewables, industries need to overcome the mismatch between supply and demand due to the deployment of intermittent renewable energy sources.
Here, Thermal energy storage (TES) is a game-changing technology that compensates for the mismatch and source intermittence limits.
Industries operating 24/7 or with batch processes need to store energy generated during the daytime. With heat batteries, energy efficiency is achieved by storing heat to be used when needed. With the implementation of this technology, less fossil fuel is required, plant emissions are reduced, and therefore product costs as well.
Combined with solar collector installations, the use of heat batteries allows you to store the peak solar production during the daytime, utilizing it to meet the energy demand also when there is no sunlight.
Solar thermal in combination with Heat batteries is a technical and economically feasible solution that avoids spillage of solar heat, making the technology even more cost-efficient.
Storing heat to use heat, TES optimizes energy costs by being directly usable in the process without the need for conversion.
How it works
A Heat battery is a system used for storing and releasing thermal energy. This innovative technology allows the excess thermal energy produced during peak hours to be temporarily stored and then released to meet the demand when it´s needed without the need for conversion.
Heat Batteries can be classified into different types according to your demand, both designed to provide sufficient capacity to absorb that surplus and release a significant share of it later with low energy losses over time:
- Short-term Storage: Short-term thermal energy storage is used when the energy demand should be satisfied, for example, cloudy days or nights. The most common short-term storage method is the displacement of hot/cold water via accumulator tank storage. Usually, these tanks have a vertical cylindrical form made of steel and are often located near the main boiler plant for industrial use. The volume of the tanks varies from a few hundred cubic meters to tens of thousands. There are two main types of tanks, pressurized and atmospheric (non-pressurized) tanks.
- Long-term Storage: Long-term or seasonal thermal energy storage is indicated for long-term applications such as storing summer heat for winter heating or winter cold for summer air conditioning. Seasonal thermal storage has traditionally been tied to solar heat, allowing the surplus energy in summer to be displaced in the winter, when demand is high and supply low. Four types of large-scale or seasonal thermal energy storage are commonly used worldwide. The four storage concepts include tank and pit thermal energy storage (TTES and PTES), borehole thermal energy storage (BTES), and aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES).
Learn how your industries are benefiting from solar thermal energy in their plants: