Thermal Energy Storage: Putting
on SiteBy John E. Flory, Loren W. McCannon, Stan Tory,
Donald L. Geistert, and James PattersonA recent study coordinated by the California Energy Commission shows how stored-cooling applications provide both environmental and competitive benefits in a summer-peaking market.As California prepares for a more competitive electric future, the California Energy Commission (CEC) is taking another look at some key customer technologies. One CEC program, known as Opportunity Technology Commercialization (OTCOM), carries a mission to boost market penetration of energy technologies that offer "compelling energy, environmental, diversity, and economic
development benefits." OTCOM selected thermal energy storage (TES) as just such a promising technology. As defined here, TES denotes a chiller system operated during the night to store energy for air-conditioning use during the day. Traditionally, building owners have employed TES to trim power costs by reducing peak-demand charges. But TES offers other benefits for both energy users and suppliers.
To address market barriers that might stand in the way of TES applications, OTCOM organized a collaborative of TES users, utilities, governmental agencies, consultants, and TES manufacturers. As a first step, the collaborative enlisted a study to measure the potential impacts of TES in California. The highlights of that study, Source Energy and Environmental Impacts of Thermal Energy Storage, are presented here.
The study split the analysis of the energy use by TES into two components: