Southern Research Institute to develop solar thermal storage system
Jun 6, 2014 - The US Department of Energy (DoE) has inked a USD 1.05-million (EUR 770,000) jointly-funded cooperative agreement with the Southern Research Institute to develop a high-temperature solar thermal storage system.
The Alabama-based not-for-profit organisation explained in a statement yesterday it would be developing a high-temperature thermochemical energy storage (TCES) system that uses a low-cost calcium-based sorbent in a reversible closed-loop endothermic-exothermic chemical reaction cycle. The purpose is to store energy during midday and release it when there is no more sunlight.
By adding TCES to concentrating solar power (CSP) plants, these facilities will be able to operate at higher capacity factors and generate double the energy, according to the institute.
The deal was signed under the DoE’s new Concentrating Solar Power: Efficiently Leveraging Equilibrium Mechanisms for Engineering New Thermochemical Storage (CSP: ELEMENTS) funding programme, which in turn is part of the SunShot Initiative. The latter supports entities that seek ways to reduce the cost of solar electricity to USD 0.06 per kWh.