With the expansion of renewable energy sources, the ability to store energy will become increasingly crucial. High-temperature thermal storage systems, which have already been implemented into solar thermal power plants on a large scale, are an important and highly promising technology in this sector. They can be used to operate solar thermal power plants as and when required and provide balancing power for the grid, which significantly increases the value of the energy they generate. This also enables the turbines to be operated at full load more often, allowing optimum levels of efficiency to be achieved. The challenges in this field include the need to develop new types of storage systems, e.g. for power plants for direct steam generation, and to increase storage efficiency in terms of costs and the amount of heat stored, e.g. a higher temperature spread, storage in a single tank or alternative storage concepts or media.
Sample projects: Salsa, OPTS, Supergrid