Thermal Energy Storage: where it can make a difference and why

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Thermal Storage Benefits

Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is a technology whereby thermal energy is produced during off-peak hours and stored for use during peak demand. TES is most widely used to produce chilled water during those off-peak times to provide cooling when the need for both cooling and power peak, thereby increasing efficiency.

ARANER naturally water stratified Thermal Storage Tank

Figure 1: A water-stratified Thermal Energy Storage Tank

TES can result in a reduced capital cost for the cooling plant as it would only need to be sized to meet the average demands, the peak demand would be met by a combination of the plant and the stored energy from the TES system. There is a reduction in waste in plants which incorporate Thermal Storage as the energy is stored for use at a later time, and since much of this energy is generated during off-peak demand, there is often a cost savings. Since energy is stored which would otherwise be wasted, there is an overall reduction in the consumption of power. The increases in efficiency and reduction in power consumption also result in a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and other pollution. Thermal Energy Storage systems are used with many different types of heating and cooling systems to save energy through off-peak use and reduced waste. TES can increase the efficiency of an electrical system through a reduction in power consumption coordinating with peak power demands. TES decreases the use of other fuels by making the most of the facility operating time and decreasing wasted energy, by reducing run times, storing unused cooling energy for later use, or most often a combination of the two. Regardless of the type of plant or its operations, the implementation of Thermal Storage technologies is beneficial both economically and environmentally.

Thermal Energy Storage Tank and how it can benefit your cooling plant today  

Where Thermal Storage systems can make a difference and why

Within the Cooling Process

When peak cooling demands coincide with peak electricity demands, Thermal Energy Storage is an ideal choice to even out loads of the cooling system. These systems decrease the amount of power needed during peak power demand periods and draw electricity for stored energy during off-peak hours when energy costs are often lower. TES can also be an ideal solution for a system that has excess capacity during off-peak hours but has difficulty meeting peak cooling demands. The excess energy produced during off-peak hours is stored for use during times of peak demand when cooling capacity may not be available, and power can be unreliable.

Combined with Other Technologies

The water-cooled and stored in a Thermal Storage tank can also be used to provide Turbine Inlet Air Cooling in facilities that use gas turbines, adding to the overall efficiency of the facility. Similarly, a TES system can provide back-up cooling for District Cooling systems during planned outages for maintenance or if components fail. These advantages can be a tremendous benefit in addition to the day to day benefits of a Thermal Storage system. 

A TESTIAC Installation by ARANER which combined Thermal Storage tanks with Turbine Cooling

Figure 2: An installation using TES combined with TIAC

In Certain Regions throughout the World

Installing TES is not only an economically and environmentally sound choice, but in some countries in the Middle East, there is a state-mandated requirement to install technologies like Thermal Energy Storage. The Middle East is facing a continuing struggle to meet power demands amid unprecedented growth, and the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Agreement has forced many governments to look for innovative ways to meet these demands. 

Urbanized district in Dubai, UAE

Figure 3: Middle East countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others can benefit from Thermal Storage!

Technologies such as TES help to reduce the demand on resources as well as reduce the overall carbon footprint of the Middle East region through energy conservation and less waste. The rise in power demands and the need for building cooling in the Middle East is not expected to subside anytime in the foreseeable future. As a result, governments continue to see the need to regulate District Energy systems and is it likely that other countries will mandate these types of technologies to decrease overall power use, reduce the carbon footprint, and increase efficiency. ARANER is at the forefront of these changing mandates and emerging industry technologies.

Conclusion

Including a Thermal Storage system provides clear benefits for your plant or project, especially in the Middle East region where this type of technology is often required . The top benefits and functionalities of Thermal Energy Storage are numerous and include:

  • Taking advantage of off-peak hours and electricity rates.
  • Reduced capital costs for the cooling plant.
  • Reduction in wasted energy and power consumption.
  • Fewer emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.
  • Decreased use of other fuels.
  • Combination with Turbine Inlet Air Cooling, District Cooling, and renewable technologies.
  • Energy conservation, saving resources, and a lower carbon footprint in the Middle East.

ARANER knows that every location, company, and project is different, and that’s why we specialize in studying and identifying your unique needs. Contact ARANER today to discuss your options and let us show you how a Thermal Energy Storage system can transform your project.