Thermal Energy Storage

What Does Thermal Energy Storage Mean?

Thermal energy storage (TES) refers to the technology that allows the transfer and storage of heat energy or, alternatively, energy from ice or cold air or water. This method is built into new technologies that complement energy solutions such as solar and hydro.


Techopedia Explains Thermal Energy Storage

Some thermal energy storage methods allow for daily use, for example, using off-peak nighttime energy to create hot or cold storage that is used to power systems throughout the day. Other systems are more long-term, such as systems that store solar energy in the summer for use in the winter.

The idea behind TES is changing the way users generate the vast amount of heating and cooling capacity that eats up so much conventional energy from the grid. The problem is that much of the grid power used for heating and cooling buildings is generated by energy from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. This can be addressed using TES, which can provide heating and cooling solutions simply by evening out the distributed heat in a natural landscape or cycle, for example, by applying heat stored in solar collectors or by distributing cold water or air from underground to cool a building space. Scientists and engineers are hard at work on new thermal energy storage solutions to replace fossil fuel-driven HVAC systems.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…