Storage advance may boost solar thermal energy potential
Engineers at Oregon State University have identified a new approach for the storage of concentrated solar thermal energy, to reduce its cost and make it more practical for wider use. The advance is based on a new innovation with thermochemical storage, in which chemical transformation is used in repeated cycles to hold heat, use it to drive turbines, and then be re-heated to continue the cycle. Most commonly this might be done over a 24-hour period, with variable levels of solar-powered electricity available at any time of day, as dictated by demand.
Credit: Graphic by Kelvin Randhir, courtesy of the University of Florida