Storing energy is a challenge now that the amount of renewable energy production is growing. The willfully failing grid operators pretend the world will come to an end when their ignoring energy production trends starts to really destabilize their grid. They are failing and they are happy to, because they like centralized fossil or nuclear energy production. So what can you do as a home solar system owner?
Cold radiates less so it loses less cold over time than heat
Energy storage is about storing and recovering energy. In some cases you want to recover electricity because it is versatile, you can power your TV, computer, gamebox, lawnmower etc. For that purpose you may want to have a Powerwall or other now commercially available home grid connected battery. You can opt for a phase change material based water heating system. This means you use the electricity from you solar panels to heat phase change material, that then stores the heat until it gets disturbed into releasing it, in boiler type system. These systems are still very expensive even though the raw materails are not. There is a product in this field we will ad a link here.
But one way to store energy is as cold. You cool a reservoir of some material, one with preferable a thermal storage capacity, underground, and later use the cold to help your airconditioner. Of course any heat pump based generator can use the cold to generate electricity against the warm outside air, especially when you make it work against heat you tap from your solar panels. This has been shown to be quite efficient, but then again, efficiency is not a big concern as long as you get things done. You earn money by not running your AC as hard as you otherwise would.
Its a simple concept you can implement yourself by simply buying a freezer and running coils through it and to an underground storage tank. Then you also make some tubes to go to your airconditioning and some control valves and pumps to cool your airco hot side when it gets too hot and you have cold available.
You can imagine a so called ‘coldwell’ that consists of a tank to be stored underground with a AC type unit pulling the heat out of it. The difference being that the cold is not immediately lost by solar heating or ventilation.
From the article : Viking Cold’s TES systems not only store enough energy to cycle off refrigeration for up to 13 hours per day to avoid time-of-use and demand charges, they also improve the existing refrigeration systems’ efficiency and reduce consumption by more than 25 percent.
From the article : We discovered that if we pair CTES and appropriate chilling system control strategies, renewable energy utilization jumped from 10% to more than 50%. These results suggest that widespread implementation of CTES will boost renewable penetration for utilities.